26 Unforgettable Photographs That Prove There is No One Way to Be Beautiful. {Images}

Via on Jun 28, 2014

Examining “ideal beauty.”

Kansas City-based journalist and blogger Esther Honig, 24, sent an image of her head and shoulders to Photoshop specialists in more than 25 countries and told them to make her look like a woman from one of their country’s fashion magazines.

She calls her project “Before & After,” and its sole purpose is to challenge the widely-accepted notion that beauty is something inborn and inherent within our society, as well as how Photoshop perpetuates an unobtainable standard of beauty.

Here’s a description from Honig’s website:

“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.

 Freelancing platforms, like Fiverr, have allowed me to contract nearly 40 individuals, from more than 25 countries such as Sri Lanka, Ukraine, The Philippines, and Kenya. Some are experts in their field, others are purely amateur.

 With a cost ranging from five to thirty dollars, and the hope that each designer will pull from their personal and cultural constructs of beauty to enhance my unaltered image, all I request is that they ‘make me beautiful.'”

This is her original image:

Following are the images that she received.
















Sri Lanka:






Personally, as a blogger who regularly writes about women in media, body image, and eating disorders, as well as how to raise healthy females, this project struck me as pure genius.

Look at these photographs.

Really look.

Clearly, we are viewing the media’s portrayal of beauty and then accepting it. We’re throwing away our own self-respect, love and inborn ability to feel beautiful in our own skin and we’re not even realizing that we’re replacing it with trash.

So the next time I look in the mirror and consider something I see to be a flaw, I’m going to remember that the variations of beauty are as wide as the ocean.

And I want to love myself as big as the sea.


The New Barbie Looks Fat to Me.






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Editor: Travis May

Photos: imgur

About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people that ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


25 Responses to “26 Unforgettable Photographs That Prove There is No One Way to Be Beautiful. {Images}”

  1. John says:

    They look so ridiculously fake, the only thing this shows is the limits of photoshop, or the limited skills of the "specialists" paid.

  2. Sherry says:

    the most outlandish are U.K. and USA!

  3. Sue says:

    The first picture in the raw is the most of them all.

  4. Judy C says:

    I don't get it , this is a beautiful girl, she is beautiful in the first picture with no makeup, and all the other photos do is show her with varying amounts and shades of make-up, slightly different hairsyles and one with her hair covered…no big difference between any of them that I can see

  5. Mike says:

    That girl is beatiful in the original . But the isreal is the the one I would pick

  6. Phil says:

    There seems to be so much hostility towards "the media" for publishing images of extraordinarily beautiful people (whether photoshopped or not), but I don't know of any hidden agenda that the media has for pushing a certain look as beautiful, or for publishing images of beautiful people in the first place. In a capitalistic society, the media companies strive to make money. Cosmo puts beautiful women on their covers because thats what increases sales. Thats what women buy. If cover photos of fat, plain, or ugly women sold more copies, Cosmo would have to change the type of models they have on their covers, or else be outsold by magazines that did.

    My point is that the hostility towards the media seems inappropriate. They are simply a reflection of what buyers/viewers want.

  7. Jacquelyn says:

    She’s stunningly beautiful without any photoshop. Great experiment, great article. Thanks for sharing. Always so interesting to see the differences in how each culture and individual define beauty.

  8. Julia Carpenter says:

    Imagine how you would feel if you were a girl with brown skin looking at this

  9. jin says:

    Omg…USA completely changed her. But are you surprised? Ho hum…

  10. Jess says:

    Romania and Venezuela kept her looking most like herself and natural… cheers to them for that. OF COURSE the USA made her look the worst. Way to represent, America.

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