What Happens When a Biracial Woman Asks 18 Countries to Photoshop Her Portrait?
Priscilla Yuki Wilson sent out her portrait to Photoshoppers around the globe
Earlier this year, journalist Esther Honig asked the world to define beauty by sending her unaltered headshot to more than 25 countries with the simple instructions: Make me beautiful. The results were an interesting look into what different cultures deem as attractive. Now, a friend of Honig is challenging the world’s ideas of beauty once again.
Fellow journalist Priscilla Yuki Wilson, who has a Japanese mother and black father, sent out her own portrait (above) to Photoshoppers around the globe.
“As in the original project, I approached each Photoshop aficionado with the request to ‘make me beautiful,” Wilson says on her site. “Similarly I utilized the international freelancing platform, Fiverr, which has allowed me to contract nearly 30 individuals from more than 25 countries.”
Wilson received altered photos from 18 different countries. Like Honig’s pictures, Wilson’s new shots greatly varied from one another. Many nations added makeup and adjusted the size of Wilson’s face, but some went to unexplainable extremes – like Algeria’s ghostly space being. Even with the alterations, Wilson felt her results differed in one important way from Honig’s images.
“In contrast to Honig s results, where her face became a canvas to express more than a dozen contrasting beauty standards, I found that my face actually challenged the application of Photoshop in this instance,” Wilson says. “As a biracial woman, there is no standard of beauty or mold that can easily fit my face.”
Wilson says this sense of not fitting traditional beauty standards is something she’s always felt.
“I was taught that my natural self did not comply with conventional standards set forth by society, saying fairer skin is better, straighter hair is more attractive, and that skinny tastes good,” she continues.
Once again, this Photoshop experiment proves that there is no one standard of beauty. And to Wilson, it also shows that the world’s current physical ideals do not match up to the true faces of the Earth’s population.