Plus-size woman asks 21 photo editors worldwide to ‘fix’ her image
Marie Southard Ospina asked 21 photo editors to “fix” an image of her, keeping in mind the types of images that appear in their country’s fashion and beauty magazines. (Photo courtesy Marie Southard Ospina)
A plus-size Colombian-American woman said she was “pleasantly surprised” after asking photo editors from around the world to take her image and “fix” it according to the beauty standards in their own country.
Marie Southard Ospina, a fashion and beauty editor for the online magazine Bustle, sent her image to 21 different photo editors, asking them to digitally alter it, while keeping in mind the types of images used in fashion magazines in their own country.
Ospina said she was inspired by journalist Esther Honig, who conducted a similar experiment with her own photo last summer.
She said she was “shocked and overwhelmed” to see how many editors slimmed Honig down or changed her bone structure, and wanted to see how editors would alter the image of a plus-size woman.
“As a plus-size woman I was interested to see how those edits would manifest themselves in my photographs, and how editors would treat things that are stereotypically deemed as flaws like a chubby face,” she told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
“I was just interested to see what they would do and how they’d play with it.”
She said that while she was expecting most of the editors to take steps to slim down her appearance, she was surprised when only three editors – from Ukraine, Mexico and Latvia — noticeably changed her image by altering her size or bone structure.
Ukraine’s edited photo (All photos courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina)
Latvia’s edited photo
Mexico’s edited photo
“I was pleasantly surprised and it was a good reminder that we shouldn’t try and define beauty, and we should keep in mind that striving for one type of beautiful is futile,” she said.
Most of the other photo editors made other types of alterations, including adding make up and blurring out a mole on her cheek. However, most didn’t noticeably change her appearance.
Several editors also added clothing to her image, including the Canadian editor who oddly put Ospina in a white turtleneck sweater and gave her a blonde, short hairstyle. (She notes in her article that she has “no clue what that even was.”)
Pakistan’s edited photo
Vietnam’s edited photo
Canada’s edited photo