Airbrushing: Enough to improve, but not to distort, is my philosophy.

Wondering what you could possibly gain out of getting your photo's retouched? Check out the following images.

It's always good to remind ourselves that retouching/airbrushing and image enhancement, happens everywhere, every day. Every poster, glossy mag and newspaper. Online and in your mail. None of the 'perfection' you see in the glossies is real and I don't dispute the errors in some of the OTT retouching which goes on. However, the photographer might argue that it is his right to make the image as beautiful and aesthetically pleasing as he can. He's an artist. The publisher would almost certainly argue that they want their magazine to be better than anyone else's, featuring the bold and beautiful on each photo-shopped page. And the super-star who has been photo-shopped to death might argue that its their reputation and earning potential on the line in an ever competitive land of surgeons and celluloid. And then there is us, the People. Some do argue that the fake images are simply wrong and potentially breed insecurities at best, debilitating and even terminal eating disorders at worst.

But they still go on. It's a case of looking at the perfect images and instead of comparing yourself to it, imagining what the reality of the image actually was. Almost certainly it will not be the same at all. We must maintain a balance; an appreciation of natural beauty and an understanding of the what is real.

Overall, the images (not just the person in them) have improved. But the women did not require manipulation in 
either. Lengthening and slimming waistlines on already slender women is a distortion too much.

Mostly I see the thighs have been improved: smoothed out and contoured. Nothing massive though.

We all know the image on the right is photo-shopped before seeing the original. She still looks incredible for her age, but 
I see why Maggie would want to be re-touched. She is competing in the pop industry and her image is of 
a strong and powerful woman: She's always been all about image.  But the photo-shopping is too much for my tastes. 

She looks far better natural, although this is not a direct comparison. 

A hip line removed? Face lightened? Why  - she looked great!


The colour of the original bikini needed changing? Why didn't she just wear white in the first place?
And then there is the controversial removal of the signs of being a mother. They even slimmed her bent arm?
I'm not sure about this. Its clearly a promo shot and she is an actress, but still. Mmm? 

Even little Avril can't escape photo-shop crazy guy. She didn't need a thing doing. She's not even twenty yet is she? 

I personally don't want to see up the crack of someones ass and if we can make it look less yuk I'm all for it. 
This is cellulite removal and contouring all over. But seriously, who honestly thinks any woman has a butt and thighs as perfect 
as the picture on the left? It looks like an animation :P

I won't lie, she looks better for losing the eye-bags. She is on the cover of Cosmo ladies! And don't we all 
apply concealer when we get a blemish, highlighter to brighten a tired complexion? But nothing else was really required. 

Personally, I think both pictures are vile. The pose, the outfit everything. Why?

This picture is quite well known now too - Jenny needs to stay out of the sun by the looks of it. A hairbrush maybe, but the OTT 
airbrush was not required. 

The highlighting of the original adds drama and style. This is more about the picture as a whole, rather than an air-brush 
issue. This is more about art than retouching. I love the RT version.

Clearly this is ridiculous. Unless she wanted to show her grand-kids what she looked like forties years ago.
And even then?

Absolutly no need for any changes here! They even slimmed down her arm? And back?

What was the point of this? She looks animated in the after shot?

Oh look, she lost a few stone during the commercials! :P

Looks far better untouched!

Far better before retouching - her gorgeous skin is now featureless. And those eye-lashes look ridiculous!

This guy will look great in his coffin - Leave him alone.

She loses her features in the second shot, and in so doing, her individual beauty.

None of the 4 original images above actually had issues in the first place.
Why mess with genuine beauty? Enhance it yes, like one would do with make-up and a great hair cut,
but don't distort it or cover it up beyond recognition 

Wowza! Kate Moss:Top model? This shows the realities of the partying life-style of fags, booze and late nights! 
Of course, her beauty is her livelihood so I imagine she'd prefer us to see her as the second image and not the first. 
I like both for different reasons :P

I like both, though removing freckles was unnecessary. 

I see very few changes here - more a photographic colour wash, a mood enhancement if anything! Nice.

This Irish actor is pretty hot in either. One is brighter, making up for the bad lighting in the other. His skin looks 
smoother and tanned. Nothing offends me here. What about you?

Famous and we've all seen this. The major difference is the reduction of thigh muscle and cellulite. 
We all know she had thigh muscle...and we all have cellulite, like it or not. In all honestly, 
if I have pictures taken in anything showing my ass off, and it was going to be shown 
on Face Book, I will certainly be looking to RT a little. She's braver than me here, but there's twenty years between us. 
And the amount of RT here is too much in all honesty.

The beautiful Keira needed boobs according to the promo department of this movie (load this movie BTW). I heard she was pissed about
this, bless. I empathise. When I weighed as little as her at her age (less actually because I was a few inches shorter
then her) I also had zero boobs too, I've added a stone and half and earned myself a B cup since then though. 
She looks better

See, even tiny skinny young girls have blotchy cellulite. Hurrah! But it's not news really is it? I see some
of these images as less airbrushing and more image enhancement - this is one.

this is another...

This is unfair really. It looks like Maria is two different people. But she's in harsh lighting in the first and totally unprepared
and the second photo is staged and posed for, etc. Complete with wind machine. 

Too much has been changes in this one. Again, it screams animation.

This needed nothing at all changing in my opinion. She looked better before and in the second she has been stretched 
upward to create a thinner waist. She looks deformed.

She looks quite different - but I do think the second picture is better artistically for those changes. 

The image required changes, for background and mood. But the pose is different and well, I preferred the first. 
What about you? And leave her already slim hips alone.

No need for anything here, but its clear to see Selma has not really changed, only lightened up a little. 
So the overall is more an enhancement than a photo-shop guy gone crazy.

Ah...This is where that photo-shop guy did go crazy. These look entirely too different. Wrong!

There was no need for any kind of enhancement again here. They only succeeded in making her look 
almost deformed? What is it with the need for elongated bodies and waist-lines which look unreal? This is 
the kind of image which promotes weight=loss and body dysmorphia - no ones body could naturally be like this. Regardless of how slim one gets.

If I went to get my pictures taken professionally, as a bio pic or to hang on my wall, this is what I'd expect them to do.
 It enhances her natural  
beauty, rather than erasing it. Only I'd want to keep those cute freckles :)

The first looks better to me. Although the overall colouring of the photo has been improved, her skin didn't need to
be so messed with. Any blemishes she had were part of what made the first image beautiful.

Only very slight changes were made here, mainly around the knees as far as I can see, She's beautiful in both.
But I like the highlights in the picture as a whole in the RT picture.

Way too much and too fake. 

Again, too much! The image on the left almost looks like a different woman. 

Way too much! And I know which woman I'd run from if she approached me. And whats the beef with freckles?

The lighting is better in the image overall, but again with removing those gorgeous feckless? But the changes are 
reasonably subtle

She's beautiful in both, but as this is clearly a promo shot, I prefer the second. It wipes away a general look of fatigue
 for one and evens out skin tone. Yes, I know this may give off the illusion that a woman in her forties should look 
in her twenties, but if it were you and you hoped to land another TV gig after being ditched from Desperate Housewives, 
wouldn't you? She's competing with twenty tear olds every day. I would HATE that. But we all lie on our C.V's and first
dates don't we. 
Or is that just me? :P

Nothing to say or really see here? Too bright on the first. Contrast and definition on the second. Nice!

Why have the 'real' photos tweaked? This was clearly taking at some social engagement. Leave as is people. 

Both pictures are stunning. No argument. But the original didn't need anything doing in the first place and could be 
considered far more beautiful. 

I think Penelope might have benefitted from some subtle tweaks as she just looks a little tired in the original. But the photo-shop geek
went a little crazy again here.

Nothing was needed here. She looked cool before.

Leave the freckles! I may have to start a campaign for freckles!

Oh come off it. Did he commission someone to remove a spare tire but make turn him into a beetroot?

Younger, slimmer nose, bluer eyes. It's not reality but if a model is selling something - An image - then 
its not reality we are buying into. I prefer how he looks after crazy photo-shop guy. Sorry!


Pam is known for her boobs, but also her quirky nose and freckles. Leave them alone 

This little collection shows what make-up, hairstyling AND photoshop can do. We allude the public every day
ladies. Whenever we colour our eyes, cheeks and lips. OR wear big elasticated pants! But we don't expect women to stop wearing make-
up or colouring our hair so that other's don't feel awful about themselves.

 I apply it so I feel less crappy about myself. We all buy into elusion of some kind - we always have. The airbrush industry 
buys into that and can be OTT - but we must all be responsible for our own sense of what we accept to be real.  

This is another overall photo enhancement more than photoshop crazy guy. 

Two different images so one cannot compare. She's a beautiful woman there is no denying.
I prefer the image in the left with ELLE in the background by far though. The one on the right has lost
something incredible about her eyes.
Now, it's all down to personal taste of course, but I see a little re-touch the same as changing an image from colour to black and white, or brightening it or adding colour to it. I see it the same as applying make up or doing the models hair before a photo is taken. Its all about the image, the mood it creates and looking the best you can in the image. Lets face it, if its a character shot, all the lines are great, but a personal shot for your own wall or a glom our shot to sell your face cream, and it's a different matter. 

I don't compare myself to air-brushed images or believe that any woman truly exists without cellulite. I can admire the beauty of an image without reducing it to a political argument. Educating our daughters about the reality behind any image and raising them to be confident in their own skin is the only true way to fight insecurities, certainly as deep as those which lead to eating disorders. However, I do believe some of the OTT airbrushing and distortions are wrong politically and artistically. I'm learning this myself as I navigate the business of retouching. Some ask me for a little tweak and look great. Others want to look like aliens. I think the danger is there when we look in the mirror and want to erase everything which makes us beautiful. 

I would have had a boob job and nose job years ago if my husband hadn't threatened to leave me if I did. :) I've grown to love them through removing them on screen. At first I looked at the OTT airbrushed pics of myself and thought, "Wow, if only." Now they look so awful.  I prefer the ones I RT only slightly. Enough to improve, but not to distort, is now my philosophy. :)

I got the images from a great article I found today HERE. Check it out. 

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