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Have you seen the fascinating article from The Atlantic on beauty ideals around the world? Journalist Esther Honig asked approximately 40 international designers to Photoshop a simple head shot of herself. Her instructions? “Make me look beautiful.”

The results are fascinating! I’ve always heard tidbits about what’s considered beautiful in different countries (pale skin in Thailand, blond hair in Italy), but I’ve never seen an experiment where a person’s whole face is transformed.

Here is Honig’s original image:

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Take a look at the article for all the results. Some were more surprising than others–Honig said that the USA made her “shriek” because they made such extensive changes (including blinding her hair). For me, it was Greece–look at that skin color and soft focus!

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Here is the US:

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I thought it was interesting that almost all of the images featured smooth skin (nary a blemish or freckle on any of these ladies), and very few had hair down. Obviously the results are skewed according to the skill (or lack thereof) of the retoucher. But a fun and thought-provoking experiment nonetheless!

All images and info from The Atlantic Monthly

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