Who needs models when you have Photoshop?
It might sound like a joke, but most of us know by now that what we see on magazine covers and billboards isn’t a reflection of reality—not even remotely. Models have their picture snapped, and then after hours of tireless editing where every microscopic blemish and imperfection is wiped away, an impossible standard of beauty is published and plastered for all the world to see and worship.
Often the result is a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy when looking at these distorted notions of the “ideal”. But thanks to one photo retoucher, maybe we can ditch those negative feelings once and for all.
Rare Digital Art, a firm that’s worked with prestigious fashion magazines including Vanity Fair and Vogue, created three 90-second time-lapse videos that show the borderline-ridiculous amount of editing that goes into an image before it hits newsstands.
We’ll start with the most dramatic video of them all, which purports to sum up six hours of retouching in just a minute and a half (seen above). If you’ve been thinking up until this point that models are just lucky people born with great bodies and perfect hair, it should make you feel a little better to know that no parts of them were left untouched. Their hair, skin, nails, teeth—even the little spaces between fingers—every little blemish—wiped out, fixed, removed and straightened (in one image, the model’s entire eye is erased and replaced).
By the end, we’re not even looking at a real person anymore. We’re looking at digital art modeled loosely after a human being. That’s what you’ve been comparing yourself to this whole time.
And yet, we wonder why so many struggle with self-esteem. You can check out the other two videos below.