People, and women especially, are constantly bombarded with clothing and beauty advertisements aimed at making us feel bad about ourselves. Maybe if we bought THOSE jeans or took THAT diet pill or used THESE certain makeup brushes — we’d finally be beautiful. Young and impressionable adolescents look at these ads that fill the streets, TVs, and magazines and wonder how they could ever live up to those perfect bodies. The fact is, though, they’re looking up to altered and edited images that have been photoshopped like WHOA. They can’t live up to those beauty standards because that sort of “beauty” doesn’t physically exist in the real world. They just don’t.
The US used to prefer slim, boyish figures (think 90s heroin chic), but now we’ve moved into an era that worships Kardashian bums, full pouty lips, and teeny-tiny waists. Just take a look around — peruse the newsstands, your Facebook feeds, and online ads. I would bet that 99.99% of fashion spreads and movie posters and advertisements have had some sort of digital alteration in order to slim women’s waists, shave off arm fat, and plump up décolletages in order to fit society’s expectation of what’s accepted. And that really f*cking sucks.
The photos below come from a project by UK online pharmacy Superdrug Online Doctors called “Perceptions of Perfection” that sought to display these ideals of beauty in a very frank manner. If you look at the photos, you can see that the “ideal” Italian figure is stick thin, tanned, with long straight hair while the US Photoshopped version of the woman has wide set eyes and a svelte, if not slightly voluptuous figure. The project highlights the worrisome expectations that women face everyday when they walk outside, and how different countries hold such strong views and ownership of what’s hot or not. What’s even more worrisome is that the project used female Photoshoppers. Yikes.
These photos will make you rethink just how much Photoshop has impacted our daily lives and attitudes about the “perfect” female body:
1. Here’s the original image used as the baseline for each country to alter.
2. In a not-s0-surprising move, the US Photoshopper made the model look like a slightly more voluptuous Barbie Doll.