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And Oprah may have three hands.
The all-star, fold-out magazine cover features some of the world’s most famous actors decked out in their formalwear. Tom Hanks poses in a tux next to Michael B. Jordan, who’s standing next to Zendaya, who’s leaning over Jessica Chastain. You get the idea: Everyone’s there, and they look good.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) January 25, 2018
But it seems like someone forgot a few Photoshop edits before the cover went to press. Within minutes, discerning fans on Twitter noticed Reese Witherspoon seems to have three legs in the portrait.
Witherspoon is perched on the side of Oprah’s chair with her arm around her A Wrinkle in Time co-star in an embrace for the photo. Two legs are seen crossed and tucked underneath Witherspoon’s body, which is a pose that definitely showcases her calves but fails to address the physics of the situation. If neither of her feet is fully touching the ground, and her torso is unbent, and she’s not quite sitting, where exactly is her center of gravity? Is she kneeling on the chair’s arm somehow? Is she leaning really hard on Oprah?
im tryna figure out how many legs reese witherspoon’s got in here, it’s been bothering me for the last five minutes pic.twitter.com/u1uQ63sDdd
— TITA SAW BLACK PANTHER (@leiascaptain) January 25, 2018
But if you look closer you’ll see a third leg attached to Witherspoon’s body like a kickstand—and it’s standing upright. In the same slit of the dress where you can spot Witherspoon’s side-saddle calves, you can clearly see a standing thigh that leads down to a standing calf. The angle the leg is at clearly explains how she was able to achieve the pose in the photo, but it was apparently less aesthetically pleasing than the crossed legs, and the magazine opted to edit it out. They just forgot to, ya know, do that last part.
Fans debated whether it could somehow be an optical illusion or a shadow situation.
Weird. Could be a Photoshop error, but I'm not sure why they would have to Photoshop her leg into a different position. Most likely, what we see as the third "leg" is just the fabric of her dress that seems to match her skin tone because it's in shadow.
— Frank (@GenusUnknown) January 25, 2018
Oh no, there are definitely 3. Look at the top of the slit. One leg upright/standing, then 2 legs angled/crossed. pic.twitter.com/g1VK5yDI1v
— Elizabeth (@khamsin) January 25, 2018
But the consensus seemed to be “three legs.” When one fan shared some of Vanity Fair‘s outtakes from the shoot as evidence that the leg was most likely a Photoshop error, she accidentally unveiled new anomalies too. In one “candid” photo of Oprah and Witherspoon laughing together, Oprah has three hands:
Reese is sitting on the arm of Oprah's chair. not her lap. the chair is red. it doesn't make sense that Reese's "third leg" is an apple box unless they put the box *inside* the skirt of her dress. it's really okay if the published image is a photoshop mistake. no one will die. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/LE8yBjmvfO
— Nichole 🍞🍯 (@tnwhiskeywoman) January 25, 2018
Also lololol pic.twitter.com/9Vh7z1Dids
— Bob (@DoHoBOB) January 25, 2018
It’s not a perfect corroboration, but it at least confirms that whoever was on Photoshop duty for this Vanity Fair shoot was playing fast and loose with celebrity organs.
For Witherspoon and Oprah’s parts, they’ve embraced each other’s extra limbs.
Well…I guess everybody knows now…I have 3 legs. I hope you can still accept me for who I am. 😃( and I will never apologize for snuggling @Oprah .. if you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it;) https://t.co/6GyrfWxNSY
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) January 25, 2018
I accept your 3d leg. As I know you accept my 3d hand👋🏾👋🏾👋🏾❤️
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 25, 2018
What a friendship.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.