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One woman’s body was Photoshopped to explore beauty standards around the world

08/16/2015

Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, especially because beauty standards differ around the world.
Inspired by Ester Honig’s powerful 2014 series, UK-based Internet medical service Superdrug Online Doctor commissioned marketing agency Fractl to task graphic designers from 18 different countries across the globe to Photoshop a woman based on their nation’s average beauty preferences.

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Unlike Honig’s experiment Before & After, which only asked designers to manipulate the woman’s face according to beauty standards, in this case, female artists were asked to alter a model’s entire body to make her “more attractive.” Female designers were chosen because “we wanted a woman’s view of what her culture finds attractive and to understand more about the pressures they face,” according to Superdrug Online Doctor’s website.

The company is not the first group to use Honig’s idea. In 2014, journalist Priscilla Yuki Wilson also performed the same experiment, focusing on the subject of biracial beauty around the world.

The experiment also included a small sample study that asked 35 people what the Photoshopped woman’s body weight in the image might be, assuming a height of 5’4″.

Based on participants’ guesses, the study estimated the woman’s BMI for each country. China and Italy had the thinnest submissions, at about 101 to 107 pounds, while Spain had the heaviest at about 153 pounds.

The experiment also shows that some beauty standards — like the obsession with thigh gaps and unrealistically tiny waists — can potentially pose health risks, which doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.

Take a look at some of the designers’ submissions:

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2 Comments
  1. Let me know if this blog is interesting to you, write here your ideas. Thank you so much!

  2. Seems like there ARE cultural differences about preferred women appearance! GOOD JOB!

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