Esther Honig is a 24-year-old radio journalist in Kansas City, Missouri. But a few months ago, while working with internationally based graphic designers for her job, she came up with an idea: See how people around the globe define female beauty.
She started by sending a self-portrait (above) to a designer in Sri Lanka. "Hi," she wrote, "my name is Esther Honig... make me look beautiful." The result was a hauntingly beautiful Photoshopped image of herself, with pink lips and tinge of green eyeshadow. She began sending her picture to Photoshoppers in more countries.
When artists were confused by the request, Honig would ask them to make her look like a woman in one of their country's fashion magazines. Blue and green eyes and lightened skin were the most common traits in the results, showing "how euro-centric beauty ideals are around the world." One designer in Morocco returned an image of Honig in a hijab. (A selection of her images are below; some countries submitted more than one image.)
Honig has gotten pictures from artists in 27 countries so far, and plans to keep going with the project as long as she can. "There's so much to be told through this experiment," she says. "It's me, but it's not me. It's everyone."
Photo credit: Esther Honig