How to Look Good in Pictures: Tricks Professionals Use to Fool Us All

You don't even need a professional image retoucher, standing up straight and sucking in the gut makes everyone look better

If you think a computer program is the only reason behind flawless photographs of beautiful celebrities, think again.

Or better yet, look again.

A recent column on The Huffington Post has revealed another illusion -- actually, a whole bunch of them -- courtesy of, a website dedicated to psychological disorders, such as eating disorders and body image issues. Everything from posture to a fake tan can make someone look younger, thinner and better looking…within minutes.

The most surprising visual comes from a personal trainer. In the before shot, she looks dumpy and semi-flabby. But in the after shot, she looks a good 15 pounds thinner, toned, shapely and sexy.

Guess what? The two shots were taken 15 minutes apart. So, did Melanie, the trainer from Australia, lose one pound per minute? Obviously not -- people down under don't lose weight faster because they're so far south of the equator.

She took eight orchestrated actions to make herself look heavier in photo number one, followed by ten actions -- sucking in her tummy, wearing a better fitting bikini bottoms, self-tanner -- to highlight her best assets in photo number two. No surgery, filters or a visit from David Blaine required.

The majority of us are well aware that seeing is not always believing, especially when it comes to the images that appear on TV and in magazines. And crafty computer tricks are still alive and well -- just ask Lady Gaga. Last week the mega popstar criticized her “too perfect” December cover of Glamour magazine…while accepting an award at the annual Woman of the Year Awards hosted by Glamour magazine.

"I felt my skin looked too perfect…I felt my hair looked too soft. ... I do not look like this when I wake up in the morning…What I want to see is the change on your covers." 

Lady Gaga spoke these words to the younger audience, encouraging them not to accept the media’s altered definition of beauty. A timeless and flawless lesson for girls of all ages. It’s all smoke in mirrors, ladies.

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