We’ve all heard the line about beauty being on the inside, or beauty not being something that’s visible, but it seems that those ideas really depend on who you’re talking to (or, in this case, where you are). Esther Honig, a freelance journalist and social media manager, put that to the test when she asked graphic designers in 25 different countries to Photoshop an image of her to make her look beautiful.

Honig sent a very basic, unedited photo of herself (left image) to graphic designers of all skill levels with the simple request that each of them make her beautiful. She provided little information about what she was looking to get out of the project, only asking that they make her look she could grace the pages of a fashion magazine in that country.

Her hope was that each designer would take their own beliefs for what beauty is and let their culture influence them to create an image that represented both. Honig created a before-and-after photo series that shows what each of the 25 countries did to make her picture fit their standards and what each country considers beautiful. Check out some of the images below to see what Esther received.





It’s so interesting to see what different countries and cultures value when it comes to physical beauty, and how it varies around the globe. Some designers lightened or darkened the images, changing the color of Esther’s skin. Some changes were as basic as the addition of colored eyeliner, while others added fancy jewelry and accessories. Others completely altered features on her face.

Honig thought that Morocco created the most “dynamic” image, featuring her in a Hijab that emphasized values of both physical looks and religion being a party of beauty in that country. Interested in seeing more? Click here to check out the entire before-and-after series.

What’s your opinion on Esther’s project? What do you think beautiful looks like? Leave us your thoughts below or on Facebook.

(h/t Design Boom and The Creators Project)