Retouch Portraits: A Brief History

Women, in particular, are targets to putting more work into retouching their features. It has caused numerous controversies over the last decade and it hasn’t stopped since as there are groups of people who are fighting for acceptance and displaying the natural beauty of women in the media. Portrait retouching isn’t a new thing, in fact, it started all the way to the early 1500s during High Renaissance art period where artists all valued accuracy with the human body and anatomy. Back then, artists were so focused on painting the real curves and flaws of a human being, but there are still exaggerated features that were added before they were debunked by historians that the renaissance portraits does feature accurate human shapes and features, however, they also couldn’t resist to add some perfection here and there.

Stephen Frailey of Co.Design stated that the majority of photos are fiction that helps to create ideas that play part in our creative minds. The figures that were presented within the high renaissance art period were classical, and of course, they had a specific way of how they wanted them to be represented. Which brings us to the early 90’s, where the entertainment industry began booming, thousands of vintage looking posters are plastered with women wearing sophisticated clothes and makeup. Ridiculous looking contraptions were built to help women be kept in an ideal shape which involves the use of incredibly tight corsets and weird shaping bras. Even then, there is no real satisfaction to a photo until you get to remove the parts that have the model look like a regular person.

Now, hundreds and thousands of photo editing software and retouch portrait photos online are blooming around waiting to help people look perfect. At this point, technology will probably advance so far to the point where retouch portraits is a daily ritual for everyone in the future.