Plus-size model asks photoshop experts around the world to make her beautiful

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Thursday, December 18, 2014
One plus-size model asked 21 Photoshop experts around the world to make her "beautiful" with varying results. The example on the right is from Bulgaria.
creativeContent-Marie Southard Ospina

One plus-size model proved that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Marie Southard Ospina is a Columbian-American plus-size model who recently asked 21 Photoshop experts around the world to make her beautiful.

"I was so fascinated by these women's work that I became increasingly curious as to how editors would treat a photo of me if asked to edit it," Ospina said in a post on "What with my chubby cheeks, double chin, thick shoulders and chest and rounder, fuller face. What would they do with these traits? Would they all slim me down in the aid of "making me look beautiful"? Would they fiddle with my messy hair? How would they see me, as a plus-size woman, and how would they 'fix' me?"

The results are pretty staggering, as different Photoshop experts transformed Ospina's headshot into what they felt was "beautiful." In some images, Ospina's skin is lighter, in others her hair is extended. Each expert added a unique, sometimes strange spin to make Ospina appear "beautiful," and the model says she is happy with the results.

"I wrote in the article that I felt "extremely positive" about its results, and I still do," Ospina told ABC. "Not because I think they provided some kind of major insight into changes in our perceptions of beauty on a global scale. Nor do I think all of a sudden we fat shame any less than we did last week. But I do think the experiment showed just how varied our notions of beauty are from person to person."

Marie Southard Ospina

"Beauty is honestly undefinable. We all have our interpretations and notions of it," Ospina says.

"Like most people, I'm guilty of forgetting that, because the main standard of beauty we're often told to aspire to is quite a linear one - grounded in being slender. But beauty is honestly undefinable. We all have our interpretations and notions of it, and that's just as it should be."

Ospina's article quickly went viral, attracting the eyes of numerous media outlets and receiving a strong positive reaction from her online audience.

"I'm thrilled that people are responding so positively to my article. I think it's indicative of two things: both a desire to see a variety of imagery in our media, and a desire to see more size inclusivity, body positivity and size acceptance in the day to day," Ospina told ABC. "There will always be trolls and fat shamers who target an article like this - who target the chubby kid in school or take a photo of the fat person on the beach because they think it's comical to do so. But when it comes down to it, I think we're all a little starved for representations of size diversity."

"I've seen things change drastically from the time I was a child, but I also see a lot of work that still has to be done. It's nice to hear from readers and press that they found something positive and good and encouraging in my article, though. That's always the goal. I hope people read it and remember that striving to be one kind of beautiful isn't just futile, it's also potentially destructive."

Check out the gallery above to see how Ospina was made "beautiful."