Photographer and journalist Esther Honig sent a photograph of herself to freelancers in over 25 countries around the world. She requested each one to “make her beautiful.”
The results are very interesting and insightful, showing the different standards of beauty worldwide. (x)
This is an interesting experiment and a cool idea. It definitely made me think about the editing I do to photos of people. The only problem is that she used mostly amateurs. I think it would be interesting to see how professional retouchers from different parts of the world would edit the photo.
I think the reason the ones from the USA are so bad is because pro graphic artists in this country would not work for the $5 she was offering.
Below is the retouching I would do if a friend asked me to “photoshop” them. I call it “Cosmo Lite.” I don’t alter physical features. I basically do what could have been done with professional makeup and lighting.
I didn’t do any facial contouring because I only had the small picture to work with and it takes a long time. Plus she already has a very contoured face and strong features.
I did the following…
- Improved lighting and contrast
- digital makeup
- slight eye enhancement
- removal of blemishes
- removal of dark circles under the eyes
- minor skin smoothing
There are definitely some ethical lines that need to be drawn, but like I said, most of what I did could have been done with makeup and lighting. I still struggle with whether there is a difference between real world alterations and digital alterations.