These GIFs show how digital editing can transform a person.

These GIFs show how digital editing can transform a person.

2013-11-01

Co.Exist

Learn How Models Get So Attractive: Photoshop

These GIFs show the process of transforming a woman into a barely recognizable piece of digital art.

It's not clear what the origins of this video are that surfaced on Break.com earlier this week (and GIFed by Business Insider), but it’s certainly a staunch testament to the power of digital editing--and how it can alter regular people into fluffy-headed, pouty-lipped, cybernetic monsters.

As you can see, it’s not that hard--just a few mouse clicks away.

Earlier this year, as part of its “Real Beauty” campaign, Dove--which still faces fair criticism for its portrayal of women--released a Photoshop trap for editors looking to give their models a “Beautify” effect. As it turned out, all “Beautify” did was revert the photos back to the unedited originals, theoretically subverting would-be body-shamers into promoters of the realistic female form.

But most representations of women in magazines are still sadly homogeneous, turbo-glossed, and hyper-thinned. Even high-profile pledges from publications like Seventeen to stop Photoshopping their models might turn out to be largely meaningless PR after all.

Alas, it’s good to be reminded every once in a while how much our perceptions of beauty are shaped by impossibilities of editing rather than real skin, brains, and bones. Now get out there and appreciate some diverse, dynamic and beautiful people. Here’s one good place to start.

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4 Comments

  • Ibrar

    These GIFs show the process of transforming a woman into a barely recognizable piece of digital art.

  • Leon Ouwendijk

    "As you can see, it’s not that hard--just a few mouse clicks away." Really?

    Photoshop is merely a tool and sure enough, anybody can point and click. The hard part is to determine what will enhance the original picture in terms of lighting, shadow, shape, color tone and such. That's why retouchers are called digital artist, as good retouching is not a technical skill. On that note; as far as I'm concerned, the examples displayed here are not representative of good retouching. Nobody wants to look like a completely different person after retouching, as that kind of beats the purpose. Subtlety is key. That goes for people as well as product photography.

    I do agree with you that most representations of women in magazines are still sadly homogeneous, turbo-glossed, and hyper-thinned. But think about it. The main reason people buy glossy magazines, is to get away from every day life and wonder off in impossibilities.
    We put up wallpaper to not be reminded of the wall just being a brick wall. We dress nicely and wear make up to feel good about ourselves. It is in our nature to decorate and mark things up as we feel better doing it. Retouching is nothing more but an extension of that.

    We want impossibilities. I agree it’s good to be reminded every once in a while how much our perceptions of beauty are shaped by impossibilities of editing. But we simply don't want to be reminded, as it spoils all the fun.