So I ran across this on Pinterest today, and I think it’s a perfect example of something that I talk with people about all the time. I constantly hear about people comparing themselves to models in magazines, wanting terribly to look like they do. Being a portrait photographer, I know quite well all that it takes to go from real life people to “the magazine look”.
All throughout the history of humans, we have exaggerated the human form. One example that goes as far back to 24,000 BCE with the Venus of Willendorf. Humans are too bored with the way we look in real life, and have always sought to aggrandize the human form to something that’s beyond perfection. Cavemen did it, the Greeks did it, we do it.
Yes, all the models still look beautiful in the before pictures; but they look like regular people. If you have entire teams whose purpose and passion in life is to make people look good, they’re going to make them look super human. There are NUMEROUS things that contribute to this that just aren’t available to people in everyday life. There’s complex makeup techniques, contouring, tricks for hair, lighting, strategies for shooting, and editing to name a few.
The reason photographs look like this is because they’re striving to communicate something with an audience, whether to sell a product, idea or artistic concept. Chances are, “imperfections” aren’t going to sell it. Super human looking people do though, even if just for the fact that other people like to look at them. Throughout our existence we like to look at things that portray absolute unachievable perfection. I’m not sure why, but the fact that we do is undeniable.
Please ladies and gents, do not compare yourselves to the way models and celebrities are portrayed. If any one of us had a private trainer, makeup and hair artists, photographers and managers, we would be the same. It’s our innate instincts to exaggerate, and that’s just how life is. We shouldn’t hate on Photoshop, magazines, or advertisement agencies. Although I do believe there are policies (such as overbearing and unachievable weight restrictions, cruelty in the industry, ect.) that need to be changed, not everyone is bad. It is our artistic instincts to portray grandiose people, and I’m sure it always will be.
Don’t think for one second that you should compare yourself to the generated images of super humans that we’re bombarded with everyday. You are unique. You are beautiful.
(The picture came out terribly small. To see the full size go here: http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=31804 )
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Food for thought guys! My stand on this as a portrait photographer? It’s all about finding the balance point - strive for perfection but attain enough realism so real people like ourselves can relate on a more practical level.