This is how beauty is defined around the world.

Perceptions of physical attractiveness are dramatically different around the world, according to a new study which saw one woman’s image Photoshopped to conform to a variety of national beauty “ideals”.

British online pharmacy Superdrug Online Doctors created the project, entitled Perceptions of Perfection, which featured 18 manipulated images of the same woman.

“How do perceptions of beauty vary across the globe?” reads a statement on the website. “From that simple question, the idea for this study was born. We asked female graphic designers from around the world to Photoshop a female form by making her, in their opinion, more attractive to other citizens of their country.

“Widely held perceptions of beauty and perfection can have a deep and lasting cultural impact on both women and men. The goal of this project is to better understand potentially unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world.”


Findings from the project show that China and Italy had the thinnest submissions, weighing in at an estimated 7.28 and 7.71 stones respectively.

Spain had the heaviest submission at 10.93 stones, while China had the lightest (7.28 stones), which translates to an estimated BMI of 17. As noted above, according to the NHS, this qualifies as anorexic.


The study operators said they contracted 18 freelance designers and gave them the following general instructions:

“Photoshop her form. The idea is to Photoshop and retouch this woman to make her more attractive to the citizens of your country.

“We are looking to explore how perceptions of beauty change across the world. Multiple designers are involved. You can modify clothing, but her form must be visible. No nudity. All other changes, including those to her shape and form, are up to you.”

The project creators said they focused on female designers, as they wanted a woman’s view of what her culture finds attractive and to understand more about the pressures they face.

However, in order to get entries from more countries, they accepted contributions from four men with the caveat that they first seek input from women and base their design changes on this feedback.

To see larger versions of the full range of images, visit