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Target takes heat for altering photos of swimsuit models

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Target is being taken to task by national media and bloggers for a photo of a bikini-clad model that was crudely edited and makes her look even thinner.

In an online ad for junior swimwear, the photo of the model has been altered to create an unnatural-looking “thigh gap” and very thin arms, according to Time.

At least one other swimsuit photo was edited in a similar way.

A "thigh gap” is a space between the legs at the top of the thighs that only exists on very thin people, and has become a fad for some teenage girls, according to the Star Tribune.

Experts on eating disorders are concerned with the trend, saying it sends a bad message about female body image. On top of that, it's almost physically impossible for most women and girls to achieve a thigh gap, Today reports.

After websites including the Huffington Post, Jezebel and Buzzfeed cried foul, Target removed the images from its website.

“This was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize. We have removed the image from our website," Target said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

Some observers speculated that the Photoshopping was so poorly done that it might simply have been an accident, according to Today.

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