An experiment on how beauty is defined around the globe

A young woman’s experiment in 2014 prompted an important discussion on how beauty is defined around the globe and taught her the price that comes with being thrust into the spotlight.

Esther Honig, an Ohio-based reporter, had just graduated from college when she came up with the idea to send an unretouched image of herself to Photoshop artists around the world. “Make me beautiful,” she instructed the participants, giving them complete creative control of the task.

Opening each email from a photo editor was this big reveal, It felt like I was peering into the minds of these strangers halfway across the world to see how they’d re-imagined me. My project was taking shape, and that was incredibly gratifying.

The results of her project, “Before & After,” were then compiled into a BuzzFeed post, which would later go viral and become a media sensation.


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