Magazine Surgery: Series Pokes Fun at Excessive Photo Retouching

black man with magazine cutouts on faceOur obsession with perfection has always been a topic and preoccupation that has mattered to us ever since we aspired for beauty. The moment we transcended functionality and became more aesthetically critical, we have always endeavored to alter or improve how we look. So it really is not anything new for us to aspire for a “perfect” or idealized version of ourselves. Whether this benign obsession has gone overboard is of course another matter altogether. In fact, arguably we are too empowered with options to modify how we look, and a willing accomplice is a medical cosmetic community laughing all the way to the bank.

woman with magazine cutouts stuck to her face magazine surgery

woman with bangs with magazine cutouts stuck to face

Nip tuck clinics all over the world are making more money than ever, giving in to the whims of their customers (dare I not use the word patient, as none of these people are afflicted). Beauty salons have evolved into facial tweak centers, manipulating the face any which way medically possible. For the much less invasive route, there is the magical Adobe Photoshop, a model’s best friend and silent partner to every photographer.

It comes as no surprise that someone would poke fun at all of the above. This pictorial series literally cuts and pastes magazine images on the faces of the models. The Magazine Surgery photo series satirizes the whole fixation to alter imperfection, no matter how insignificant. Creators Bruno Metra and Laurence Jeanson originally intended to lament the headache of finding makeup artists and retouchers for their photo shoots. Instead, the series casts a wider net, poking fun at a ridiculous standard of beauty we are all guilty of patronizing at some point.

woman with messy hair magazine surgery mature woman magazine surgery cutouts

The picture series speaks volumes of the extent we will go to modify any perceived imperfections, whether they are genetic or caused by Father Time. It is the new normal to challenge the authenticity of a beautiful face, or a well sculpted body these days. And don’t make the mistake of just accusing the girls. Men are said to be as addicted to these procedures. They are just more discreet. So have fun looking at these comically retouched models, a hilarious but powerful statement well made by both Metra and Jeanson.

 female with cutouts stuck on face woman with magazine cutout mask dark man with magazine cutout mask blonde woman with magazine cutout mask short haired woman with cutout half mask

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.