I now completely forget who first told me about the Photoshop diet. But with this trifecta of great posts about pictures and bodies collected over at Shapely Prose, it sprang to mind. Before I get to that, though, the trifecta is as follows (and each link is well worth a read):
1. Improving Aphrodite, a post with a great title and (even greater pictures) about reproductions of classic art that make its subjects, such as Botticelli’s Venus, thinner:
This is hilarious: it’s revisionist art history, as done by the Photoshop-happy editors of Vogue.
2. A fascinating discussion of how, for fat people, every picture (especially an unflattering one) comes across as a “before” picture waiting for an “after” to happen:
This polaroid was to be my “before” picture. The counselor took it with an impressive measure of enthusiasm, with an absolute wide-eyed assurance that someday soon I would look at this picture and shake my head and say “I cannot believe I ever looked like that!
And 3. A side-by-side comparison of ten celebrities who have gotten much thinner in recent years. (Jennifer Aniston would totally qualify for this, but she isn’t included.)
The point I want to make is that these women have ALWAYS been beautiful. They were considered beautiful enough to be stars with their curves, so what made them think they needed to lose them?
Speaking of pictures, back to the Photoshop diet. The idea behind the “diet” is that you take a photo of yourself and manipulate it into an “ideal” state of skinnyness via Photoshop, and are thusly motivated to lose a bunch of weight. If you can’t do it yourself, a website will apparently do it for you!
Within 48 hours of uploading your “before” photograph, [the site] will produce an “after” photograph for you based on your stated weight loss goal of from 5 to 50 pounds — perfect for sticking on the refrigerator door to motivate you not to eat those leftovers.
Fortunately, looking at the “before” photos of all of those celebrities, not to mention the “before” photo of Aphrodite, not to mention thinking about the bullshit concept of the “before” photo in the first place, provides the perfect antidote to the Photoshop diet. Oh, and if anyone wants to see my own personal “before” picture… here it is.
Posted by mo pie