Watch the Disturbing Powers of Photoshop in This GIF

Yesterday I stumbled upon a video and a set of GIFs that exposed (for the millionth time, it seems) the transformative, even disturbing, power of Photoshop in the hands of a airbrush-happy retoucher. Enlarge the eyes, smooth the legs, and lift the breasts—no body part is left untouched in this speedy time-lapse evolution.

The second GIF in the set is even more dramatic as it morphs between the model’s face before and after her makeup and airbrushing; it’s a slow dissolve from human to inhuman and back again as the loop restarts.

Though they can be frustrating to watch, I make a point to check out these viral posts that pop up every couple of weeks or so—I consider them tiny wins in the fight against rampant, unreal body expectations in the media. If we can help women—especially teens—to see that images like these that run in certain magazines and online are anything but natural, we may be able to curb the harsh judgment they place upon themselves (and sometimes invite from their peers). Until then, we’ll have to remember that behind every “perfected” image lies a very different “before.”

How does this video and these GIFs make you feel? Would you support a media-wide ban on Photoshop? Let us know!

—Maura Lynch

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