Going Under The Digital Knife

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G before

This is Georgina, a fashion blogger. She is 18 and petite at 5”3 and a size 6; this is one of the frames from a recent shoot we did. At face value, I found it difficult to find digital alterations to perform on her as she has a very good facial symmetry and is naturally very pretty.

Georgina - after

To achieve Georgina’s transformation, I nipped in her waist, enlarged her chest, enlarged her top lip, banished the slight under eye circles, enlarged her eyes, darkened her skin for a deeper tan, contoured and defined her cheekbones, reduced her chin & nose, and applied digital makeup to her eyes and eyebrows. I also added a filter to, again, brighten and lighten the photo. If Georgina were to undertake the surgical equivalent, she would undergo: a blepharoplasty (removal of undereye circles/bags), a breast augmentation (breast implants), rhinoplasty (nose job), a cheek augmentation (cheek implants), lip fillers, liposuction (for a smaller waist), a mentoplasty (chin surgery), as well as non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as semi-permanent eye make-up. Georgina’s surgery totals a gargantuan £20, 635 for all eight procedures.

But, does digital surgery satisfy the psychological desires of an individual unhappy with their appearance, thus eradicating the need for the real thing? One the one hand, yes, as it is a visual means of satisfying one’s “ideal self” through a photographic medium as an alternative to one’s real appearance; yet, on the other hand, no, as digital surgery can not satisfy the underlying psychological desires of an individual as there is no tangible way of experiencing the aesthetic transformation. Frighteningly, digital surgery does not lie in the hands of the professional Photoshop wizards; Consumers are now able to manipulate phone selfies and the alike via smartphone app ‘Perfect 365’. As the name suggests, you are able to transform your “imperfect” selfies from the comfort of your smartphone (for free!). Perfect 365 allows users to slim their face, lift their cheeks, whiten their teeth, plump their lips, contour their nose, eradicate wrinkles & smooth their skin as well as adding a mass of digital make-up. Is digital surgery an alternative to going under the knife? The honest answer is that a person’s underlying opinion about their body image will remain the same, however many digital alterations they undergo.

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