Men Got Photoshopped To Re-Create The Ideal Female Body And The Results Were Alarming
What happens behind the picture-perfect image, and is it actually attainable for women? For the first time, men will be subjected to the same amount of scrutiny when the Try Guys re-create famously photoshopped pictures of female celebrities.
One recurring response was that commenters pointed out that this was just a small taste of what women have to endure every day.
After experiencing firsthand just how far removed from reality men's magazines were, the Try Guys decided to take it a step further and re-create a few iconically (if not infamously) photoshopped pictures of women.
Chrissy Mahlmeister, BuzzFeed lifestyle editor and beauty guru, guided them through the history of how ideal female beauty has been constructed.
"Unless an ad specifically says 'This has not been photoshopped,' I can guarantee you that it has been photoshopped."
So in order to feel the pressure of standards that are more strikingly unrealistic, each guy chose a notorious photoshopped image to re-create.
Zach went with a Ralph Lauren advertisement from 2009 in Japan. The advertisement (on the left) shows Filippa Hamilton (a size-8 model) with a waist photoshopped so intensely that her head appears to be larger than her waist, and her arms and legs startlingly thinned down.
Ned wanted to re-create a photo of Madonna for her album Hard Candy, which had been altered so heavily that it essentially erased every wrinkle and line in her skin. As a result, she has an odd, alien-like, blurry glow, rather than skin with natural texture.
Finally, Eugene decided to re-create an image from one of the most enduring and controversial celebrities in the beauty game: Kim Kardashian. The photo shoot featured Kim posing nude in the desert for her website. Though there was some intense back-and-forth on whether or not this image was heavily photoshopped, several commenters compared the shot with an unretouched still from Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and pointed out how the printed image was altered.
The guys quickly learned that Photoshop wasn't the only thing that went into getting the "perfect" photo. They had to spend hours prepping, getting their hair and makeup done, as well as having almost every part of their body contoured.
The beauty team and photographer were instructed to be as frank and hypercritical as possible in order to re-create the oftentimes brutal microscope female models and celebrities are put under.
While they tried to maintain a sense of humor about the situation, the guys admitted to starting to feel pretty uncomfortable and blatantly objectified while trying to get a good raw "before" photo.
Hitting the pose for each photo was not only physically strenuous, but also emotionally exhausting.
Despite feeling pretty defeated, the guys managed to get a photo that would work as their "before Photoshop" image. Here's Zach in his unretouched Ralph Lauren re-creation.
Keith — or at least the backside of him — in his male version of the Victoria's Secret ad.
Alternately 'shopping some body parts to be much thinner...
...and other body parts to be much thicker.
Here are the exact, actual notes given for each Try Guy's Photoshop job in order to convincingly re-create the editing techniques used on the women while maintaining a male form. Zach's final image:
Keith's final image:
Ned's final image:
And Eugene's final image:
Time to unveil the final photos to the guys, who decided to view them together in order to appraise and learn from each other's transformations.
When Zach saw his before photo, he felt good about how he looked and relatively comfortable with his body. However, after seeing the photoshopped image compared to the non-retouched photo, the longer Zach started to look at it, the more "chubby" he started to feel. This was really disconcerting, considering Zach has such a slender frame to begin with.
When Keith saw how his photo had been retouched, he was startled by how little he felt like a person, and how much he felt like an object. His waist was taken in, and parts of his butt were completely gone.
When Ned saw how his photo had been retouched, he was completely shocked and scared to see the new porcelain version of himself. Without his freckles, wrinkles, and laugh lines, he felt like he lost the things that made him human and gave him character.
Eugene was less upset by his photoshopped re-creation. Though the arch of his back-to-butt ratio was something physically impossible to achieve, he understood why famous women would choose photoshop over being critiqued by the public for their flaws. He remarked that he looked more like a painting than a person.
Ultimately, the experiment gave the men a lot of insight into the societal standards particularly imposed on women from a young age. It served as a good reminder that most of the media we consume on a daily basis has been altered in some way, and the most important thing you can do is try to love yourself.