The below images aren’t different women, it’s one picture, of one woman, photoshopped by graphic designers around the world. The model, Esther Honig, is a 24-year-old radio journalist from Missouri, USA. She decided to embark upon a project to discover what different countries consider beautiful.

“In the U.S. Photoshop has become a symbol of our society’s unobtainable standards for beauty. My project, Before & After, examines how these standards vary across cultures on a global level,” she writes on her website.

Esther sent her image to 40 graphic designers in 25 countries, some professional, some amateur, and gave them one simple instruction: “make me beautiful”. She says that the work so far shows how the perception of beauty is all relative. Esther explains that the images “are intriguing and insightful in their own right; each one is a reflection of both the personal and cultural concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator.”

She got the idea for Before & After while working with various international graphic designers, each of whom had a different idea of what looked good. This inspired Esther to begin a project showing that the unreachable beauty that is portrayed in the media is only one form of beauty.

“Photoshop allows 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 elusive,” she explains.

Esther used freelancing platforms to contact the graphic designers, who come from the likes of Greece, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Kenya, Ukraine and Vietnam. If any of them were unclear about her request to make her beautiful, she would tell them to make her look like a model in one of their county’s fashion magazines. The result – a project that proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.






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