25 countries photoshop esther honig to make her beautiful
25 countries photoshop esther honig to make her beautiful
jun 26, 2014

25 countries photoshop esther honig to make her beautiful

25 countries photoshop esther honig to make her beautiful
(above) gif by designboom / all images courtesy of esther honig




the standard of what is considered to be beautiful is geographically relative, varying across cultures on a global level. in a project which manifests these tendencies on a visual scale, journalist esther honig has created a photographic series ‘before & after’, in which she contacted 40 individuals, from more than 25 countries and made a simple request: ‘make me beautiful’.


she sent an unedited photo of herself to graphic designers (some experts in their field, others amateur) to countries like sri lanka, ukraine, the philippines, and kenya, hoping that each creative would source their personal perception and cultural conclusions of beauty to enhance her original image. ‘photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty‘ honig describes ‘but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more illusive.’

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of morocco

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of argentina

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of united states of america

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of philippines

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of indonesia

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of chile

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of kenya

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of serbia

esther honig asks countries to make her beautiful with photoshop
before & after of pakistan


  • So interesting….the more I went through the photos, the more beautiful she looked in her natural state.

    Natalie says:
  • IMO, she’s already a beautiful lady… but from my own view point, Vietnam, Bungary and Kenya is more natural and nice retouch skill, especially Bungary, maybe the best so far… (in my opinion).

    Edward says:
  • This is an interesting study, but I completely agree with Natalie’s statement.

    Marc D. says:
  • Very difficult to find someone in Argentina like your model call “Argentina”. ¿Do you realize that argentinians woman are like your model? Very corious view of “Argentina”. Regards.

    Juan says:
  • funniest thing about this is she’s already really pretty

    Ryan G says:
  • the one from argentina is a joke, isn’t it?? zero accurance

    ignacio says:
  • I think it’s interesting that only a few people changed her eyebrows.

    Toni says:
  • Also, what’s up with India flattening out her collar bones?

    Toni says:
  • This is an amazing study of the different paradigms of beauty, love the concept. It would also be interesting to (theoretically) see the change over the last 100-200 years in one geographical location. Perhaps across both genders?

    Keitho says:
  • The designer that did the photoshop of the argentinian style is very bad at his work or he likes women with awful taste. I’m from Argentina and I’m kind of offended.

    Paula says:
  • Seriously, the guy who did India variation is just truly bad (messed up everything in the photo, color/form/shape/brightness…) or his screen monitor completely corrupted. And how come the Bangladesh got 2 different entries here?… Maybe the latter designer from Bangladesh doesn’t agree with the former one, so he takes another chance.

    Benjamin says:
  • Really! Indian doesn’t look like that at all. The designer have never been to India, I presume. We are not that dark and neither we have that kind of eyebrow. I think designer is trying to imagin people face without even knowing how they exactly loook like.


    Aadi says:
  • Beautiful, I like the Pakistani version. Though I don’t agree to it completely.

    Hissaan.... says:
  • Nobody was thinking that maybe ageing or wrinkles would give other point of view 🙂

    Twee says:
  • Indian girls look much more beautiful, designer needs to enhance his photoshop skills.

    RAHUL says:
  • Mom, stop playing around with photoshop.

    Mo says:
  • I guess it doesn’t necessarily show the cultural beauty standards, rather the vision, taste and skills of individual designers. I would have made her alien, but it doesn’t mean I’m from outer space 😉

    hmmmm says:
  • Bangladesh is twice. Why?

    davv says:
  • It makes me sad; the original image is by far the most beautiful. Can’t the world stop trying to change the appearance of everyone, insisting on photo shopping everything, suggesting the ‘correct’ way people should look. I don’t want to take anything away from the article; it is interesting to see.

    Steve says:
  • Do you guys (I mean the editors or designers or whoever) have a beef with uppercase letters? I guess you have some idea behind it as you refuse to use it throughout the site, what is it? Don’t you think it defects readability?

    Tony Dra says:
  • I’m chilean, i’m designer, and this work don´t represent me.

    JPLuarteC says:
  • I’m from Argentina, and this representation from the “Argentinian Girl” is absolutely wrong!!! Girls in Argentina look NOTHING like that!

    sofia says:
  • Enforcing national stereotypes on the sample size of 1? (Bonus points for Bangladesh)
    This just doesn’t make any sense the way it is presented.

    If anything please label the photos like this:

    Name of Designer (Country),

    a link to the artist’s portfolio’s would also help.

    max says:
  • This is just a representation of 25 retouchers (some of them pretty bad), not 25 countries.

    James Gray says:
  • I will go with the before picture every time. She is beautiful – no need to make her beautiful.

    Steve M says:
  • I’m from the Philippines, and here’s my quick version of it : http://raincloudesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/esther.jpg 🙂

    RainClouDesigns.com says:
  • This is an experiment on what modern society thinks of women, and beauty, and how no one is appreciated for natural beauty anymore. Those who are making comments about which one is prettier and who has the best photoshop software are missing the point.

    Jollie says:
  • Nice Italian Job

    Selah says:
  • Her prettiest version is her natural picture! Interesting to see how people perceive beauty in totally different way on the same face. there are three aspects to this..1.Probably they are driven by social and cultural (& religious in some cases) baggage which are influencing their perception of beauty. 2.Over that they are also influenced by media portraying the new age definition of beauty of a women (as a result i see some people changed her natural structure too.. like eyebrows, jawline & neck etc…) 3. Skills and imaginations of the people who did these pics… like removing/enhancing background or good or bad quality Photoshop work! Overall I enjoyed going through the post! thanks for sharing!

    Rahul says:
  • I would squeeze the fluids out of USA, but I still want the original picture next to me when I wake up.

    Thanasis says:
  • The model is a natural beauty.
    What a pity that in some of the photoshopped versions
    instead of becoming more beautiful (difficult) is losing a lot of her natural beauty.

    Gösta C. Zwilling says:
  • Some of the pictures are a little different depending on where this article appears. I liked the India version on another website much better. Here it looks like a child’s drawing.

    JennW says:
  • Am i the only one who thinks that she looks like Justin Bieber?

    AJ says:
  • She is already a very nice lady!i like the bulgarian and italian version- less changes than the other country !

    Teodora says:
  • The American version makes her look like a clown. I am American and that makes me sad.

    Debra says:
  • original photo the best 🙂

    Mindcaster says:

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