A freelance journalist based in Kansas City is trying to bring to light the way beauty standards vary in different countries in a pretty interesting way. Esther Honig sent an unaltered photograph of herself to many Photoshop fanatics around the world, requiring to “make her beautiful,” thus starting her Before & After project.
She came up with the idea while she was working as a social media manager for a small startup. When her boss informed her of Fiverr -an international freelancing website – Honig noticed a large number of people in the platform offering Photoshop skills. And that’s when it occurred to her that she could use those Photoshop skills to shed light to different beauty standards around the world.
She had previously worked with freelancers in over 15 countries, and more or less was expecting to see images differing from country to country. She said, “It immediately occurred to me that in this pool of workers, each individual likely had an aesthetic preference particular to their own culture.”
However, Honig was not expecting to receive drastically altered images which she says made her “shriek.” But there were also images that she admits took her breath away because of how “insightful” they were, mentioning the one from Morocco. The collection of pictures may come as interesting and unique at first glance, but they also represent the unhealthy and impossible beauty standards around the world.
“What I’ve learned from the project is this: Photoshop [may] allow 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 illusive,” Honig claims.
Listed below you can see the images Honig has collected so far. Her project is still going on on her website.