IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

High school students voice complaints over retouched school ID photos

While we're used to seeing celebrities on magazine covers retouched to glossy perfection, photo retouching generally doesn't make an appearance in our everyday lives.

But students at St. Teresa's Academy high school in Kansas City, Missouri, got first-hand experience with retouching when their school ID pictures were drastically changed, causing outrage among the students.

"I just knew that something wasn't right in this photo but I din't know what it was," one of the students, Zoe Royer told TODAY of when she first saw the photo on her ID. 

And it wasn't just Royer. All of the ID photos were edited with extreme changes such as removed freckles, recoloring lips, reshaping eyebrows, and even making the girls appear thinner. 

"They had slimmed my face down, they changed my skin tone and they had smoothed everything out," Royer said. "I was growing up with some big cheeks and when I smiled and at this point I had learned to love them, and I was really liking the way I was looking."

self.TwoXChromosomes / Today

To voice her complaints, Royer posted the photo and her story on Reddit, writing, "The new photo no longer even looks like me but rather a prettier twin sister... Going to an all girls school we are constantly reminded about positive body image and accepting ourselves for who we are. Having these changes made to make me appear thinner makes me wonder how must our school practices what they preach."

From there, the photo and story were picked up by Perez Hilton and Jezebel, among other popular online outlets.  

St. Teresa's Academy, an all-girl's private school, told NBC News the retouching was a mistake on the part of the photo company, DeCloud Studios. The school did not authorize any kind of retouching of the photos, and St. Teresa's president, Nan Tiehen Bone told the Kansas City Star that the school didn't agree with the retouching. "Of course, we were very angry," she said.

For its part, DeCloud Studios told the Kansas City Star that the photos were run through an automated retouching program by accident, and the original, untouched photos will be used in the yearbook. "It was an honest mistake," Susan Hoefer, a manager at DeCloud told the paper. NBC News reached out to DeCloud for comment but did not get a reply.

St. Teresa's said the retouched photos will not be featured in the yearbook. Students are also being asked to return the retouched school IDs so they can be issued new, unaltered photo IDs by Monday afternoon.

Royer said she's proud of how her school and her classmates have handled the mix up, and happy that, "the un-retouched, original, true me will be going in the yearbook."