Within the fashion industry, Photoshop and retouching are a constant source of discussion and controversy. Members of the community have been calling for a cooldown for a while now, but it seems that retouching isn't going anywhere. Photoshop fails might give us some good laughs now and then when a leg goes missing or an arm bends the wrong way, but it's ultimately detrimental to body image and self-esteem of the greater population.
To that end, BuzzFeed's editors decided to do a little experiment. They chose four "regular" women, gave them hair and makeup, and had them sit for a professional photo shoot. Then, they let a retoucher go to town on the images, giving them the same treatment they would a magazine cover. The resulting pictures were shown to the women on film, and the results were at once poignant and uplifting.
While some of us might assume that we would look better with heavy Photoshopping, the women lamented their unrecognizably fake new looks and even came upon a newfound appreciation for themselves. As one woman exclaimed after seeing her retouched shot, "This is how I always wanted to see myself. But now that I'm seeing it, I'm questioning why I ever wanted to look like that."