Our society is used to perfection. The ubiquitous covers of glossy magazines with rail thin models and poreless, flawless faces distort our perceptions and expectations of beauty. Photographers joke about not being a plastic surgeon with Photoshop as their magic tool and yet we yield it like a scalpel ready to perform facelifts, liposuction and Botox on to our clients’ images in one fell swoop (or click rather).

These models are branded as beautiful, sexy and glamorous. But what do they look like without the make-up magic? The hours of hairstyling, the lighting setup, the professional poses, the flattering angles? Before we take a look, let’s go over why these comparisons are unfair to being with.

Reasons Why Comparing a Snapshot to a Final Image is Unfair

It is unrealistic to compare a quick unflattering snapshot of an already gorgeous supermodel to the perfect final image of the same glammed up supermodel. To compare these “before and after” images discounts the talent of the photographer in bringing out expressions, choosing flattering angles, utilizing the best lighting, and of course, finishing the image in Photoshop. In short, it’s simply not comparing apples to apples.

Most of these women look pretty good to me with or without makeup. But of course, we’re used to seeing the images on the right – the final product, the hours of labor, the glitz and the glamour.

If you want a true comparison, take the same model, same lighting condition and poses, wipe off all the war paint and untease the hair. Then we can begin to see if beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and not spoon fed by to us by society’s measures.


The media is constantly criticized for over-Photoshopping images of models and perpetuating the myth of the “perfect” woman. Logically, we know that the models in the magazines are modified by Photoshop and whether your opinion is that they are overly Photoshopped or not, the reality is that it sells magazines as well as the related products.

In fact, it’s pretty unfair for society to judge me and my looks to those of a constructed model in a magazine. If I had a makeup artist, a hairstylist and a Photoshop master come in everyday and I only walked around in perfect light with flattering poses, I’d look pretty darn good, too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go liquify my arms and retouch my new profile picture.

[via Complex.com]