Retouching is a hot-button topic. Brands want to position their products alongside pretty faces, but since they're dealing with, you know, humans, their subjects are bound to have the occasional blemish. On the other hand, many consumers claim to want "real" women — though they're also quick to point out flaws. Regardless of what you think of its ethics, the process of photoshopping is fascinating — and a new series of videos from retoucher Elizabeth Moss reveals its inner workings. Moss condensed hours of retouching work into several 90-second videos. The reels show the painstaking process professionals go through to "perfect" a photo. Some of the steps seem par for the course, like erasing a particularly large pimple. But, others — like the widening of eyes and the chiseling of cheekbones — point to larger issues with beauty standards. If the models themselves don't even fit the ideals of what beauty is supposed to look like, then who does? As someone who is routinely photographed for this site and has her face all over the Internet for the trolls to judge, I will say yes, I do think that retouching has its time and place. (There's nothing worse than waking up with a massive zit the morning you're meant to have a close-up taken.) But, sometimes things go way too far. This makes me wonder: Should there, in fact, be Photoshop etiquette? It's a gray area, as it often happens in beauty. Yes, these women are beautiful no matter what. But, how likely would you be to buy a product if the model had a huge pimple on her nose? Watch the videos, and let us know how you feel in the comments.
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