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Edited by on June 6 2011 at 12:33 PM

“OMG how does she get her skin so clear?” “Those cheekbones could cut glass – mine are so fat.” “Whoa cleavage! Why doesn’t mine look that perfect?”

The burning questions you hear when walking past the magazines in a bookstore, drug store or bodega. The thoughts that come to mind when you page through the glossy, celebrity-filled pages of Cosmopolitan, Shape, GQ or Glamour. The answers come in the form of digital plastic surgery. In addition to the dietitians, trainers, stylists, hair and makeup teams and radical pressure to uphold the skewed and artificial American standard of beauty, behind every celebrity is a talented and seasoned retoucher. With the help of Photoshop, faces are contoured, cleavage is shadowed, fat is sucked away and muscles are defined with the strategic use of a few very powerful digital tools. Read more…

Exasperated by these repeated questions and the strange, modern-day beauty ideals in our country, five FashionIndie editors went under the Photoshop knife. That’s to say, we were pinned, tucked, pulled, chopped and airbrushed by the very talented photographer Christopher Hall to show you that, with the right team, anyone can be on the cover of an American magazine.

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

We decided to duplicate the poses of contestants on an America’s Next Top Model poster. As you scroll down, you will see the FashionIndie editors – Samantha Lim, Jessica Lapidos, McArthur Joseph, Lester Brathwaite and me, Amanda Gabriele – before and after the edits. The BEFORE images have the original backgrounds, the AFTER photos were pasted onto plain white. It can be difficult to see the changes without examining the large versions of the photos, so we encourage you to click on each one and check out the work we had done. Watch us transform before your eyes.

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

Now we are America’s next top models.

5 FashionIndie Editors Go Under the Knife... Of Photoshop

What is the moral of this story? No one is perfect, everything you see on magazine covers is fake and it’s easy to look “perfect” when you have Photoshop as a crutch. If you have any questions about these photos or post, tweet at me @CrystlMeatballs.

Fab photos and retouching by Christopher Hall Photography.

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Story by Amanda Gabriele

I stole my first pair of platforms from the Spice Bus in 1997 when Anglophilia was all the rage. Collector of vintage bags, vinyl and kitchen appliances. My dream of becoming a butcher is momentarily on hiatus so I can teach you how to wear muumuus and apply false eyelashes. Follow me on Twitter @CrystlMeatballs.

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