Esther Honig, a 24-year-old freelance journalist based in Kansas City, made a very interesting experiment to compare beauty standards around the world:
she sent an unedited photo of herself to over 40 Photoshop enthusiasts based in 25 different countries, and asked them just to “make her beautiful”.
The amazing thing about the results is that every single photo reflects both the cultural influences and the personal preferences of its creator.
This is obviously what Esther wanted to achieve, but sometimes the results surprised her: “Seeing some jobs for the first time made me shriek… Other times images, like the one from Morocco, took my breath away because they were far more insightful than I could have expected” she told in a recent interview with Buzzfeed.
Taken individually, the photos of Before & After are interesting, but we can really appreciate the meaning of the project only looking at the pictures as a series: the differences between each photo give us a glimpse of how differently beauty is seen from country to country.
After seeing this brilliant project, we can really say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
Below you can see some picks from the series. Esther continues her project on her website estherhonig.com.
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The original photo