When A Plus-Size Woman Asked People To Photoshop Her Image, She Didn't Expect This To Happen

"Thin isn't the only beautiful."

"You're pretty for a big girl."

Although written in English, this sentence sounds very familiar in multiple languages, for a number of plus-sized women all around the world. However, every country has its own perceptions of beauty, often outreaching size 0, and one girl decided to explore them. 

Marie Southard Ospina, Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor at Bustle, has done an experiment where she asked people from various places across to globe to photoshop her picture and "make her beautiful."

In order to explore the notion of 'plus-size beauty' around the world, Ospina asked people to photoshop her image and 'make her beautiful.'

"Having grown up predominantly in the first world, I'm aware that in countries like the U.S. or the U.K. being fat is (although quite common) perceived as an inherently negative thing. But I'm also aware that the notion of "thin is the only beautiful" doesn't permeate the entirety of the world," Marie writes in her article.

Marie admits she was inspired by two previous experiments, where journalists Esther Honig and Priscilla Wilson asked people to alter their images in order to explore cultural beauty standards. "I decided to replicate their original experiments — with a plus-sized twist," she writes.

Marie took it to the freelance market to find people who would edit her picture. This particular result comes from India.


Ospina says she was interested to see what these editors would make of her "chubby cheeks, double chin, thick shoulders and chest and rounder, fuller face." Would they go for a slimming Photoshop procedure, or "fix" other features without paying attention to her weight.

"All I asked was for them to make me look beautiful, whilst keeping in mind the looks they see in the fashion/beauty mags of their countries," Marie describes her experiment.






Some people took a more humorous approach. This is Canada.

Iceland? Iceland appears to be a Photoshop-free paradise, because all three editors Marie approached refused to alter her image.

Overall, Marie admits she expected more drastic changes from this experiment. She points out that only three editors (Ukraine, Mexico and Latvia) made her look "visibly thinner." Most common changes included makeup and hair color.

"Regardless, the experiment offered a lot more editors in favor of "preserving natural beauty" than I would have imagined, and so I feel extremely positive about its results. Maybe this is a sign that things are changing for the better," Ospina writes in the conclusions.

If you are interested in hearing the full story, head to Bustle and read Marie's full text about her experiment. Also, check out her blog miggmag.com for some beautiful, inspiring stuff.

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