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Published on October 27th, 2006 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Extreme (Photoshop) Makeover




While we’re addressing our culture’s distortion of beauty we thought it would be helpful to share this video which also demonstrates the power and scope of photo editing. It is important that we keep reminding ourselves of the many ways our culture tries to lie to us. For some excellent commentary read Carolyn Mahaney’s article, Distorted Beauty.

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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Wow. It’s definitely fascinating. There is so much the Lord would have us learn about rejoicing in the way He made us. He has me under the microscope regarding this matter right now!

    Amazing how we can have such wrong perceptions of beauty. For example, the little boy at the end of the clip simply could not be improved upon. He was a gorgeous example of a fresh-faced small child. By the end of the re-touching, he looked like an alien! Perhaps that was the idea?

  • Amazing! Both this video and Dove’s “Distortion of Beauty” commercial are stunning, not only for showing what can be accomplished through technology, but also what it says about our culture. When the cosmetic company admits that something is wrong with our perception of beauty, then we know things have gotten out of hand. The beautification industry feeds upon modern culture and culture fuels the industry. Both guys and girls are lured into the deception that beauty exists mainly, if not solely, in the physical or external. Scripture declares just the opposite: the internal and spiritual aspects of our being are truly beautiful, such as holiness (Ps. 29:2), wisdom (Prov. 20:29), and the righteous comeliness that God graciously bestows upon us in Christ (Ezekiel 16:14).

  • Greetings, rebels (with a cause)! Here’s a question for you gents. What is the place of learning about theology in a rebelution such as you describe? Theology is usually seen by most teens I know as dry and boring. Do you not think that that is culture speaking? Theology is exciting and revolutionary. It is at the head of every major revival in the history of the church, from the Reformation to the Great Awakening to what will happen to today’s youth, if the Lord wills.

    I think you guys are doing a great work for the Lord, and I hope you will keep it up. I plan on linking to your site from mine. Read about your blog in World magazine, by the way. I am a PCA pastor in North Dakota (the only PCA pastor in ND). I think that’s revolutionary for you guys.

  • Anne Shirley

    Wow Both of those movies were hard to watch, because we as women want to beautiful. Yet it sent something off in me, that, Im not always gonna look like im a young woman, Im gonna get older, have wrinkles. My worth and true beasty cannot come form my outward appearance ,because as Proverbs 31, and Carolyn Mahaney said, its not lsating, its gonna flee and that cant be what we are all about. Our hope, our secruity and our beauty has to be something deep inside us, something that no age can touch, because its not us, its God its the Holy Spirit, it has to be Him in us that is beautiful.

  • Fascinating. It`s really sad, isn`t it? People strive for something that it is totally impossible to reach. What a pitiful world we live in. Thankyou for standing up for it!
    Sheila

  • Wow!! I didn’t know that Photoshop was that powerful!! Yes definately sad….terrible for the human mind. Thanks for posting that.

  • Caridwen

    That was spooky, turning warm human faces into weird masks… appropriate for Hallowe’en I s’pose.

  • Lydia T.

    I couldn’t help but wish I had such sweet Photoshop skills. But the aim of photography should be to capture who the person really is, somehow show their inner beauty and not what the world says they should look like.

  • Charlie Albright

    Makes me think, “is any one on a magazine or billboard real?

  • How horrible-that we print such lies! No wonder so many of us feel depressed at times about how we look-the models that we are given to emulate aren’t real! They’re basically CGI images.

  • Daniel F.

    All people are precious in the sight of our God! Remember that in the Scriptures He has proclaimed beauty to be “…skin deep…” only! A woman or man of virtue is by far more attractive to Him than the people who hide behind masks of vanity! Therefore, those of us who followers of Christ should not be depressed or unhappy! Let us only be in the world, not of it!

  • Elisabeth Gruber

    WOW… certainly is an eye-opener… it really is pointless to obsess over making ourselves look like the models on tv and in magazines… it’s unobtainable because we cant have something that is non-existent.

  • Despite the fact that it’s all fake, I feel like people expect me to look like that all the time. Hair has to be styled with absolutely no frizz and just the right amount of volume-not too big and not too flat, skin must be perfect (preferably tan), and bodies should have as little fat as possible and still be curvy in the right places…Obviously our adornment isn’t supposed to be merely external, and we are supposed to seek to please God and not men, but it gets hard to remember that when you’re surrounded by people all the time who are telling you differently. (Not blatantly, of course, but in a thousand different little ways.) It’s like people get this concept of the perfect woman in their heads and they’re disappointed when girls aren’t really like that. I even get it at home sometimes…knowing it’s all fake almost makes it worse, because then that “ideal beauty” is even more unattainable.

  • Mirriam Neal

    Wow! and they all looked fine before! God made them who they were, and he DIDN’T intend for them to look like photoshop makeovers!

  • Annie

    Ai!!! This is almost terrifying. Why would these be deemed the appropriate pictures? Because they project an image of perfection. The other end of the discussion is that they also send a message that-untouched- we are less than we should be.

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  • Sarah Wills

    It’s so unfair – today’s society is expecting the unreal from us. Why have we glorified computer images as our ideal for beauty? To all my fellow rebelutionaries: this sounds like something hard we should do. How can we change society’s ideal for beauty?

  • Monica T.

    This video ust goes to show that all the worldwants us to be is fake! Real beauty is just the way God made us. Nothing more, nothing less. Why strive to be like something that isn’t real anyway?

  • Amazing!!! haha, this guy is really great in photo reatouching, I am photographer myself and do photo retouching too, I am a Chirstian also, a Bapstist Christian and understand how powerful is that tool called photoshop!!! and it is true indeed, I am not that perfect as I look in my self-portraits and people in my portfolio are not that good looking neither, the work of a pro photographer is to make people look beautiful and seriously, I could make my grandma look like a supermodel lol…XD People laugh when I say that, but then they see my pictures and understand what I am talking about… who doesnt want a good picture of her/his-self?? but I agree that fashion, magazines, etc have taken photo retouching to an extreme.

    Just for the ones who might want to see my pictures, here are my two online galleries:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/proverbs31
    http://www.proverbios31.deviantart.com

    Blessings!!!

    Angie

  • Elle Y.

    It’s amazing that people do this and pass a photoshoped picture off as untouched. The results are so dramatically differant, yet who would want to touch up some of those people, especially that child at the end? God made us beautiful in our own way. Why do we need to mess that up?

  • Rachel O.

    That video truly denounces our culture’s view of perfect womanly beauty. Some ad companies are lying to all of us!

  • Renny Pitner

    It is truely amazing how much we can do now with photography. Honestly, I have trouble with trying to make all my photos look great with inside editing. I am a perfectionist and can’t help it… well I can, with God behind my back. Luckily I don’t have that kind of software. I am partly appalled at how they changed everybody intirely. I don’t like to change my photos entirely but to make them better so that everyone can see a clear picture and understand it more. I would rather use the original picture than trying to edit it and make it a lie. You should go on my face book and see all the pictures I have took. Those pictures either left alone or just croped and stablized, nothing more.

  • jacob

    wow that is amazing i am shocked they really
    change the way they look

  • Morgan

    That is super-erie. The whole time I was kind of thinking how could we allow people to do that, stomp all over what God gave these people and turn it into what we think is beautiful, and pracitcally defy Him. Okay, defy Him. Our culture’s morals are going down the tubes. I really don’t get it. I mean, when you wake up in the moring and you have a zit, yeah it’s not too great, we’d like to change that, but it’ll go away. And it’s not like it doesn’t happen to everyone. But, changing what God gave you that much. Even wanting to change the beautiful person God made you to be, is really erie. Because God think’s were beautiful the way we are, so why should we care what anyone else thinks? But we do. Because our culture expects us to. Thanks for posting this, it really opened up my eyes.

  • Alli P.

    It’s insane how ‘amazing’ photo editing can make people look. I’ve always known people magazines were edited, but I didn’t realize how distorted they really were!! It’s a good lesson for us to learn: don’t try to look like them, they don’t even look like them. Besides, why would you want to look like them, anyways? Even on my worst day, I’d rather look the way God made me, and not the way PhotoShop made me!

  • Megan H.

    This is soooooooooooooooooooooo insane they are making girls strive for somthingthey can’t have THEY ARE LYING TO US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

  • Ruth

    THIS is why you shouldn’t want to look like the models in the magazines you see. They have been photoshopped almost 5 times!!! They look just like you, and if you wanted to look like them, you can, just with photoshop, which is what they used. Personally this just disgusts me, it’s because of this that so many girls are not confident in the way they look, when really the models look just like them. We were made in the image of God, when you call yourself ugly, you’re calling God ugly, and I don’t think anyone wants to do that.:)

  • Kay Morris

    These movies are so accurate. I was honestly stunned that they go through all that, I knew it couldn’t entirely be real, but, WOW!!! That was amazing. My favorite verse regarding true beauty has always been
    “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
    1 Peter 3:3-4

    I went to public school for a little while, and it really hurt for a long time. During my pre-teen, early teen years I was a little ackward, and I wore glasses. I was always being teased, and laughed at. Even people at church would compliment my sisters, but not me. I was the ugly duckling of the family. Now, at sixteen, I am almost what is considered pretty. People tell me all the time now, oh your so beautiful. Of course, now I also have the aid of make-up if I feel like it. But, still, why should it be that way? Why did people wait until I grew physically beautiful before they complimented me? I did have compliments on how responsible, and caring, and thoughtful I was. Although, now that I think of it one lady had a vision about me and my siblings, about our spiritual callings in life. She did say that I was beautiful, and that Christ radiated from me. That is one of the best compliments I’ve ever had.
    People, please start telling the girls you know they are pretty. If their faces aren’t, their souls are. Tell them, it’s important.

  • I saw this very video on you tube last night, and watching it makes me realize, that people today, have an impossible picture of beautiful in their mind!
    It takes programs to make people into beautiful (in their minds) beings!
    I think that the definition of beauty these days is pretty twisted!
    God designed each of us naturally beautiful.
    Makeup and being skinny cannot change what God has already made perfect!
    People think that to be beautiful you have to be skinny, and tall or perfect skin or figure, just like the models on TV on in magazines.
    But if God has naturally made us beautiful, then nothing we can do can add to the beauty God see’s in each of us!
    And it’s not the outside that matters anyways.
    If someone saw the most beautiful woman in the world, yet she hated God, and was the nastiest person ever, they would ignore her awful attitude, and only focus on her beauty, because today, that’s all that counts.
    “Who cares if you are the most caring person ever, if you are not beautiful, you are NOTHING!”
    It’s so sad that that’s what teens girls are having to compare themselves to these days.
    They have to see so called “Beautiful” women everywhere and wish they looked like them.
    So many girls are risking their health just to look like these women.
    If only every one realized that God made us all perfect, and beautiful, anything and everything we do to try to change that, will never add to the beauty that God has naturally given us.

    PRAISE GOD FOR MAKING YOU BEAUTIFUL!

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • I am so amazed at how many ways they can change the way you look! I knew that Hollywood was decieving, but I didn’t know it was to that extent. Whoever came up with this video doesn’t realize how effective that video can be. Girls, no one looks perfect! Except for God of course, lol. Anyway, I know things with looks and the pressure is hard, but keep on!

  • This video is amazing! The media and Hollywood is so decieving. No one looks perfect except God, lol. Keep on!

  • Kara Beth

    That is just wrong!!!! they all looked perfectly fine before!!!

  • Caitlin

    okay, they went way too far with editing on that. i’m a teenage photographer from alabama, and i edit some, but the point is for the person to still look like themselves. it’s terrible how much people edit photos now.

  • Josh T.

    You almost have to ask yourself the question, “Do I want to see the person the way God wanted me to see them, or the way another human wanted me to see them?” I mean, I can understand a little retouching like if someone’s having a bad hair day so you fix their hair, but this video is taking that too far.

  • Rachel

    Great… show us how NOT to try to look like people in magazines cause thier partly fake:)

  • lorraine

    hmmmmm…kinda harsh guys

  • Laurie

    Ugh! why do they do that to people!
    Laurie

  • Lani

    This it’s so sad that people will change how God made them look just because society doesn’t agree with what they look like. people also like to spend hundreds of dollars to “fix” their appearance.Speaking of that, Brett, Alex what do you guys say about God and physical body change, like plastic surgery and that stuff?

  • Grace le Roux

    i agree with that.. one of my favorite sayings (i think it’s in the bible somewhere.. not sure) is ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and i love that. now days though, what is beautiful? i think plain people are beautiful..
    i don’t like how first they get the girl in make up and then fix them up even more on the computer. i know this is a lot of my opinons.. i just have one more lol.. i don’t agree with people wearing make up. ok its all right on special occasions but if you have a boyfriend it might be good for him to see you with your ‘real face’ on.. lol

    God Bless

  • Kirsten Kroeker

    Check out “Dove Evolution” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz5IRdFIpvA for an even better example of how beauty is distorted in our society… an older clip, but really powerful

  • Kiana

    1 Peter 3:3-4 my favorite bible verse look at when I feel ‘ugly’. all of those women were very beautiful without all the re-touching and stuff. sometimes I see a beautiful young women covered in a mask of make up and my heart just longs to tell them they are beautiful just the way they are. look up on youtube one of my favorite songs: just the way you are by Chris Commisso

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  • The worst thing is is that has become the standard for girls today, there supposed to try and look perfect, look like the people in those pictures when really those people can’t even achieve that beauty them selves.

  • Kelsi

    Wow! I needed that.

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  • ReginaMCarver

    Great post!

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