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How a country's culture may influence a woman's looks? Sometimes TOO much...find out how this peculiar experiment can help people guess your native country!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

/ by Sajjad Sarwar
Esther Honig, a freelance journalist based out of Kansas City, sent an unaltered photograph of herself to more than 40 Photoshop aficionados around the world. “Make me beautiful,” she said, hoping to bring to light how standards of beauty differ across various cultures.
The project, titled Before & After, originally came to Honig while she was working as a social media manager for a small startup. Her boss introduced her to Fiverr, an international freelancing website where anyone can hire freelancers from around the globe to complete almost any task imaginable. While browsing the site, Honig realized the prevalence of those offering Photoshop skills. “It immediately occurred to me that in this pool of workers, each individual likely had an aesthetic preference particular to their own culture,” Honig said. Thus, the idea for Before & After was born.

Seeing her image manipulated in so many dimensions had a profound impact on Honig's own self-perception. "I voluntarily sought out this opportunity and was pleased with how it turned out, but it did make me more aware of certain things like the uneven tone of my skin which was touched up by nearly every editor," she said. "I’ve watched my image subtly soften with filters and cloning brushes as well as radically transform with splicing, stretching and re-angling that completely restructured my face. Seeing some jobs for the first time have made me shriek."

Honig is reluctant to draw a "moral of the story" from the project, which is ongoing. "Flipping through the collection of Before & After, one may spot trends in models of beauty that represent each designer’s culture of origin, but that is entirely based on our interpretation," she said.

Still, the project dispels the myth of a singular beauty norm. As Honig wrote on her personal website: "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, take a look at a few more yourself. Some went all-out glam, lightening her skin, changing the shape of her eyes, and giving her quite the makeup job!


Sri Lanka
United States

“I hope this forces viewers to reconsider their concept of beauty and the expectations they hold themselves to,” Honig says. “When we compare unobtainable standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all that more elusive. It almost neutralizes the belief in a universal beauty.”
It is really admirable that all the participants to this project showed respect to the tradition and culture of its country and they strictly focused on the tiny or the big differences there are between the cultures! I was definitely amazed by the help of technology once again that can change so dramatically a face…you may not recognize your own self!

Source: Huffingtonpost

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