Woman’s Face Photoshopped In 27 Countries To Compare Beauty Standards In Different Parts Of The World

Left: Original portait; Right: Morocco

Left: Original portait; Right: Morocco

Argentina

Argentina

Serbia

Serbia

U.S.A.

U.S.A.

We’ve all seen the “Before and After Photoshop” versions of photographs, displaying the ways in which various media distort our perception of ideal beauty. But what would these images look like in other countries? With her series Before & After, Esther Honig, a radio journalist based out of Kansas City, asked just that. With the help of Fiverr, a website for freelancers, she got in touch with artists from forty different countries; emailing each a self-portrait, she wrote, “Hi, my name is Esther Honig. Make me look beautiful.” When they did not understand the assignment, she simply told them to make her look like the most popular fashion models.

When artists from twenty-seven countries replied, she was astonished with the results. Some edits were so dramatic that she yelped aloud; others, like the image from Morocco, in which she was given a hijab, stole her breath. Some cultures favor a bare face where others apply makeup. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the work is the overwhelming presence of Western feminine ideals: pale white skin, pink cheeks, a dainty nose, and wide eyes contoured with trimmed brows.

In the end, the series expresses the extend to which often oppressive beauty ideals are meaningless; where a woman is declared beautiful in one culture, she might be plain in another. Yet for all women, regardless of ethnicity and background, the pressure to be beautiful remains, propagated by the whims of the contemporary media. Writes Honig, “Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more illusive.” (via Buzzfeed)

Pakistan

Pakistan

Ukraine

Ukraine

Romania

Romania

Germany

Germany

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Greece

Greece

Vietnam

Vietnam

Italy

Italy

Israel

Israel

Chile

Chile

Indonesia

Indonesia

U.K

U.K

Kenya

Kenya

Venezuela

Venezuela

India

India

Philippines

Philippines

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  • Angus Keingrau

    Sorry but I have seen better photoshop skills come out of grade schoolers.

  • EM B

    I live in the US, and the USA ones are HORRIFYING

  • pascal j

    i like the idea, but it’s badly executed

  • Billi

    I like some of the results. In many countries, they did not think they have to change her face, just puton some make up ..because she already is beautiful.. And sorry guys, not all the countries in the world are as good as the US regar ging technique or regarding phoyoshop skills. And for me thats not a bad thing…

  • mister inquisitive

    I wonder why the german one has no blue eyes and also no blonde hairs? The extreme white face already met the criteria of a typical german stereotype perfectly. (I’m being ironic)

  • Billi

    Hahaha.. Ever been to Germany? We are not all blond and blueeyed, and the era, when this was a preferred beautystandard, is looooooong over. …I think, the German picture just represents the artist’s personal taste. Not the average German stereotype of beauty.

  • mister inquisitive

    I think you didn’t get the irony behind it…
    (even though I pointed it out)

  • AB

    The worst photoshops are from Israel and India.

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