Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Photoshop Forerunner

All images courtesy of Gil Elvgren

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Enhancing images has always been a part of the history of visuals. What Photoshop did was allow anyone with little skill to enhance pictures and make it seamless.

The pin-up girls of the 1950s didn't have Photoshop but they did have Gil Elvgren. We see the images of the girls shown next to the subsequent artistic renderings – and there's definitely noticeable augmentation:

Waistlines shrink and become flat, bustlines grow and become perkier. Sometimes cleavage appears when there was no cleavage. Hair gets longer and often changes color to blonde. Cheeks become flush, lips plumper and redder. Inner thighs hidden in shadows become visible.

Under today's hypersexualized standards, these pictures are more cute and vintage. The changes are subtle and stylized but the expectations of beauty remain constant over time. Now with phone apps and surgery, it's become even easier. We enhance ourselves.

There's an expectation to love ourselves however we are, there's also an expectation of the media to use average people every once in a while.


Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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