Last year a group of online doctors based in the U.K. asked 18 graphic designers around the world to Photoshop a woman to meet the beauty standards their respective countries. The result was "Perceptions of Perfection," a collection of photos of the same woman whose hair, facial features and body shape were altered to represent the ideal female form.
Now, Superdrug Online Doctors has rolled out Part II: "What does the ideal man look like?" they write on their site. "The answer may depend on where you live." Following the same concept, they asked 11 female and eight male designers to manipulate a selfie of a New York photographer, and gave them these instructions:
Photoshop and retouch this man to make him more attractive to the people of your country.
Here's what happened:
(See the full size images here.)
As the movement for body positivity continues to make gains for women, the discussion around men is lagging. A market for plus-size male models is all but nonexistent, and the problem of body dysmorphic disorder among men is frequently overlooked.
The project website quotes Denise Hatton, chief executive of YMCA England, who started her own campaign for body confidence, "Men suffer equally with women around low body confidence as many strive to attain a standard of 'attractiveness' that is both often unobtainable and, as this report shows, driven by cultural perceptions and advertising ideals."
Part of the doctors' mission is to continue the conversation about body image by exposing the wide variety in what society considers beautiful, underlining the fact that beauty is a social construct.
The website reads, "Our goal with this project is to fuel a revolution: to spark real change about body image, to empower people to prioritize health above appearance, and to promote body confidence around the world."