One Image Altered By Different People Around The World Highlights Differences in Global Beauty Standards


The perception of beauty varies globally, akin to language, gained popularity in 2014. Journalist Esther Honig went viral by sending her picture to graphic designers worldwide, asking them to make her look “beautiful.

This trend inspired others, including biracial Priscilla Yuki Wilson and Marie Southward, who added a “plus-sized twist.” In 2014, a UK-based online doctor service, OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com, collaborated with the content marketing agency Fractl for a similar project. Fractl sent a stock image of a woman in her underwear to graphic designers in 18 countries, ranging from the UK to Syria, to explore how beauty perceptions differ globally.

The original image
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

The results varied significantly when it comes to beauty standards

Philippines

Skinnier and darker hair seemed to fit the Philippines' expectation of what true beauty looks like.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Skinnier and darker hair seemed to fit the Philippines’ expectation of what true beauty looks like.

USA

perception of beauty - The US decided a thigh gap was an obvious choice along with a flatter stomach and a very airbrushed face.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

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The US decided a thigh gap was an obvious choice along with a flatter stomach and a very airbrushed face in their perception of beauty.

China

Produced the most altered image, estimating the model's weight as close to 100 pounds. Changes included the face, hair, underwear, and overall body transformation.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

China produced the most altered image, estimating the model’s weight to be about 100 pounds. Changes included the face, hair, underwear, and overall body transformation.

Colombia

Maintained a curvier design, with subtle changes such as more hair and less orange skin
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

In their perception of beauty, Colombia maintained a curvier design, with subtle changes such as more hair and less orange skin.

Egypt

perception of beauty - Added an orange hue, a tiny waist, and black hair to the model.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Added an orange hue, a tiny waist, and black hair to the model.

Italy

Created a version almost as thin as China's, changing the color of the underwear and shoes.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Created a version almost as thin as China’s, changing the color of the underwear and shoes – a very different perception of beauty.

The Netherlands

Lightened the woman's hair, made her legs thinner, and added boots and a pink bikini.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Lightened the woman’s hair, made her legs thinner, and added boots and a pink bikini.

Peru

Focused on making the model's arms and stomach thinner, along with changes to the eyes.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

In their perception of beauty, Peru focused on making the model’s arms and stomach thinner, along with changes to the eyes.

Romania

perception of beauty - Adopted an orangey hue and shaved off inches around the body.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Adopted an orangey hue and shaved off inches around the body.

South Africa

perception of beauty - South Africa showcased a thinner and taller version of the model.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Showcased a thinner and taller version of the model.

Spain

Spain maintained a curvier appearance compared to other countries.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Maintained a curvier appearance compared to other countries.

Mexico

Mexico gave the woman a more realistic tan and brown hair.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Gave the woman a more realistic tan and brown hair.

Syria

Syria Produced a makeover that appeared a little wonky.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Produced a makeover that appeared a little wonky.

The UK

perception of beauty - The UK Kept things simple with a white background and gave the model a much trimmer body.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

The UK kept things simple with a white background and gave the model a much trimmer body.

Ukraine

Ukraine Attempted to give the model's hair more volume and drastically altered her body. Changes also included the color of her underwear and shoes.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Attempted to give the model’s hair more volume and drastically altered her body. Changes also included the color of her underwear and shoes.

Argentina

Argentina Gave the model a virtual tummy tuck and breast lift.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Gave the model a virtual tummy tuck and breast lift.

Venezuela

Venezuela Lightened her skin tone and gave her long, wavy dark hair.
Image Credit: OnlineDoctor.SuperDrug.com

Lightened her skin tone and gave her long, wavy dark hair.

The Fractl team noted, “Some designers in North, South, and Central American countries produced an exaggerated hourglass figure,” while others in Europe and Asia chose to render her extremely thin. The diverse beauty standards showcased in these images emphasize the subjective nature of beauty standards worldwide.