Jacked Up Uniforms on iStock
My wild goose chase, well more like a rabbit hole, started when I read an article in The Wall Street Journal online about the U.S. Military. (The U.S. Military’s Weighty Challenge: ‘Skinny-Fat’ Recruits) There was a photo of a Marine in dress blues with a measuring tape photoshopped on the photo. I wanted to find the source photo because it looks like the Marine is slouching in the photo. The article credited iStock.com, so that is where I went.
While on iStock I quickly noticed that several of the uploaders were taking photos of Marines with jacked-up uniforms. Things like missing Marine Corps emblems on the covers, some photos with collar emblems missing, and other strange things.
I’m not sure why the uploader, ‘MTMCOINS‘ removed the Marine Corps emblem from the covers of their Marine models. Then there is the uploader ‘ftwitty‘, who looks like they just picked up a dress blues blouse from a thrift shop and started shooting photos. No wait, they photoshopped the chevrons off the sleeves and it really shows when you enlarge the photo.
For some reason, they went through the trouble to remove the emblems from the camouflaged cover as well as the white barracks cover. I see that they photoshopped out the names on the name tapes as well, and that makes sense, but looks strange.
Assuming that they are actual military members and not just random Joe from the street corner, wearing a surplus uniform from Goodwill. I’m sure that the Corps along with the other branches have some rules or regulations about this. I know that there were regs about some of it when I was in the Corps. What I think is going on is the old internet myth that you can’t wear a military uniform as it is stolen valor. And that is partially correct, but Article 10 U.S. Code § 772, clearly states that:
While portraying a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Space Force, an actor in a theatrical or motion-picture production may wear the uniform of that armed force if the portrayal does not tend to discredit that armed force. (10 U.S. Code § 772 – When wearing by persons not on active duty authorized)
This means that you can hire a model and have them wear a U.S. military member for a photo shoot.
It really makes the photos look silly, but I guess to the untrained eye, it looks good. I mean I picked up on the missing cover emblem in seconds looking at the first photo. The same applies to the collar emblems and the chevrons.
Now back to the rabbit hole and the original photo from the Wall Street Journal. I did a quick reverse image search on Google and found the photo in question, and no, he wasn’t slouching, he was laughing and the photographer snapped the photo and it made him look like he was slouching. The original photo complete with the head really makes the image look different. (original & Orignal WSJ)
If you want to read more about using military uniforms in art, here is a great post on Task and Purpose. No, Hollywood is not required to screw up military uniforms
The four above photos are available on iStock.com and other stock photo websites. The cover emblems have been photoshopped out (removed). – Click each photo to enlarge
The eight above photos are available on iStock.com and other stock photo websites. The cover emblems have been photoshopped out (removed). – Click each photo to enlarge
And if you are on iStock looking for a female Marine, make sure you misspell Marine like “Maine“.