Photographer Examines Our Obsession With Beauty, Airbrushing

Who needs makeup when you can airbrush your photos?

That's the question photography major Anna Hill, a senior at East Carolina University, is asking with her new photo series, "Beauty Is Only Pixel Deep," self-portraits that mock the beauty industry's overuse of airbrushing applications that many magazines and other media use to retouch images. "I taught myself Photoshop when I was 14, and ever since, my eye is trained to see exactly where models have been altered," Hill tells Yahoo Shine.

The 24-year-old, who created the work as part of a class project, uploaded the series to Reddit on Monday night and says the response has been overwhelming. "I think people like to be reminded that the beautiful models we're surrounded by daily aren't actually as real as they seem - without extensive makeup and editing, many don't look that much better than the rest of us," says Hill.

Below, Hill explains the inspiration behind each photo:

"I was researching beauty advertisements from the 1950s and noticed how many placed emphasis on maintaining a perfect marriage," says Hill. "If you didn't look perfect and wear perfume and high heels, your husband would leave you. I wanted to reimagine how Photoshop would be advertised in that era."

Anna Hill/Nebulaedecay

"Mascara ads always promise women lashes that are 50 percent longer, but most companies don't actually use their product in their own advertising; they digitally enhance the models' eyelashes," says Hill. "I applied that idea to a limb-lengthening serum that promised 50 percent longer legs."

Anna Hill/Nebulaedecay

"In beauty advertisements, skin is unbelievably perfect with no pores," says Hill. "I purposely made my skin flawless to point out how unrealistic this look is."

Anna Hill/Nebulaedecay

"I digitally altered one side of my face and left the other side untouched, so the viewer can really understand the difference between ads and real life," says Hill. "Here, airbrushing can be used to replace 100 makeup products or even plastic surgery."