We’ve already seen two journalists—one Caucasian and one biracial—go on a Photoshop trip around the world this year; but style blogger Marie Southard Ospina wanted to give it a new twist. So she also asked strangers from 18 different countries to Photoshop her barefaced portrait to make her beautiful (whatever that meant to them). The difference is, she’s plus-sized.
Ospina went into the experiment expecting to get dramatically retouched and slimmed-down images in return, but instead she was pleasantly surprised to find that in most cases, the photo editors only made minor changes. (Below are select examples; head to Bustle to see all 21 photos.)
Clockwise from top left: Italy, Macedonia, India, Ukraine
“I pretty much assumed that the majority of the editors would quite drastically change my bone structure and weight,” she wrote on Bustle. “But for the most part, I was actually pretty surprised to see how much I still look like myself in the vast majority of these photos.”
Ospina thinks that just three countries—Ukraine, Mexico, and Latvia—made her look drastically thinner. And it was Latvia’s interpretation that struck her the most. “It wasn’t just that I was slimmed down—I expected that much,” she told People. “But it was the extent of it. If you look at it closely, I honestly look emaciated.”
Ultimately, Ospina is pleased with the results, and hopes that the minimal changes she saw in the photos signal a shift in favor of natural beauty.
“I, for one, would be greatly pleased if this was the case,” she wrote on Bustle. “Because I’ve always wanted to live in a society in which freckles and moles and double chins and natural wrinkles were embraced, rather than hidden away and caked in foundation.”