Seriously hilary

Photoshop me pretty.

After reading about this photoshop experiment: I Asked 21 Photoshop Experts From Around the World to Make Me (A Plus-Size Woman) Beautiful — Here’s What They Did and seeing the results, I was curious what the result would be if I would photoshop the photo. (By the way, High-Five to Iceland!)

I’m no photoshop expert, but I do edit some of my photos, by playing with contrast, light, saturation, more saturation, vintage filters and removing distracting things from the background.
If I am having a particularly bad skin day I will photoshop away any visible blemishes, simply because it’s easier than putting on make-up for the same effect.

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I started thinking about what I could change on the photo to make her look more beautiful and the very thought disgusted me. I had not expected that I would feel so strongly about it. I felt like I would be abusing her if I changed the structure or shape of her face. Also I think she looks just fine the way she is, who wouldn’t love to have those fabulous lips!

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To be able to do this job you have to believe that there is something wrong with the model, that they are ugly. This is not the case with me, I believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way. (Yes I know #BARF right!) I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t bring myself to send out the message “This woman is ugly and I fixed her” because this also gives the message that “YOU are ugly”, if a fashion model needs to be digitally fixed, how could you think otherwise?

I have always known that photoshopping happens and that seeing overly photoshopped images creates a ‘reality’ that is impossible to achieve. But it was just today that it hit me just how wrong and damaging it really is. I’m a bit slow on the uptake I guess!

Here is the result of my editing, apart from the usual steps mentioned above I also gave the lady lipstick and eyeliner. Then I was getting into the hang of it so I whitened her eyeballs a little bit because they had turned yellow from my overenthusiastic use of the vintage filters! I also removed the wall corner from behind her head. The edits I did were mostly to do with changing light, atmosphere and not really anything to do with the model herself. I was improving the photo, not the subject matter.

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The task was to make her beautiful, I think she looks fantastic, but then that little voice in my head asks me; “Does this mean that you believe that you can’t be beautiful without makeup?”. I don’t often wear make-up but there are some situations when I will not go out without it, because I want people to think I look nice. Is that wrong? Possibly, probably, but that is a question for another day.

Looking at my ‘creation’ again I start thinking “Ugg it’s too much, I should tone down the ‘make-up’ a bit”. So even though I did some editing, I still do not feel completely comfortable about it! I’m gonna stick to my retro filters!

Photos used with kind permission from Marie Southhard Ospina