Artist Plays a Smart Prank On Photoshopped Billboards.

Via Heather Grimes
on Mar 17, 2014
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Artist Daniel Soares pasted Photoshop toolbar stickers on these H&M posters as a nice little reminder that not all is as it seems.

I can’t express how much I love this subtle commentary about the state of our current media.

And he stuck them specifically on swimsuit models, no less. Hallelujah.

I remember when I was a young girl—in my teens, maybe younger—I’d look at photos of models in swimsuits while doing leg-lifts and stomach crunches…partly wanting to do the moves that would make me look more like these “beauties” and partly punishing myself for not looking the way they did in the first place.

If I’d had someone tell me, “Honey, those are not real photos of real women, the images have been altered” and “It is a totally unfair standard to set for women to look like this,” maybe my perceptions would have been a bit different.

But I will say that I celebrate the fact that we now live in a world where this kind of information is out in the open.

Models don’t look much different on the glossy pages than they did twenty years ago. However, there is much more information out there about how technology is at work full-time, tweaking these types of images to the standards of our culture’s media. See here, here, here, and here for examples from elephant journal alone.

I know the day will come when my daughter is comparing herself to swimsuit models. And I will be armed with a collection of articles on the Power of Photoshopping.

I will be there to tell her that these photos are not real.  And I will have proof.

Ten years into the future, (I’m hoping my daughter will last at least until age 14 before the body image stuff comes in, but I didn’t) I have a feeling the standards of beauty in the media won’t change all that much.

But the infinite possibilities of sharing information will work to our benefit in keeping nothing hidden.

Whether it be stretch marks.

Or the truth.



Source of article and photos, and for more information, click here.

For more, go to Daniel’s website.



The Truth Behind Photoshop. {Video}

Before & After Photoshop.


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Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photos: Upworthy


About Heather Grimes

Heather is a full-time mama to her five-year-old daughter, Opal. She's also a part-time massage therapist to a variety of lovely folks, with a focus on old ladies. In the gaps, she writes, sews, reads, roller skates, falls, writes more, walks and relaxes with her awesome friends and husband. She also loves to tell stories on stage. You can find her at You can also check out her—now, inactive—blog at:


10 Responses to “Artist Plays a Smart Prank On Photoshopped Billboards.”

  1. Erica says:

    I love street art and this is just one reason why. So much awesomeness in one article. So truthful. Thank you for helping to spread the truth and helping to empower women. I wish I had grown up knowing these things.

  2. Heather Grimes says:

    Thanks for reading and for your kind words, Erica.

  3. Stephen says:

    I recently discovered your site. I will be subscribing soon. Just know: this Kansas boy fucking loves all of you. I don't know the exact reason why the idea of this fellow "augmenting" these billboards makes me cry–wait… I know: pride.

    Thanks for helping me to feel proud to be a member of this species. It has been a while. (cheers to the elephant)

  4. C Williams says:

    This is HILARIOUS but at the same time represents a very serious issue. So many young women (and men) out there are striving for the "ideal" look – but if that look is only possible in PhotoShop, they will never be able to achieve it. This gives them a sense of constant failure. They think that they are "never good enough," "never skinny enough," etc.

    We need to stop using photoshop in advertisements!!

  5. Elephant says:

    This is not the first post on elephant by Heather Grimes that tries to convey the idea that slim fit women are fake, photoshoped and damaging to young girls around the world and that is just plain wrong. Maybe its a phase you're going through, but even though…
    First of all being a model is not that simple. Hundreds of girls that on paper fit the necessary strict requirements attend modeling tryouts every year and only a handful are selected to become professional models. After that they have to maintain or improve on their physique following strict requirements of weight, height, waist, etc. Some achieve it though extensive exercise and strict diets some just have good genes. But most work out a lot and eat fairly healthy. And you're just trying to take a dump on all of their hard work.
    From a photographers perspective and experience I can tell you that make up and lighting conditions on set influence the shot a whole lot more than if you used photoshop. Actually shots have only minor post correction like removed tattoos or birthmarks and some minor color correction. When you take an average person and want a model look, then you have to photoshop the hell out of them. This usually is the case with celebrity covers. Not every celebrity could be a model. Actually most can't. They're celebrities for their talent, not looks. But these photos are the result of hard work from photographer, model, make up and hair artists, designers, people in charge of lighting etc. there is a whole team behind it, not an image editing program. But even taking that a side, professional models are gorgeous in real life. Don't believe me? Take a look at photo shoot videos, they're definitely not photoshoped.
    Another thing I can say from experience, most women can be a lot closer to that model look if they wanted. Just visit a professional hairdresser, learn how to use make-up properly, exercise 6 days a week (like I do), eat healthy (pica and beer only on sundays), frequently see a good dermatologist for your acne problem, buy some fashionable expensive clothes, talk to a stylist and when someone takes your picture you'll look a lot more like that poster than you think. Sounds like a lot of work? Well, it is, so don't belittle that by screaming "its all photoshoped". Yes, there is a lot of product in their hair and on their face for those couple of shots and normally you wouldn't use that daily with you want to maintain a healthy skin and hair, but somehow a lot of women, maybe I should say girls, since women, don't exhibit this behavior, can look great even with a "selfie" in the bathroom with a cellphone. You truly think they need photoshop on a professional photoshoot? With a camera lens worth $8000 and a 5 people crew on set? Just think about it.

    And as a general rule. If you feel underachieving, don't try and take people down, better to raise the bar for your self. I can already hear the the army of comments about how unrealistic demands for your self damage young girls. Guess what, that's their problem if their parents haven't thought them to evaluate what is realistic and what isn't subjectively, for their individual and not to generalize people, how to achieve something they want or how to deal with failure in a mentally healthy fashion.

  6. Elephant says:

    What if I told you we mostly do not use it and that its all just good make-up and beautiful people?

  7. Sunrayz says:

    Thank you!!! Brilliant comment. When I read the article I was sick! My first thought was “I know my daughter will get there someday and when she does I’ll be ready with Photoshop” Really? You know I wasn’t able to peruse my dream to become a model, with my 6foot tall frame, I was accepted to a modeling agency and my parents after taking me to a modeling school said no, I was 13. Old enough to want to try it out and try to make some money.

    I grew up with my roll model ( thanks ma) drinking slim fast and skipping meals well known. She would ask me “do I look fat” with her natural stomach curve from a meal giving shap to her body. She would comment to friends “if she would just loose 20pounds..” Everywhere we went I herd comments about someone’s hair, clothes, face, and god forbid they be over weight!

    I shot past my mom in hight and weight, and thought I could eat a gallon of fat free icecream and be ok.

    Teach your child well and love them.

  8. MBoulder says:

    And lots of polaroids, right?

    Get out of the 90… all the emphasis is on post-production now.

  9. MBoulder says:

    I think you are missing the entire point of the argument. No "regular people" are claiming to be "models" here. The point is the industry has now decided that even those fit, disciplined, exceptionally beautiful people who are models are not perfect enough, and need to be Photoshopped. So what message does that send.

    And yes, they are Photoshopped. Not for run-of-the-mill catalog shoots, but any big campaign that gets the highest volume of viewership. Even on tv shows, actors are Photoshopped. Remember the contract controversy of Sex and the City, when the other actors demanded to have the same frame-by-frame retouching as SJP had benefitted from ….

  10. Jennifer says:

    Super funny and awesome.