• 11.01.13

Learn How Models Get So Attractive: Photoshop

These GIFs show the process of transforming a woman into a barely recognizable piece of digital art.

It’s not clear what the origins of this video are that surfaced on earlier this week (and GIFed by Business Insider), but it’s certainly a staunch testament to the power of digital editing–and how it can alter regular people into fluffy-headed, pouty-lipped, cybernetic monsters.


As you can see, it’s not that hard–just a few mouse clicks away.

Earlier this year, as part of its “Real Beauty” campaign, Dove–which still faces fair criticism for its portrayal of women–released a Photoshop trap for editors looking to give their models a “Beautify” effect. As it turned out, all “Beautify” did was revert the photos back to the unedited originals, theoretically subverting would-be body-shamers into promoters of the realistic female form.

But most representations of women in magazines are still sadly homogeneous, turbo-glossed, and hyper-thinned. Even high-profile pledges from publications like Seventeen to stop Photoshopping their models might turn out to be largely meaningless PR after all.

Alas, it’s good to be reminded every once in a while how much our perceptions of beauty are shaped by impossibilities of editing rather than real skin, brains, and bones. Now get out there and appreciate some diverse, dynamic and beautiful people. Here’s one good place to start.

About the author

Sydney Brownstone is a Seattle-based former staff writer at Co.Exist. She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with windows that don’t quite open, and covers environment, health, and data.