Vogue Brazil has been heavily criticised for using Photoshop to make two models appear to have disabilities while two real Paralympic athletes looked on.

The point of the feature in Vogue Brazil was to highlight the start of the Paralympics on 7 September.

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But rather than focussing on two real Brazilian Paralympians Renato Leite and Bruninha Alexandre, the magazine made them look on as they asked two actors Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena, to pose as the athletes.

The magazine, despite having the athletes on set, got the actors to pose as them, and then photoshopped them to make it look like they had disabilities.

Meanwhile, during the shoot, a photograph of the Paralympians along with the actors was posted to Instagram.

The caption on the photograph reads: “We are all Paralympians”.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Richard Lane of disabilities charity Scope said: “[It’s] hard to understand why Vogue Brazil felt the need to use models who aren’t disabled in a Paralympic photo shoot.”

He added: “It’s so rare to see positive and powerful representations of disabled people in the media.”

Conde Nast, which publishes Vogue, attempted to distance itself from the campaign.

A spokesperson said it was conceived by the two actors and that it was “not a Vogue magazine campaign”.

“It was conceived by the actors Cleo Pires, Paulo Vilhena (game ambassadors) and the Agency Africa. Vogue, along with Editions Globo Condé Nast, only supports the initiative as well as supports any initiative that encourages attendance at games,” the spokesperson said.