Kansas City-based freelance journalist Esther Honig launched her Before & After project by sending an unaltered photo of herself to 40 photoshop gurus around the world with a simple request: “make me beautiful.” Her hope was to bring to light the way standards of beauty differ by country and culture.
All who took a turn at editing her photo applied simple changes such as taming flyaway hairs or smoothing her skin, but some chose to go as far as to change her eye color, bone structure, and significantly darken or lighten her skin tone. In a few countries, the photoshopper even chose to add clothing or jewelry to the picture.
The project is a reflection of not only the way that standards of beauty can differ by region and culture, but also by person. In some of the countries below you’ll see multiple photos from different editors, which still vary significantly due to each person’s individual tastes. Keep up with the project on Esther’s website.