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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Re-touch me

Halle Berry, a picky client?
Today I came across this website for a photograph re-touching company.

The beauty of the site is in the before and after pages, where the achievements of the re-touching are shown. You will notice boobs are made bigger, arms and tummy made smaller, any discolouration or texture of the skin is removed.

After a while the re-touched photos began to look like someone had painted over them completely – I found it hard to believe some were even used – but another page shows they were, and in on which publication cover.

Looking through I noticed some trends in the retouching process:
  • Boobs, as mentioned were often made bigger and plumper, they were never reduced.
  • Arms were thinned
  • Tummys were made smaller, and abs defined
  • Bums were often made smaller, and given more ‘definition’ though sometimes they were rounded.
  • Skin tone was ‘warmed’ in every picture, discolouration was removed, texture was removed, lines, hair, shadows. Shine was added to the skin in many of the pictures.
  • Nails were painted and makeup applied.

These standard adjustments to the finished photo are parallel to modern standards of beauty in the west. Bronzer to warm your skin tone, boob jobs so you’re bigger and plumper, diets, calorie counting or surgery to get skinny arms, skinny bellies, defined bum, and countless lotions and potions are marketed to us so we can get flawless shiny skin, make up, make up, make up.

But, this website accidentally exposes the truth. If the rich and famous still can’t achieve to beauty ideal with their personal stylists, trainers, make up artists, dieticians and expensive potions then it is crystal clear that regular women cannot either. It is clear that no matter how much money you throw at them cosmetics will never be able to recreate this false ideal.


El Coruchero said...

Winter said...

I too thought these women looked incredibly fake, but then remembered that's what they want: fake women; fantasies.

We were looking at some lads mags the other day at a Mind the Gap mtg. They do photo shoots with "real" girls. We were pretty sure that these so-called "real" girls were also airbrushed. Can't prove it, but there was not a shadow or a blemish anywhere to be seen in these pictures.

Chameleon said...

Brilliant post, TP! Really fascinating! The cellulite that was airbrushed out and the wrinkles. In more than one case I thought the women were far more beautiful BEFORE the retouching reduced them to plastic smoothness! The bum increasing I also found amusing.

Antonia said...

I enjoyed this post too, thanks. I had a funny experience during the election: I was standing as a candidate, and the local paper called to ask whether I had retouched the photo on my election address to make myself thinner, as someone had called in to allege. My response was unprintable! Wouldn't happen to a man...

TP said...

That's so ridiculous! You're right, it would never happen to a man.

Bitch | Lab said...

They seem to have been severely offended by cellulite and imperfections in the thighs. Higher checkbones. And lord can't have anything looking like underarm air. :)

Anonymous said...

Airbrushing sucks in general, but this is exceptionally poor airbrusing even quality-wise. My 15 year old son could do better work.