Erin Hopkins has always felt confident in her appearance. The 27-year-old elementary school teacher from Boulder Creek, CA has never had the need for much makeup or heavy dieting to feel comfortable in her body. “I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow, but I’ve always felt very comfortable in my own skin,” she says.
Then one day, after seeing an article about plastic surgery trends in other countries, Hopkins got curious. “I knew I generally fit the mold for all-American ‘girl next door’, but I wondered how I would be perceived in other cultures.”
Hopkins snapped this picture with her iPhone and sent it out to photo editors in 16 different countries with one simple request:
“Make me beautiful.”
Not long after, several airbrushing experts from countries like Japan, Nigeria, and Italy replied to Hopkins with their edited versions of her picture. “I expected there to be some variation, maybe a few surprises,” Hopkins says, but the results were literally unbelievable:
“They turned me into a minion. All of them.”
The altered photos below shed light on the wide variety of beauty standards for minions from countries around the world. Some countries are attracted to skinnier minions. Others prefer minions with hair. Still more prefer minions comically dressed in drag. The bottom line is, as Hopkins puts it, “There might not be one standard of beauty, but one thing remains true: People love those rascally minions.”
Hopkins experiment revealed that countries like France are very attracted to traditional French attire. Brazilians have a particular fondness for beautiful smiles, so they airbrushed in more teeth. Italians love women who are alarming, explaining the red sirens they shopped onto Hopkins’ minion head.
Hopkins was particularly interested in the United States’ own brand of beauty standards, as they dramatically changed her from a slim brunette woman to a yellow minion with red hair and a dress. The Australian’s version really surprised Hopkins. “I thought I might blend in well in Australia, considering the similarities in our cultures, but wouldn’t you know it, they airbrushed me to look like a minion Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.”
“I was also surprised at how similar standards can be from countries that have, at least on the surface, such different cultures,” explains Hopkins. “Who would have thought India and Canada would have nearly identical standards of beauty for minions?”
So the next time you buy a new dress for your vacation to Rome, perhaps consider buying a hard hat and megaphone instead.