Filipino ideal of female beauty stands out in global Photoshop doll-up project!

The Huffington Post article is pretty self-explanatory, What Happened When One Woman Had Her Picture Photoshopped In 25 Different Countries. The outcome was quite revealing following its author’s simple instructions as part of a rather clever project…

“Make me look beautiful.”

That’s what Esther Honig asked 40 photo editors to do — in over 25 countries. Using the service-sharing site Fiverr, Honig, a human interest reporter, sent a picture of herself to be photoshopped around the world to see just how much cultural values are applied to standards of beauty. The results throw the idea of “the perfect woman” into sharp relief.

After looking at the results, perhaps I may have been a bit too harsh when I tweeted this morning how I thought the Philippine submission “sucked” after seeing the results. But when placed alongside all the others, the way it stood out was pretty stark as this composite image I cobbled together reveals (guess which one is the Philippine submission)…


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It is interesting to note the subtlety in the manner with which Photoshoppers from the other countries dolled up the original image Honig sent out. Perhaps the one from the United States (on the bottom left corner) was a tad made-up compared to the rest. Still, the Philippine submission was a clear standout.

It’s a matter of taste, of course. But to the old design and style adage that less is more, Filipinos seem to find themselves in a bit of a disagreement. Help me out here. I’m trying to be polite…

26 Replies to “Filipino ideal of female beauty stands out in global Photoshop doll-up project!”

  1. i think it’s miscommunication here.
    the rest did photoshop, the filipino entry did a makeover…… even added a necklace.

    a matter of context really, by itself the picture makes sense, even if only one more is added for comparision it’s still fine

    when all the others are added in you start to see where it went wrong.

    1. i’ve just visited the main page and it’s not as bad as the author said, it’s self deprecating at best.

      the other entries reflect their cultural bias for beauty.

        1. It’s either we Filipinos love to have our women covered up or they love to show off…well, that’s just how I interpret it.

        2. The other one looks like it was made by those 2×2 photo service shops. Pasting up a formal wear so it can be used for official documents like resume and stuff.

  2. No offense meant to gay people but the “kabakla-an” type of beauty we prefer stands out. The pretty face of a sweet young thing should have a make up applied to complement and not as a canvass where it is applied in impasto completely altering and spoiling her face to a point where when you look at her figure as whole the face is not in harmony with her entire body. Maybe we should have more straight guys as make up artist since me thinks they look at women the way real men wants them to look like. Compare that to the gay beauticians who wants to look like the women who they are making up and we have mukhang bading na make up.

  3. oops, i guessed wrong on which was the Philippine submission. does this mean im ignorant or is it that i dont have a preconceived perception of how Pilipinos are expected to typically act?

  4. Now that I know which one the Philippine submission is, it makes me wonder if Filipinos are trying to overcompensate for something, if that’s how they perceive beauty.

  5. There were two entries from the Philippines. Making a comparison while leaving that other entry out– or choosing the relatively simple entries, is hardly fair nor objective. You should have included the one from Morocco.

  6. Can one or two photo editors represent the entire Filipino populace view on beauty?

    I don’t think so.

    Did we ask ourselves if the Filipino photo editors who submitted the entry really has an understanding of beauty of he/she is just trying to make sure his work “stands out” from the other entries?

    Lots of questions. But one thing is certain, this experiment/study/activity lacks a lot to be called considered a valid and true.

  7. *erratum
    Lots of questions. But one thing is certain, this experiment/study/activity lacks a lot to be considered valid and true.

  8. Is it me or is it that the Philippine entry made her look like a PH-gay man with excessive make up and whitening agent?

  9. Who are you people? All you do is bash our countrymen/women. You are all disgusting! Can never find anything commendable, at least once in a while. Come on, now!

    1. Our “countrymen/women” voted in an unaccomplished socially awkward, follicle challenged troglodyte for President and we have this President for 6 years. Why did they vote in this unaccomplished socially awkward follicle challenged troglodyte? Because his mom died. I am not sure what compliment you come up for the Filipino people that will make that fact disappear??

      That is the mentality of our countrymen. Are you telling me you are more comfortable with that than you are with what people write here? You just want that ignored?? Medy Ramos, please refer to the upper left hand corner of the website where it says “we beg to differ”. You want candy a$$, puff pieces on how pinoys are the superior race go to Inquire, ABS CBN and Rappler. We are not chasing clicks or ad revenue here like them. Often you chase those things by providing B.S. Speaking for me I rather have pissed off people like you complaining about the scope than complaining about the veracity.

  10. If you can stop being pretentious with your vocabulary I maybe able to understand why your non-stop criticizing has not been able to affect any change whatsoever in the condition of our country. Please suggest tangible ways on how we can improve the quality of life in our country. Honestly, this constant barrage of insult is not helping. I never say we are a superior race, more so we really, really need suggestions from knowledgeable people to improve. If you are a surgeon, yes, you need to lance the boil and expose it but you just don’t leave it just like that. You need to do someting to cure it and make it better. Come on!

    1. You can have all the suggestions and all the best formulas but if your populations prefers to be in the dark then we will go nowhere. GRP in my opinion is proof that some inhabitants of this nation are aware there is a problem and that there is more to do. The majority however prefer to be clueless and just go through life without any evidence of perspective. Hence we elect someone representative of our mindset. I give you B.S. Aquino. who every claims is “popular” what for I have no idea. The mystery remains and all you care about is GRP. Medy, we beg to differ.

  11. There are Pilpino billionaire philantrophists in our midst. They funnel money to poor schools, feeding hungry children, helping Haiyan victims for housing, food, etc. There you go, people who are quiet but doing something to alleviate our peoples suffering. You have a mighty sword, The Pen, use it in trying to help, not step harder on the downtrodden. Think of ways to help, PLEASE!

    1. Medy,

      That is precisely why GRP writers and cotributors point out the flaws in Filipino society. Starting with the ultimate aberration — the election and presidency of BS Aquino. No one is questioning the fact that philanthropy exists in the Philippines. In fact, most of that charity work exists BECAUSE the system in this country IS broke. Because our government has failed to do its job, because the the majority of the people fail to hold our public officials accountable. They pursue contentment in a mundane, apathetic existence, at the same time whining about the vicissitudes of their lives, and become enraged at anyone they perceive to “bash our countrymen/women.”

    2. Medy,

      The first step to being helped in any situation is to admit the truth. The truth cannot be told in a “nice way.” The “downtrodden” can be helped by being told how things really are, not by sugarcoating it. So, what GRP do is telling the truth. It is not pleasant, but there really is no other way.

  12. i’m just a lowly passerby, but, wow, this post’s author and a lot of people are overreacting to this ‘make me beautiful’ thing as if this is an important concern at a national level, geeeeeez, the ‘Philippines’ entry’ was done by one person with his/her own preference on women’s beauty and there was no nationwide poll on this, WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE BLAMING THE ENTIRE PHILIPPINE CULTURE FOR IT?

    some commenters here are even arguing about the government and other political BS, OMG, what does the government and the politicians have to do with this ‘make me beautiful’ thing?????!!!?!??

    to be clear, my main points are:

    -this ‘make me beautiful’ thing entry of the Philippines was made by one individual with his own preference in women, therefore the entry is NOT VALID to reflect the entire country’s opinion

    -remember, some people like women with fair skin, some like morena, some like chinitas, some like mestizas, some like ‘filipina beauty’, some like tall girls, some like shorter girls, some like long haired girls, some like shorter haired, some like athletic girls, some like homey girls, some like thin girls, some like chubby girls, etc.


    -not all the time it’s GOVERNMENT = POVERTY, sometimes it’s LAZY PEOPLE = POVERTY, but at all times it’s WHINY PEOPLE = ANNOYED REGULAR PEOPLE

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