Wow! This woman had her body photo shopped from 18 countries. Find out why?
Body image is something every person on this Earth is concerned with most of the times. Different cultures across the globe have different boy images according to their respective standards. Different countries have different standards of beauty according to their influences. How a girl or a boy looks can significantly impact their lives in different cultures on various levels.
It is difficult to understand these different standards across the world and so a pharmacy company in the US decided to use the internet and a photo to get some help. Widely held perceptions of beauty and perfection can have a deep and lasting cultural impact on both women and men. The goal of this project is to better understand potentially unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world.
1 What is the experiment?
The experiment was conducted by an online pharmacy drug company online doctor. They took an original photograph of a woman wear a bra, underwear and pink sandals as in the image above and contacted 18 freelance Photoshop artists around the globe and asked them to Photoshop the given image according to beauty perceptions and standards of their country and society.
This was done to understand the how the perception and standards of beauty differ from country to country and culture to culture.
2 The details of the experiment
The company asked 18 designers from 18 countries spanning five continents to Photoshop an image of a woman to fit their perception of the culture’s beauty standards.
There were 14 women and four men amongst the 18 selected designers. They were given the instructions on what they had to do as below:
“Photoshop her form. The ideas are 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.”
The study focused on women designers as their view of what their culture sees a perfect woman as attractive and they know what kind of pressures they have to face in order to come to standards of thise perceptions.
The company also asked the four male designers to Photoshop the image based on messages women in their countries receive about what an ideal body should look like. This was done to get a different point of view, that of a man in order to highlight a woman’s perception of her culture’s beauty standards.
3 The results of the findings
As seen in the images above the difference in perceptions of beauty do not change so much across the globe. But there are some images from countries such as China and Italy, where the image was altered so much that there were no similarities between the original image and the photo shopped image.
The images received form designers in South American countries such as Peru, Columbia and Mexico represents the traditional beauty standards prevalent in those countries. Their images showed a voluptuous woman with big breasts, curvy hips and a tiny waist. But mostly the images received from other countries depicted a woman with normal to average body shape and a slightly slimmer variation of the original image.
4 Conclusion of the study
The authors of the study then estimated the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the woman in each of the photo shopped images they received from the designers across the world. The results of these calculations were very interesting. They varied from highly anorexic images from China and Italy to technically overweight image from Spain.
In all despite a very tiny sample size, the photo shopped images provided a small insight on the perception of beauty in different countries and cultures.