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Student Photographer Mocks Beauty Industry’s Use of Photoshop

By Hanssie on December 12th 2013

Everybody knows it. As we wait in line at the grocery store, we look at the countless glossy magazines with the ‘perfect’ supermodel/rock star/movie actress cover photo. Deep down inside we know that each photo has been carefully retouched to a state of perfection that cannot be achieved even by the model themselves. We’ve seen the extensive Photoshopping that can be done to models in mere seconds, as shown in this controversial time lapse video of a model being morphed from normal, freckled face girl to a plastic Barbie. Yet, we continue to internalize the photos and, whether consciously or subconsciously, we still buy what they are selling.

As a final project, photography major at East Carolina University, Anna Hill, decided to mock the industry’s excessive use of airbrushing for her advanced digital photography class, “Beauty is Only Pixel Deep.” In the series of images made to look like advertisements, Anna uses her own self portraits to “sell” Photoshop.

I was researching beauty advertisements from the 1950s and noticed how many placed emphasis on maintaining a perfect marriage. If you didn’t look perfect and wear perfume and high heels, your husband would leave you. I wanted to reimagine how Photoshop would be advertised in that era.

Having taught herself Photoshop at the age of 14, Anna says she has trained her eye to spot exactly where models have been touched up. She wants to remind people that many models, without the makeup and the extra digital help, “don’t look much better than the rest of us.”

anna-hill-photoshop-1 anna-hill-photoshop-2 anna-hill-photoshop-3 anna-hill-photoshop-4


This series reminds me of the hilarious Adobe Photoshop parody video, Funniest Photoshop Commercial Ever! Friday Foto Funnies. Gotta love photography humor.

[via @Yahoo]
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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Valters (@VPelns)

    Last South Park episode was about this! So great!

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    • Hanssie

      Haha. Really? I’m gonna have to go check that one out. Love South Park, but I especially LOVE Photoshop jokes ;)

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