For her project Before & After, Kansas City-based radio journalist Esther Honig sent a photograph of herself to Photoshop professionals around the globe with one simple request: “Make me look beautiful.” Using the freelancing website Fiverr, she heard back from 27 artists, who, informed by the nuances of their own cultures, edited her face to resemble an ideal femininity. A few submitted multiple images. A few of the results were so drastic that they left the unrecognizable Honig breathless.
In each image, we might find the normally invisible yet pervasive pressures faced by all modern women, regardless of ethnicity and background. The striking project highlights the fleeting and ambiguous nature of beauty, rendering each unrealistic standard both oppressive and arbitrary.