- (Photo: Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
Michelle Obama's image was altered by an Iranian news agency when she appeared on Sunday night to unveil the winner of the Best Picture Oscar at this year's Academy Awards.
According to reports Iranian news agency, Fars, altered the image of the First Lady so that it could be broadcast to their ultra-conservative readers.
The original image of Michelle Obama showed her wearing a sleeveless silver gown by designer Naeem Khan. However, the Iranian news agency covered up the First Lady by Photoshopping on an extension to her dress to cover up her shoulders, upper arms and chest area.
Most Westerners would not consider what Obama wore to appear on the Oscars as that revealing in comparison to what many celebrities were wearing at the Academy Awards. However, the standard in many conservative Muslim countries is a strict code of modesty where the shoulders and chest area must be covered.
Patrick Ventrell, deputy State Department spokesperson, has said about the Photoshopped image: "We've persistently seen Iranian news agencies, whether they're partially or fully state-run, use fabrication and use other means to distort images," according to ABC News.
He added, "It's something that we've seen in the past here in this department. We've seen photos manipulated. We've seen official statements manipulated. So there would be nothing new. It wouldn't surprise me."
This is not the first time that Middle Eastern news agencies have taken to Photoshop to ensure that images of Western celebrities do not offend their conservative audiences though.
Mariah Carey, who is popular in many Middle Eastern countries, had her album shots altered by Photoshop to ensure she did not sideline and offend her fan base in the Islamic countries.
Michelle Obama revealed that the Best Picture Oscar for 2013 went to Iranian hostage crisis film, "Argo." The movie has also upset many Iranians, who have insisted that the film falsely portrayed Iranians while at the same time portraying Americans as perfect heroes. According to reports, some Iranian filmmakers are pushing ahead with making their own version of the hostage crisis at the center of the "Argo" storyline.