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Beauty & Fashion

The Before and After Files #1

As a former model, I know firsthand that what you see in the magazine isn’t necessarily what was photographed. In fact, I was once hired to do a photo shoot for Victoria’s Secret and I saw firsthand the photographer’s assistant removing freckles, blemishes, and the super model’s nose and waist smaller for the picture. I couldn’t believe an already gorgeous woman was getting retouched so much for the Victoria’s Secret catalog!

But it takes an act of courage to show your true self. For that reason, I’m introducing a series called “The Before and After Files.” In these articles, I’ll expose to you what I looked like in the BEFORE photo and then after getting retouched. It’s revealing. And I admit that it’s also somewhat embarrassing. But it’s the real me. And I want to show it to you, so that you feel comfortable showing the real…the beautiful…you.

Take for instance the work that was done to this photo. Even if your hair isn’t behaving for the photo shoot, don’t worry! Your photographer can fix that (and even change your hair color!) with a few clicks of the mouse! Often, what you’re seeing in an ad (especially for hair products) is nothing like what the model’s hair actually looks like. Someday, I’ll have my photographer make me blond so that you can see how easy it is to trick a magazine reader into believing that what they’re seeing is the real deal!

Click here to see the full photo.

Image: Courtesy Nicole Weider


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by ClassyPlatypus on July 26, 2012 at 21:38

    I like what they did with your hair and sweater, but I thought your face was better before 🙂

  2. Posted by on November 2, 2011 at 17:09

    You actually looked prettier before!!! Thats insane what they do!!!

  3. Posted by on October 27, 2011 at 09:27

    It’s a cool effect how they gave your hair more volume. I still think it’s weird that they put so much effort into trying to make people look “perfect”. I think you look gorgeous in both pics 🙂 It’s interesting to see what they’re doing to influence us…and that’s one reason that tween and teenage girls are always trying to look like Barbie dolls…

  4. Posted by on October 11, 2011 at 19:45

    People look up to celebrity’s on magazines. We want to be just like them. Truthfully, we want to be photo shopped. We want to jump in to the computer and be changed. This world teaches us false things that can only hurt us. For once, I want to see a barbie doll that isn’t perfect.

  5. Posted by on September 28, 2011 at 16:48

    OMG! And they even gave your stomach a tuck while retouching the photo! I can’t believe the beauty industry cares about that extra 1/2 inch of skinniness… :/

  6. Posted by on September 22, 2011 at 18:12

    Thank you. Walking around school, it’s so nice to think that we all don’t need to live up to that standard. We are people. We don’t need any changes, and that the actual standard everyone uses when judging themselves isn’t real. SO… if we take out that standard, the one where we can judge ourselves in happiness and not imperfection comes out and into our view of ourselves. Amen

  7. Posted by on August 30, 2011 at 15:29

    I like how you’re exposing the deception of photoshop, but please don’t claim you’re showing us “the real [you]” when you are wearing so much makeup.

    • Posted by on October 27, 2011 at 09:28

      I think that’s why Nicole started the “Me Without Makeup Movement” 🙂

  8. Posted by on August 24, 2011 at 15:41

    Honestly, you look fake in the after shot, Nicole. But in the before shot, you look warm, and welcoming, and beautiful, and I’m sure that’s what you look like in person, too. Thank you so much for showing us that our unedited selves are the truly beautiful ones that GOD created.

  9. Posted by on August 7, 2011 at 13:24

    You are so beautiful, Nicole. You definitely don’t need Photoshop to look pretty! You definitely have natural beauty!

    • Posted by Nicole on August 7, 2011 at 15:58

      thank you so much Danielle that means a lot to me!

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by on May 25, 2012 at 18:24

        Nicole, you r perfectly beautiful w/out photoshop! I wish I looked as pretty as you do!

  10. Posted by on July 27, 2011 at 10:44

    You are beautiful without photoshop! I LOVE this series! Thanks SO much! 🙂

  11. Posted by on July 13, 2011 at 19:05

    Why do they need to change someone whos already beautiful?

  12. Posted by on June 19, 2011 at 08:47

    I like the left side because it looks much more natural!

  13. Posted by on June 15, 2011 at 17:44

    I so wish i could meet you in person to express my appreciation! You are Brave! and I’m so glad that you are showing young girls how to be themselves, this is my first day on the website and I LOVE IT! I’m already going through blogs, and i read a million of them already! Thanks for being the true definition of a Role Model Nicole! We love you 🙂

    • Posted by Nicole on June 16, 2011 at 00:22

      you are SO so welcome Jori!! I’m going to be showing how you can meet me in the near future! Keep coming back everyday for inspiration! You are awesome. 🙂

  14. Posted by on June 5, 2011 at 11:37

    wow!! people always got depressed because they wanted to look like people in magazines ! but it does take guts and i don’t even know why they did that to your face . it makes it look so perfect and know one can be that perfect ! your really pretty . and they shouldnt change anything that your not just to sell an ad because it rips people off too!!lol

  15. Posted by on June 2, 2011 at 20:22

    this explains so much!

  16. Posted by on May 31, 2011 at 06:04

    I think you look gorgeous before. You look fake in the after shot…. like a barbie doll or something

  17. Posted by on April 3, 2011 at 21:50

    You look perfectly beautiful without the editing!

  18. Posted by on March 18, 2011 at 11:35

    This series reminds me of this video I saw once: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knEIM16NuPg

  19. Posted by on March 13, 2011 at 14:03

    How do you do that? (with the photoshop)

  20. Posted by on March 11, 2011 at 11:57

    I love this series! So interesting/amazing to see what photoshop can do!

  21. Posted by on February 18, 2011 at 22:26

    You are beautiful with or without the photo shop. It is an interesting technology that we have though nowadays! Thanks for sharing. 🙂