What happens when a woman is Photoshopped by 21 different countries.

plus sized woman photoshopped
Marie Southard Ospina. (Photo: Bustle)





Marie Southard Ospina is fashion and beauty editor who’s fascinated by Photoshop and its use by women’s magazines in the relentless pursuit of perfection.

Inspired by recent experiments where women sent photos of themselves around the world and asked to be “made beautiful” according to different cultural standards, Marie — a plus-size woman — was interested to see what retouchers from different cultures would make of her looks.

“As most plus-size women know, there are certain repeated phrases thrown around at women of size quite consistently: ‘You have such a pretty face; if only you lost some weight.’ ‘You’re pretty for a big girl’,” she wrote for Bustle.

“I became increasingly curious as to how editors would treat a photo of me if asked to edit it, what with my chubby cheeks, double chin, thick shoulders and chest and rounder, fuller face,” she added. “What would they do with these traits? Would they all slim me down in the aid of ‘making me look beautiful’?”


So Marie conducted a little experiment –So she sent a headshot of herself to magazine editors in 21 different countries and asked them to make her look beautiful, while keeping in mind the looks they see in their local beauty and fashion magazines.

The results were fascinating and, in some ways, encouraging.

Click through to see how the Photoshop experts in 21 different countries approached the experiment (Post continues after gallery): 

Only three of the 21 countries slimmed Marie down using Photoshop, and despite what you may assume, none of those countries were Australia or the US: instead, they were Mexico, Ukraine and Latvia.

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

Also heartening was Marie’s encounter with Icelandic experts. While she approached three retouchers from Iceland about involvement in the project, all said they wouldn’t use Photoshop at all — so they couldn’t participate.

Can we get a round of applause for Iceland?

A similar, earlier Photoshop experiment by journalist Ester Honig:

Another Photoshop experiment bybiracial journalist and artist Priscilla Yuki Wilson:

A few not-so-encouraging uses of Photoshop:

You can read the originally article on Bustle here.