The Reluctant Stylista

Sharon Cuneta's BillBoard in EDSA
Truth or Lie?

There’s this whole issue surrounding the Marie France billboards featuring Sharon Cuneta that started the moment they were unveiled.  Talks were plenty.  When I saw them myself, I went “Hmmm…”  But when I really found out what other people were thinking and talking about, I was–to tell you really honestly, and this has nothing to do with the fact that I style for her daughter–really surprised.

Why?

Because when I went, “Hmmm,” the first thing I immediately noticed in the billboard was the styling.  To be perfectly honest, my immediate thoughts were that Sharon still had a long way to go even with the “After” picture.  I didn’t think it was a drastic difference and wondered why Marie France would put up a billboard if it wasn’t that way yet.  Apparently, people were thinking quite the opposite.  They were claiming it was fake and Photoshopped and that it doesn’t reflect what they see.

My take?  I bet whatever Photoshop work they did on it were minimal and maybe insignificant; most of it is probably the standard clean-up like lighting, levels and making sure the hair looks shiny, the skin looks soft, smooth and glowing and that the clothes don’t look too wrinkled.  (Photoshop has been my tool of trade for more than a decade, before I shifted careers–heck, my first Adobe Photoshop was freakin 4.0).

I say this because notice the styling of both photos.  Sharon in “Before” was wearing a loose top with a round neck, ending on her hips.  Her makeup was light and most of her hair was brushed out of her face.  You can’t see her waist here, she’s practically shapeless.  The length of the top also makes her look stubby, especially with this kind of fabric draping her body so loosely.  The round neck also emphasizes the roundness of her face.

Now, Sharon in “After” is wearing a perfectly-fitting top and a belt that gives her a waist, especially with that pose.  The V-neck helps make her neck look longer and frames her shoulders and face well.  The length of the top goes past the hips, giving it a bell-shape and defining her waist again.  It also gives her a taller and leaner frame, as opposed to the “Before” picture where her top makes her look shorter and stubby.  Notice also her hair framing her face–it cuts off about a fifth of it.  I can also spot contouring and heavier make-up to define her features more and make them stand out from her face.  You’ll notice her eyes and lips first before her face shape.

I’m not saying Sharon didn’t lose weight at all between the photos.  If you’ll notice, her hands are slightly different and her forearms even more so.  Sure, I guess one can use liquify in Photoshop, but hands (fingers especially) are way too tedious to mess with.  That may be the weight loss right there.  The arms may or may not have been cropped, then again that may not have been intentional on the graphic artist’s part since he or she does have to clean up that area in due to the angle and pose.

I hardly think that Marie France will edit their photos so heavily considering they’re not FHM it’s a high profile client and they’ve consistently shown a roster of successful treatments with their other celebrities.  Remember Dawn Zulueta and Iza Calzado?  They were a lot more drastic than say Aiko Melendez and now Sharon Cuneta in my opinion, but I think at least it also shows that they keep it real.  They’re not going to make the latter two look like Kim Chiu or else everyone will be howling foul.

Keep in mind that in photoshoots, regardless of Photoshop, people can look different because the output is a still image.  It’s not TV, where the talent or celebrity in question is always in motion and the lens used adds pounds more often than not.  In photoshoots, there are literally hundreds of photos and angles to choose from and the production team will of course, choose the most flattering.  Lighting alone can change a lot.  It’s not so different with regular photos we take of ourselves when we pick the ones where we look prettier or skinnier and that’s the only one we post in Facebook (yeah, even if they’re not how we regularly look).

What about you, what do you think?  Do you think Sharon was just styled so cleverly or do you think there was major Photoshop editing going on?  Do you agree with people who think the billboards should be taken down?

Photo of Sharon Cuneta for Marie France from Pinoy Samut-Sari.
P.S. Interesting post from Chuvaness comparing the After pic with a video grabbed pic.

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