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You know photoshop?

So I teased you all with a post that would make you feel 10,000 times better about yourself when reading a magazine right? We all know that models are photoshopped in magazines and most advertisements are fake. If this is news to you, well surprise! You’d be pretty shocked at what they can do with a little ‘touching up’

Well a while back I decided to help out a friend, now this was back in late May. He is working on getting his portfolio together and wanted to take some pictures of me, and had seen some of the pictures taken by Kymberli of Webbed Foot Photography. I told him for sure I would help him out. It was different than the pictures I took with Kymberli because it was done in a studio. Now, believe me, I had NO idea what I was doing. Being a model is hard work! I did my make up and hair pretty regular if I was going ‘out’ and smiled and posed. At the end, we took some head shots. This is basically when he was in my face taking pictures that I thought were WAY too close. He told me he would photoshop them and work on them on illustrator to make them look better.

So, to show you how crazy stuff can be done, I give you the only picture I’ve ever shared on here with me without make up.


Now, this was me running one morning. I’m not wearing any make up. Something you may not know about me is that in high school I had horrible acne. I had gone on just about every drug out there and was not very confident in my looks because of my acne. I seriously wish I had a picture to show you guys, it was horrible. I finally went on and off accutane for 3 years. I had to get my blood work done every two weeks to make sure that I was okay but it did clear up most of my acne. My face also has a reddish tone to it without makeup, especially my nose.

I wear makeup mostly everywhere, and now I’ve learned not to pop zits. EVER. They leave the worst scars. So, onto the photo shoot, where I had makeup on and my hair was done. This was the proof of the photo without touching up.Don’t worry I was wearing a black tube top, but you just can’t see it. I made this photo bigger so you can really see the difference.


So yea, I look like myself, just all ‘done up’ if you will. You can see some of my little scars from my acne if you look closely, and there are some of my regular ‘bags’ under my eyes, my teeth look white and you can see how I always get sun poisoning on my lips with the little black dots if you are really looking closely. I know this isn’t going to be appearing in a magazine anytime soon, but I’m happy with the way I look, I look like myself, this is me. Well, the other week the photographer got back in contact with me and said that he had finished photoshopping the picture and this one was his favorite.


WHAT THE HECK!?! Okay, obviously I look pretty freaking good right here, but THAT ISN’T ME! That is a rendition of me. First of all the tone of my face is completely different. My cheeks, yup, different. Then we have my lips. I am pretty sure he somehow applied lip gloss to my lips for me via photo shop, which is pretty sweet but it’s also very strange. Those little brown dots on my lips are gone. My face is COMPLETELY smooth, which is not how it is in real life, at all. Then, my hair is way sharpened to make it look way better and much softer. He was nice and softened the bags under my eyes and also made my eyebrows a little darker and more defined. He brightened up the green parts of my eyes, whitened the whites of my eyes and whitened my teeth. He made the skin on my neck and chest all one color and smoothed out the collarbones. He also deleted two of the freckles on my left shoulder area. He changed my skin tone so that it was consistent throughout the picture, and my freckles on my nose, missing.

Now, I’m not mad about what he did at all, he made me look like the ‘perfect Danica’ if there was such a thing, according to magazines and the ‘standards’ in a very materialistic world. My skin is simply flawless, and this is the picture that would show up in a magazine (figuratively speaking), not the untouched one. I don’t show it to you so that you will comment how pretty I look or anything like that, but for me, when I saw this picture, I was blown away by what they could do on photo shop. I thought it was a good example that many of the role models that girls look up to, fashion and movie star wise and in advertisements are TOTALLY airbrushed. A LOT. I mean, look at me! I do NOT look like that, but some how, with some magic, wha-la! I figured if they can do that to me, imagine what they can do to the rest of the world, and what airbrushing does! It seriously blew my mind.

Guess what, I’d take the untouched top photo any day. That’s ME. It’s nice to look like the middle photo, and even the bottom photo, but in all honesty, that’s not me at all! I know that this post is kind of weird, and random and I don’t want you guys to think that I have really low self confidence or something, but I just wanted to show you how fake advertisements are and what people can do to change the look of a person. If you haven’t seen the Dove Campaign video on Youtube, I advise you to check it out.

I’m just a normal person, and they could make me look like that, imagine what they can do to models. It’s crazy because guess what, we are all different and we are all pretty in our own right! It’s not about comparing yourself to models, because that’s so unrealistic and this just reminded me that looking through magazines, 99% of everything is rendered. Remember that next time you see some ridiculously thin girl, someone with extra long lashes, or someone strutting around in a bathing suit in an advertisement.

We are all different and unique and that in itself makes us all beautiful. That was really cheesy but I really believe that. I hope that you guys realize how much they can change things and it does make you feel better about yourself. Stop comparing yourself against unrealistic opinions! :)


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  • Reply Annabel @

    WHOA!!! that’s insane! and you are gorgeous in all 3 pix, by the way!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:36 am
  • Reply Newlyweds Next Door

    You look hot honey! But you do without all the photoshop. :-) That’s a crazy transition. Thanks for sharing.

    I love that Dove campaigne.
    Did you ever see the Faith Hill before and after?

    September 1, 2009 at 8:38 am
  • Reply caitlin

    you are beautiful without any makeup!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:39 am
  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair

    That’s crazy!! It’s so interesting to see the differece, I want someone to photoshop a picture of me! Haha!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:40 am
  • Reply Jess

    Wow he took all the color out of your skin! Yes I mean the touch up of course looks wonderful, but I agree with you, that the real you is better any idea! It’s amazing what photoshop can do!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:40 am
  • Reply Shannon

    I’m with you girl…flawless isn’t reality! You’re beautiful w or w/o makeup…but you just don’t quite look like yourself with all of the touchups in the 3rd shot…still gorgeous…just not quite yourself. This was a great post…more of our younger girls need to read this. What I like about you most is that you are always real…honest…so many people today try to be something/someone else! Thanks for your great posts! Always enjoy the read!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:48 am
  • Reply Jamie

    That’s crazy… but you are right, those girls are no where NEAR As perfect as they look and I even find myself comparing myself to them. Not good. We are all beautiful in our own ways!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:51 am
  • Reply alex

    awesome post, danica. awesome outlook too.

    September 1, 2009 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Kelly

    That is so crazy! No wonder we all have issues. Well said.

    September 1, 2009 at 8:58 am
  • Reply Morgan

    Gotta love the marvel that is Photoshop. I’m the photoshop queen and when we go out and take pics I’m not even allowed to post pics until I’ve photoshopped out the blemishes for my friends. Yup that bad. Great post and I agree with you… au naturale is so much better! :)

    September 1, 2009 at 8:58 am
  • Reply markemmanuel

    My buddy Kathie pointed out the Dove video. I’m so happy they started their beauty campaign.

    I’ve been struggling to write a post about this topic. Since I’m a guy, I didn’t want to come off as sexist or a pig.

    My fav of the ‘glam’ photos is the untouched one. Prefer real and organic over something artificial. He even removed your moles?!

    Photo one is why I got into running. Hot girls of all shapes and sizes running in cute gear, little to no makeup, booty shorts and their race shirts from packet pickup. Yum!


    September 1, 2009 at 9:00 am
  • Reply Ian

    Good article and hopefully lots of people will take heed.
    Natural is much better anyway; as you so perfectly demonstrate – you look lovely without makeup.
    Keep up the running!

    September 1, 2009 at 9:01 am
  • Reply lindsay

    great post d :) you are naturally beautiful – that last pic just looks fake compared to the real you! (no offense, of course).

    September 1, 2009 at 9:05 am
  • Reply Tara

    love this post! it’s so true that everyone is beautiful in their own unique and special way :) I get down on myself sometimes and wish I could change this or that, but then I think about it and I would actually not change a thing about me. <3

    September 1, 2009 at 9:11 am
  • Reply Audrey

    Ooh… very interesting! I prefer the untouched photo myself :) P.S. I went on Accutane three years ago – changed my life! OK, not really, but it made a huge difference :D

    September 1, 2009 at 9:24 am
  • Reply skinnyrunner

    what a great post and interesting too to hear and see it from a “real” person’s perspective and not a celebrity’s.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:25 am
  • Reply Mrs. Realife

    In-freakin-credible —

    I did a “Self-esteem” workshop with a group of teenage girls and showed them before and after pix of models — It really is crazy what they do for advertising at the expense of girls self esteem!!

    September 1, 2009 at 9:27 am
  • Reply Kristin Miller

    So one day my friend (a graphic designer) was telling me about her coworker’s work on a fake people magazine for his daughter and I in passing said, “I want a people magazine cover of me!” well, for my birthday, she DID IT…except it was a HORRIBLE photo of me, which she pasted on Angelina Jolie’s body, with all sorts of make up. She was jessica simpson. It was HILARIOUS and CRAZY how good I looked with huge boobs and PERFECT hair and make up! I like the first one best, just so you know ;-)

    September 1, 2009 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Christy

    Wow is all I gotta say, but I actually like the “untouched” photo the best. You are gorgeous!

    I had horrible acne, too! I would stay home from school sometimes because I was so embarrassed. When I was 20, I decided to finally go on Accutane, and it finally cleared up! That medicine is crazy, though, with all the possible side effects and blood work! It makes me feel better to hear other people who had to go through the same thing.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Jessica

    Great post. I saw this page a while back: which points out the same thing. All pictures in magazines, posters, etc are photoshopped. Celebrities and models look very different in real life! In print is definitely a standard we can’t live up to – even the people in the pictures themselves.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:53 am
  • Reply B.o.B.

    Whoa. What a difference photo retouching makes! You are obviously more pretty in the untouched one.

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to remember this post when I read another starlet saying “I don’t exercise at all and rarely even wash my face!” Jerks.


    September 1, 2009 at 10:02 am
  • Reply Jenny from Lucky in Love

    Thanks for sharing this! You look so different than you in that photoshopped picture (but still beautious as always!). It definitely drove the point home about how models are portrayed.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:13 am
  • Reply Lisa

    Hey, thanks for sharing your photos. It’s incredible, and sort of scary, what technology can do these days.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:14 am
  • Reply Marlene

    Great post, Danica. Thanks for sharing!

    And by the way, you are BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL au naturel. :)

    September 1, 2009 at 10:22 am
  • Reply ShutupandRun

    Wow you are one hot chick. I wish I could see myself transformed that way. Totally cool.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:32 am
  • Reply Lisbet

    I totally would take the first, untouched picture if I were you! It’s true that those air-brushed pics make you look like someone you’re not! We all look at celebs in magazines and probably have no idea what they truly look like!

    September 1, 2009 at 11:12 am
  • Reply Shannon

    That is insane! It looks like he sharpened your teeth too! Crazy! I have photoshop at home, but have yet to figure out how to use it… this makes me want to figure it out…. LOL

    September 1, 2009 at 11:12 am
  • Reply x-country2

    I hope you have a million daughters one day and teach them to grow up conifident and comfortable in their own skin. Your mom did a fantastic job with you. :o)

    September 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    Rock on! I actually like your skin tone better in the non-edited version, it looks more real. Perhaps, I guess, because it is!

    September 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Zoë

    Isn’t it crazy what technology can do these days? I think the first photo of you is the most real because you are genuinely smiling and happy! Of course the other photos look amazing, but they don’t have that same sparkle in your eye. :)
    Excellent post.

    September 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm
  • Reply Kirbey

    What a good message we all need to hear:) That’s crazy what photo shop can do to a picture. But you’re just as pretty in the before photo shop- even prettier!

    September 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply Kristen

    I totally hear you on the acne thing! I had the same thing happen to me in high school (and now) and I couldn’t go out of the house without make up on until about a year ago.
    Now that I work out regularly and drink a ridiculous amount of water, I find that the acne is a bit better and I feel ok about not having make up on. But it was a HUGE step for me.
    Very nice photos!

    September 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Legallyblondemel

    You look great in all of these, but I much prefer the freckles & the personality in your real photos!

    September 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Lyndsey

    That’s crazy! I love photoshop but it’s so nice to be reminded that celebs are usually photoshopped :)

    September 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm
  • Reply Lyndsey

    Ps-I MUCH prefer the pic of you NOT photshopped!! So gorgeous!

    September 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm
  • Reply KatieA.

    Awww, good post! You are indeed a beautiful person on the inside and out! I love all three pics, but you’re right, the third one is just to perfect. Have a great Tuesday! :)

    September 1, 2009 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Denise

    I totally agree…the untouched photo looks so much better. You look awesome in it…and like a real person!

    September 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply Wendy

    Cool post!

    September 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    Great post Danica! :) && for the record, You are super pretty with out any makeup!

    September 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm
  • Reply Alisa

    So true!

    I think my favorite Danica is the top one. While you may hate it, look at the pure joy in your face.

    You’re such a positive person and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you in person to know that you’re positive in real life and super cute—even after 26.2 miles =).

    Air brushing has it’s place but give me real unaltered joy in someone’s face anyday!

    September 1, 2009 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply J

    Wow you look goregous in both of those pictures but I agree you look so much more natural in the one that isn’t touched up. I think makeup is needed because it allows us to even out our skin and give an all over even look. I have seen that Dove campaign commercial and it is incredible!

    September 1, 2009 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Es

    Great post!

    September 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply RunToTheFinish

    i actually really like the natural photo, your freckles are adorable and it doesn’t seem right to take them away

    September 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm
  • Reply BrianFlash

    My wife and I fairly recently got studio portraits done and one option offered was for retouching the pictures. No way! We wanted pictures that looked like us :)

    September 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm
  • Reply rioruns

    I gave a talk as a volunteer to some adolescent girls at a camp this summer. Amongst other topics, we also talked about body image. It was evident that sometimes these teens compared themselves to the photoshopped images of celebrities (who also likely have plastic surgery) in the media as though the celebrities are the norm!

    September 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm
  • Reply The Laminator

    I agree! I like the top picture the best. It shows you in your element – running!

    Thanks for highlighting this for the rest of the world. Maybe I’ll pass this along to some of my teenage patients who are way too much into fashion magazines.

    September 1, 2009 at 7:38 pm
  • Reply Marathon Maritza

    Now, you know I think you are gorgeous….but as someone who knows you in real life…that photoshopped pic DOES NOT look like you!

    It’s almost scary a little bit…like mannequin Danica. I like the Danica in pics 1 and 2 WAY better.

    September 1, 2009 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply carpeviam

    Great post. You’re beautiful no matter what.

    September 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm
  • Reply Kerrie

    I liked the before picture better! It’s funny I should read this today because I was just thinking about my skin. I, too, had bad acne in high school and it mostly went away in college. But, now that I’m running a lot again, it’s back. What the hell?

    September 1, 2009 at 9:19 pm
  • Reply kymberli q.

    Imagine my surprise when I saw my name mentioned. :) The un-photoshopped version of you is soooo much more beautiful. That is the Danica I “know”. And this is exactly the reason why we tell people to wear what is “them” and to choose a place that is “them” or bring things that say “them” to the shoot. A picture should show exactly who you are in a moment of your life. I could never be a studio photographer…I like to show people living their life their way…and I would never have the patience to do all that Photoshop! Oh, and that Dove campaign ROCKS!!!!

    September 2, 2009 at 2:21 am
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