Female Beauty Standards as Rendered by Artists in 27 Countries




Esther Honig, a Kansas City-based radio journalist, contacted artists from forty different countries, emailing them her self portrait. Honig's only request was to "make her look beautiful." Even if an artist replied with questions, the only way Esther would elaborate was to say she wanted them to make her look like a popular fashion model.

Honig's requests yielded replies from 27 countries. The Photoshopped results were strikingly different by country, from garish makeup jobs (Philippines, Argentina) to a hijab (Morocco). The artist from India was apparently dissatisfied with the bones in her clavicle, so they were erased. Even countries like Great Britain, Israel and Bulgaria, which kept makeup and hair relatively natural, noticably changed Honig's (already beautiful, in my opinion) grey eye color. Eyebrows in some cases were made thicker and darker. Nose shape was slightly shaved down by some. In the end, no country simply put light makeup on Esther's unmade face and called it beauty. 

I suppose we all could have predicted that the results would be wildly varied. But the variances do provide some interesting "people watching," all from just one person's face. See more shots from Honig's series, which she calls Before and After, at her website. 
Via Beautiful Decay.

Images Credit: Esther Honig 


 





 



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I'm surprised at the effort to touch up the eyebrows - I suppose that's a big part of cosmetics nowadays (or perhaps, ever since cosmetics were invented).
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The best course of action is to do nothing to the picture - the original picture on the left is way more beautiful than all of the ones on the right. But she requested to be a 'super model' so I guess if she wants to look fake and not real, then they all succeeded at that.
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The thing that struck me most was that while I might have a few quibbles here and there about details, none of the other countries seemed "wrong", whereas both of the U.S. options felt like uncanny valley to me. Ugly, unreal, and off-putting.
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