Journalist Checks Beauty Concept By Having Herself Photoshopped In 40 Countries

Jul 1, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Journalist Checks Beauty Concept By Having Herself Photoshopped In 40 Countries

Jul 1, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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 before-after-title

Over the time, we’ve seen many here-is-a-picture-how-can-you-shop-it projects, but something sets Before & After apart. In this project, journalist Esther Honig took her unedited image and had it Photoshopped by 22 individuals so far.

Honing sent her image to about 40 retouch artists at varying levels from amateur to pro, and asked them to retouch her photo (seen right after the jump), with a simple single directive: “make me beautiful“. Contact came via several freelancing channels (most notably Fiverr) so work has been committed at rates between $5 and $30. This is pretty cheap for a pro retouch, but still the wide selection of skill and geographical locations  provides a window into the concept of beauty as it is perceived in various regions of the world.

Honig shares that:

In the U.S. Photoshop has become a symbol of our society’s unobtainable standards for beauty. My project, Before & After, examines how these standards vary across cultures on a global level….

… 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 elusive

Here is the original photos sent by Honig:

Original photo of  Esther Honig
Original photo of Esther Honig

and here are some of the resulting photos:

Philippines
Philippines
Italy
Italy
Serbia
Serbia
United-States
United-States
Sri-Lanka
Sri-Lanka
Vietnam
Vietnam
Ukraine
Ukraine
United-Kingdom
United-Kingdom
Greece
Greece
Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Philippines
Philippines
Serbia
Serbia
Pakistan
Pakistan
Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Chile
Chile
Morocco
Morocco
India
India
Kenya
Kenya
Indonesia
Indonesia
Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Argentina
Argentina
Israel
Israel

[Before & After | Esther Honig]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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10 responses to “Journalist Checks Beauty Concept By Having Herself Photoshopped In 40 Countries”

  1. Larry Blücher Avatar
    Larry Blücher

    Better to view here with the slideshow next to the original. http://www.estherhonig.com/#!before–after-/cvkn

  2. Wil Fry Avatar
    Wil Fry

    Is it odd that in every case I found the original the most beautiful? As a photographer, I generally “retouch” only for accuracy — removing a dust mote or occasionally a pimple or blotch (which is decidedly temporary).

    1. echomrg Avatar
      echomrg

      not that odd, considering that most of the “retouching” is awful.

  3. Mike Lambert Avatar
    Mike Lambert

    This is Photoshop at its worst and completed by amateurs. The “Research” involved paying each Photo Editor $5 (yes thats five dollars) via the Fiverr web site. You get what you pay for, in this case nonsense, and not a reflection of cultural mores.

    1. Yo Avatar
      Yo

      Agreed. This is research into which country has the worst Photoshop skills

  4. j Avatar
    j

    the adjustments to skin tone are sort of interesting, but the rest is total amateur hour.

  5. iceman600 Avatar
    iceman600

    I would LOVE to see their versions to whose who gave negative feed backs at the retuched photos.

    1. echomrg Avatar
      echomrg

      since what you wrote doesn’t actually make any sense i assume you’re suggesting that people commenting negatively about the (honestly awful) retouching couldn’t do any better.

      it’s a completely meaningless point, you don’t need to be good at retouching to tell an amateur’s work from something professionally done.

      furthermore any kind of “research” assuming that any kind of meaningful insight into photo retouching could be had from paying 5$ for a retouched photo is a complete waste of time.

      how much “work time” could 5$ buy from anyone not coming from a poor country?
      5 minutes? 10 minutes? what can be honestly done in 5 minutes?

  6. em Avatar
    em

    I think that this is a great idea, but the photoshopping is awful for even amateur level photoshoppers.

  7. Mike Avatar
    Mike

    simple single directive: “make me beautiful“

    I would have returned the original picture. :)