For as long as people have been vain there has been someone setting unrealistic or simply ridiculous beauty standards for society. It is amazing what lengths the average person will go to in order to keep up with the status quo or what they think it means to be a physically beautiful person. In the early 1900's women would literally put radium on their faces and body, because you know, that luminous effect was super necessary. Today, every little thing that celebrities do is broadcasted on the Internet.
Everywhere you go there's a famous person advertising something on a poster, on Instagram, on Facebook, and especially in magazines. Models, singers, actors and actresses, you name it and their perfect faces are in your face.
Only the reality is they're not perfect. They are just as human and you and me! Yet time and time again we have been painted an image that isn't real and it's all thanks to the digital age: Photoshop. Every flaw vanished and every sparkle and twinkle enhanced, and it's left us all feeling inadequate.
Until today that is, because these before and after images (many of which were done professionally, but some were done on the Internet as well) that show you what Photoshop is capable of will transform your perspective and help you appreciate natural beauty and to love who you are today and now.
In an interview with InStyle, Huffine said, "you know, I write my own rules. I don’t follow any standards or expectations that society might try to place on me."
She is proud to be a plus-sized model and quite frankly, she is amazing! This side-by-side comparison wasn't done to change who she is for an advertisement, the left side of the image is the one featured. However, it proves without a doubt just how far Photoshop can go to transform a person from normal to something else entirely. If the only photo a young girl struggling with her weight saw was the photo on the right, she wouldn't know just how perfect Candice really is and in turn, just how perfect she is, too.
The Material Girl herself, it's almost not surprising to see a side by side like this one. However, at 59 years old, we don't expect perfection from the icon, so seeing perfection is like waving big red Photoshop flags. Sometimes, airbrushing a woman's flaws away just leaves the fans scoffing. Hopefully, there aren't any other women out there approaching 60 and wondering why they don't look like the photo on the right. However, if you're out there then I'll give you a hint about why: it's impossible.
The Sex and the City star is in her 60's today but it only takes a little airbrushing and photo manipulation to take her back several decades. If anything sets an unrealistic beauty standard it is how celebrities "age." On one hand, their faces and bodies are an important part of the package they're selling so it's understandable that they desire to remain as youthful as possible in appearances. On the other hand, it often turns every day people like you and me into obsessive freaks willing to do ridiculous things and try expensive, ridiculous products to try and emulate our Hollywood heroes.
The truth is, Kim Cattrall is looking fabulous at 61 and removing her fine lines is just stupid.
Photoshop or not, there's no denying that Angelina Jolie is one of the most beautiful women in the entire world. However, it's hard to try and live up to the expectations that Photoshop can paint. She is a classic beauty, without a doubt, but even she has been airbrushed and enhanced to deceive you into thinking you aren't perfect. If it can be done with her, it can be done with anyone.... and it is done with everyone!
In what is probably one of the most hilarious Photoshop trolls of recent years, the Justin Bieber Calvin Klein ad side by side Photoshop image that went viral has long-since been reported as a phony. Originally posted by "BreatheHeavy.com," the photoshopped image that downsized Bieber's, uh, package, got the attention of the star himself! According to TMZ, his legal team threatened the website with a defamation lawsuit!
That's not all, even his trainer, Patrick Nilsson, went on Access Hollywood to say, "I can definitely confirm that he is a well-endowed guy. I sound weird saying that, but yes."
BreatheHeavy went on to retract the image and formally apologize, adding, "Bieber denies the photo is real, and I respect that and will believe him."
The 36-year old pop star Princess is no stranger to the pressures of societal beauty standards. Every little thing she has done over the years has been critiqued to hell and back. At one point, Britney herself even released before and after photos from a promotional campaign for Candie in an effort to "highlight the pressure exerted on women to look perfect."
Over the years Photoshop has made her thinner, removed cellulite and tattoos, and taken her pregnancy to new levels of elegant. To see small wrinkles airbrushed away today is no surprise but it continues to take a generation (or two) of fans and make us all wonder how Britney does it... when it was Photoshop all along.
Earlier this year, a website called The Beyonce World leaked 224 allegedly unretouched photos of Beyonce. While the photos were eventually removed because of intense harassment from 'rabid' Beyonce fans (known as the BeyHive,) an administrator from the website said, "we were just posting the photos to share the fact that our queen is naturally beautiful, at the same time she is just a regular woman."
Truly, there is a lot of power in perfecting every little thing for a magazine editorial... but Beyonce really is beautiful no matter what.
The 44-year old Spanish actress and model has been turning heads for nearly 3 decades now and there's no doubt she's considered a beautiful woman. She's no stranger to Photoshop but the interesting thing is that if you look at a plethora of before and after photos of this stunning star? You'll see very little work is ever done. A few erased eye crinkles and a lighter skin tone is all that ever seems to take place on Cruz. She's the real deal.
The idea that one of the most famous supermodels in America was fabulously flawed thrilled millions of fans when an un-touched photo was released on Twitter in 2015. The catch? The un-touched photo was a fake!
Later, in an interview with Elle Canada, Cindy talked about how conflicted she felt about the response from the viral post, "I couldn't come out against it because I'm rejecting all these people who felt good about it, but I also didn't embrace it because it wasn't real -- and even if it were real, I wouldn't have wanted it out there. I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut."
Truly, in her 50's Crawford is as foxy as ever.
Few modern entertainers are as successful as the one and only Katy Perry. She is considered one of the best-selling music artists of all time and has branched into television, voice acting, and debuted as a judge on American Idol. All of that success still didn't stop someone from photoshopping her thinner, with smoother and darker skin, and fuller breasts. It doesn't matter who you are, there's no escaping the unrealistic beauty standards of Hollywood.
As Keira Knightley trained aggressively for her role in King Arthur she found that her body transformed. She slimmed down to a fraction of her prior weight, her neck lengthened, and her bust all but disappeared. Hollywood had other plans though and famously enhanced her bust in the promotional photos for the movie. Knightley, a feminist icon, went on to become inspired to do a topless photoshoot sans Photoshop, telling TIME, “I think women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame. Our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape."
The 43-year old mother of one has been in the entertainment industry since early childhood and has said in the past that the stress of being a child celebrity led her to a crystal methamphetamine addiction in adulthood. Considering all she's been through, Fergie raises the bar on how good a woman can look in her 40's to unattainable standards prior to any photoshop and it's almost a slap in the face that anyone would bother editing her photos to begin with!
When Jezebel released the comparison of touched and untouched photos of Faith Hill's Redbook cover photo, the Internet literally went off its rocker. Redbook really goofed on this one, removing the 40-something country mega-star's reasonable wrinkles, elongating her face, altering the curve of her arm, and even meddling with her earlobe! This photoshop flounder was a huge mistake on Redbook's part and the worst thing about it is that the unaltered version of Faith Hill is utterly stunning while simultaneously surprisingly realistic for a woman her age. Really, how dare they?
Considering the fact that Lindsay Lohan has come under fire for posting photos of herself that were poorly photoshopped we are sure she isn't too upset that the professionals are doing it. In fact, she's probably grateful. Despite her assumed gratitude, we like to think that if anyone should be seen for who they are, it's someone who hasn't done a very good job taking care of themselves. Substance abuse has taken a toll on Lohan and if anything would be a good message for vulnerable youth to stay away from drugs, it's an unaltered photo of Lindsay.
Jennifer Lawrence has never been quiet about the issues Hollywood has with body image. She's confident in herself and has made a point to say time and time again that she doesn't want to be photoshopped into a thinner person and even pressed heavy in her role as Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) that she be presented to youth in realistic standards. Jennifer does not want to be slimmed down and Flare Magazine did just that.
"I’d rather look a little chubby on camera and look like a person in real life, than to look great onscreen and look like a scarecrow in real life." -Jennifer Lawrence
25-year old Miley Cyrus has been in the limelight for a long time and is no stranger to controversy and a complicated public image. Without a doubt, Cyrus is a beautiful person but even youth and beauty won't stop photoshop. Thinner, bustier, longer, and a smaller nose... Hollywood is confusing us all. Has no one told them Barbie is not realistic?
She may be a Victoria's Secret supermodel but that won't stop someone from touching up her features with a little airbrushing. Miranda Kerr is only 35 years old and she is far from someone who needs to be photoshopped. We appreciate a few fine eye wrinkles and a natural skin tone.
Is nothing sacred anymore? Kristen Steward can't even have her teeth in a photo when a digital artist gets their hands on her photo. Kristen has been criticized a lot over the years for not having enough expression and emotion so it's astonishing that someone would rob her of any little bit we can get. Brighter eyes, softer skin, a slimmer neck, and don't forget: no teeth. What is this world coming to?
Kate Winslet is a Hollywood superstar but she has had a lot of run-ins with Photoshop over the years. Far too often her skin tone is changed, her wrinkles are erased, and her face is thinned and elongated. On this GQ cover her legs were drastically altered. Winslet is a beautiful woman, no photoshop necessary.
Let it be known that no one is free from being digitally altered! Avril Lavigne made a reputation for herself for being a bit of a bad girl in the pop scene, sort of, but her hair wasn't straight enough and her skin wasn't clean enough for this cover photo. An icon for young girls for a long time, we can only imagine how many girls could have benefited from seeing a little bit of normal in Avril.
The 48-year old mom of three has been living the good life as a celebrity since 1986 and she's a phenomenon in and of herself. She's stunning and elegant and she's definitely been touched up with Photoshop her fair share of times. Because how dare those of us who live in the real world think that a woman approaching 50 has even the slightest skin imperfections? How dare we indeed.
The Basic Instinct sex icon known as Sharon Stone is 60 years old these days and she's still as beautiful as she was in the 80's, with just a few minor changes that have easily been erased thanks to the digital era and photoshop. This side by side comparison does one thing besides insult Stone, it shows us that the realistic version of a person can easily be 100x better.
Kim Kardashian is the center of attention, good or bad. She is definitely no stranger to both digital and real-life alterations of her image. However, she has been surprisingly brutally honest about it many times. In fact, this now famous photo for Complex magazine featuring a re-touched Kim had the original, un-touched photo leaked by Kim herself because "So what: I have a little cellulite! What curvy girl doesn't?!"
There are no lengths a digital artist won't go to in order to alter a celebrity. Leighton Meester was doing just fine strutting the red-carpet exposing her natural beauty when someone had to cake on some makeup, thin her out, and enhance her bust. How do we expect young girls to grow up with healthy body images when this is the crap shoved in their faces?
At the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards Britney Spears debuted a performance that stunned everyone for all the wrong reasons. Utterly unprepared for her performance, everyone saw her lethargically prance around the stage and miss lipsync marks left and right but worst of all was that she didn't have the abs of her former years and nobody would shut up about it. And to the internet flocked everyone with an opinion, including side by side images of what people felt she "should" have looked like on stage. Poor Britney.
Rihanna has dealt with a lot of photoshop blunders over the years, but none of it has been her fault. Digital artists have lightened her skin tone (a huge insult to women of color everywhere,) shortened her forehead, and altered the curves and length of her body relentlessly. Rihanna is only 30 years old and she is considered one of the most beautiful entertainers in the world right now and even she is not free from the shackles of unrealistic beauty expectations set upon her by Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole.
There's no denying that Jennifer Aniston is one of the most beautiful women in the world. She has been popular from DAY ONE, folks. Her classic and iconic sense of fashion and beauty has made it really difficult for anyone to bother with altering images of her but every now and then someone tries to perfect perfection. It's clear that she's the last person on earth who would ever need any help looking beautiful, though.
Kris Jenner was totally busted when she turned to Instagram to post an edited version of this photo of her with Gordon Ramsay shortly after Ramsay posted an unedited photo himself on his Instagram. The Internet will probably never forgive her for being so ridiculous, especially because she didn't just edit herself... she edited Gordon Ramsay!
Nina Garcia is most known for being a judge on the reality show Project Runway and for being the creative director of Elle but it's clear that in the hands of digital artists even the flawless and fabulous Nina Garcia isn't immune to the pressures of beauty expectations.
Zendaya was anything but pleased when Modeliste Magazine turned her into something she is not and she went straight to her fans with the truth. She posted: "Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it." Modeliste Magazine went on to replace the photos with the real Zendaya and resolved the issue and the world will never forget how down to earth and real Zendaya is.
In Spring of 2014, Lady Gaga teamed up with Versace for a phenomenal ad campaign. The final product of images that were used displayed stunning imagery and enviable high fashion mastery. Shortly thereafter, a website leaked 6 unedited photos of the dramatic musician and needless to say, people were floored. Comparing the 6 unedited photos to the finished products you can see a long list of work that was done in the editing room: skin imperfections like bruises were removed, her wig was made to look like real hair, her natural makeup was significantly enhanced, and even her arms were slimmed down. Lady Gaga is quite the looker but it must have taken a team to transform this ad campaign, there was just so much work done!
If Meghan Trainor is known for anything it's for being insanely proud of her curves. Her rise to fame was ridden on the wings of a song all about her bodacious bod. The "All About That Bass" girl herself was excited to pour a lot of hard work and effort into her "Me too" music video only to find that somewhere along the editing way someone manipulated her body into a slimmer figure. Aghast, Trainor had the video fixed and went on a PR campaign to address the issue. “I don’t know how you would shave my waist off. Like me, as the ‘All About That Bass’ girl,” said Trainor on Good Morning America. “I didn’t want this song to be the new anthem for Photoshop, but obviously it’s still a big issue and we’re still talking about it.”
It doesn't matter if you're someone like Megan Fox and basically famous for being incredibly beautiful. There's always someone out there ready and willing to point out flaws and edit them away into their false sense of perfection. It makes you long for a day where we all just embrace ourselves and the people around us, doesn't it?
Fora woman frequently compared in beauty to Cindy Crawford it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to fiddle with images of her but sure enough, no one is free from the relentless perfection seekers of the media. Eva's photo was manipulated to lighten her skin, elongate her neck, and smooth out any puffy imperfections that could suggest she's only human. It's hard to look at her eyes in both photos and not know someone got some serious editing in.
If you thought photoshopping supermodels and the world's most beautiful women was ridiculous then you have a look at this one: the royal baby! Definitive proof that no matter who you are or how old (or young) you are, you aren't good enough to grace the covers of a magazine until someone with unrealistic beauty standards has edited you into perfection.
Versace isn't the only company to edit Lady Gaga to hell and back, her cover photo of Vogue stands in stark contrast to the original photo. However, Vogue knows how Lady Gaga feels about photoshop and while the dramatic cover photo is edited into a whole different person, Vogue went to their YouTube account to post behind the scenes footage that showed Lady Gaga in all her glory prior to intense editing. It just goes to show that what you see every day on magazine covers isn't worth getting upset about because it isn't real.