Eye Opening Photoshop Study Reveals Beauty Standards Around The World

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Study Exposes Different Perceptions of Beauty Across The World

Perceptions of Perfection is a social study that exposes the different perceptions of beauty across the world. This study was commission by Superdrug Online Doctors to Fractl with the purpose of investigating and bringing awareness to the possibly unrealistic beauty standards placed on women around the world. The production of this study began with Fractl contracting 18 designers (mostly female) and requesting them to Photoshop an image of a woman per these instructions:

"Photoshop her form. The idea is to Photoshop and retouch this woman to make her more attractive to the citizens of your country. We are looking to explore how perceptions of beauty change across the world. Multiple designers are involved. You can modify clothing, but her form must be visible. No nudity. All other changes, including those to her shape and form, are up to you." - Quote by Fractl from Superdrug Online Doctors

The results are fascinating in a bitter sweet way...

I consider this study fascinating yet bittersweet because it's an eye opener and confirmation to the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" while also showing the harsh yet ever-varying beauty standards placed on women. While I think each person is entitled to their taste of what they consider attractive, it sucks that the popular ideas of beauty within different regions can serve a pressure to some women. 

Another bitter part of this study is the reminder of how retouching, photo editing, and photoshopping can be used to impose these beauty standards on women. Obviously, since I am a retoucher; I have no issue with retouching images at all even if its manipulating someone's face or body. However, I have an issue if such manipulation is out of context or not warranted. I think it is it's a great idea to make it clear if an image has been drastically changed from its original if it's for advertising or commercial use. I think people have the right to be aware that changes have been made to an image to increase their chances of buying something. I also only accept facial/body manipulation if the model/client has requested it specifically or is in full agreement. However, when it comes to creative or fine art manipulation; I think a lot more manipulation freedom is allowed since creative and fine art can be more about a fantasy than a deceptive reality.  But this is getting a little off subject. I will write an article about retouching and body image soon and my opinions on it. Meanwhile...

What do you think of this study?

Do you find it offensive or informative?

What are your thoughts?

Let's discuss it in the comments below!