Photographer Examines Our Obsession with Beauty, Airbrushing

Anna Hill/Nebulaedecay.com
Anna Hill/Nebulaedecay.com
Elise Solé, Shine Staff

Who needs makeup when you can airbrush your photos?

That's the question photography major Anna Hill, 24, a senior at East Carolina University, is sending with her new photo series, Beauty is Only Pixel Deep, self-portraits that mock the beauty industry's overuse of airbrushing. "I taught myself Photoshop when I was 14 and ever since, my eye is trained to see exactly where models have been altered," Hill tells Yahoo Shine.

Hill, who created the work as part of a class project, uploaded the series to Reddit on Monday night and says the response has been overwhelming. "I think people like to be reminded that the beautiful models we're surrounded by daily, aren't actually as real as they seem - without extensive makeup and editing, many don't look that much better than the rest of us," says Hill.

"I was researching beauty advertisements from the 1950s and noticed how many placed emphasis on maintaining a perfect marriage," says Hill. "If you didn't look perfect and wear perfume and high heels, your husband would leave you. I wanted to re-imagine how Photoshop would be advertised in that era."

"Mascara ads always promise women lashes that are 50 percent longer, but because most companies don't actually use their product in their own advertising; they digitally enhance the models' eyelashes," says Hill. "I wanted to apply that idea to a limb-lengthening serum that promised 50 percent longer legs."

"In beauty advertisements, skin is unbelievably perfect with no pores," says Hill. "I purposely made my skin flawless to point out how unrealistic this look is."

"I digitally altered one side of my face and left the other side untouched, so the viewer can really understand the difference between ads and real life," says Hill. "Here, airbrushing can be used to replace one hundred makeup products or even plastic surgery."