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Designers From Different Countries Photoshop the Same Model; Beauty Is Still Subjective, Apparently

It's a small world after all.


Women graphic designers around the world got asked to photoshop a model to make her “more attractive,” not realizing their results would be used as part of a project by a UK pharmacy chain called Superdrug. Although the sample size is small, given that Superdrug only approached one designer from 18 different countries, the results show a lot of variation in what “more attractive” might mean.

The exact directive for the designers, according to Superdrug, was that the model should be re-touched so that she would “fit with their culture’s perceptions of beauty and an ideal female form.” Gizmodo notes that the Chinese and Italian designers ended out creating models who looked very thin, whereas the Spanish designer’s take leaned in the opposite direction.

However, recall that these designers had been asked to present their own culture’s take on beauty standards—not their own opinions on beauty. So, several individual women from various countries have ended out sending us a postcard of the beauty standards that they and other women have been expected to uphold.

Being held to a standard that you can’t necessarily reach seems pretty bad to me no matter what that standard is … but what do you think?

(via Gizmodo)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (