Pop Culture

Photographer shows what older male celebrities would look like if they were edited like women

It looks ridiculous. And that's the point.

photoshop, botox, aging naturally

Wow. What a difference.

Caroline Ross is a professional photographer who specializes in fashion and editorial photography—you know, the kind of fancy images that grace magazine covers and billboards and the like. So it’s safe to assume she knows her way around Photoshop.

Over on her TikTok channel, Ross helps others gain social media literacy by showing exactly how Photoshop is used to create the highly stylized images we’re so used to seeing in advertisements…so much that we might forget it’s not real.

Recently, Ross also highlighted the double standards that exist when it comes to older female celebrities versus their male counterparts by applying the same amount of Photoshop to cover shoots of actors in their fifties that would be used on actresses of the same age.

When you see the side-by-side comparison—and how ridiculous it looks—it’s hard to deny how hardwired our brains are to accept, even admire aging in men, and at the same time expect women to remain untouched by time…lest they become an unsavory hag, that is.

In the video, Ross shows Pedro Pascal, David Beckham, Idris Elba, Ben Affleck, Gerard Butler, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds (all ruggedly handsome in their own way) suddenly have every wrinkle completely smoothed out.


@caroline_in_thecity I definitely think about this everytime i see a cute little wrinkles on ‘silver foxes’ and smoothed doll skin on women the same age. #pedropascal #maybeitsphotoshop #photoshop ♬ Makeba - Jain

Crazy, right? These guys look like completely different people once “yassified”—well, except for the immortal Paul Rudd, maybe. But the point is: seeing the stark difference laid out like that is illuminating. Several folks chimed in to comment on how it perfectly pinpoints how beauty standards have failed us.

“Yes!!! 🙌 ‘Men age better’ just equals- ‘we’re used to seeing men age’ It’s almost like representation matters 🤔,” one person wrote.

“I think we all knew this but SEEING IT is something else. Thank you for creating this,” wrote another.

Yet another added: “I've just realized why I'm convinced my husband is getting more attractive with age while I go downhill. I've been conditioned!,” another said.

You might have noticed the biggest Photoshop transformation can be seen on the forehead. In another video, Ross explained how women are rarely allowed to have visible expression in this area. It’s covered up with editing, Botox or (most likely) both.

@caroline_in_thecity Thisbisnoiterally the reason I get forehead botox. I always notice womens amooth foreheads in media. #maybeitsphotoshop #photoshop #bopo #40plus #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Caroline In The City

Meanwhile, men are often “intentionally asked to raise their forehead and create these expression lines in their face,” Ross says while showing an editorial spread of Ben Affleck sporting his signature “adorable puppy” eyebrow furrow.

“Like when would you ever see a 50-year-old female celebrity with this expression on their face?” Ross asks. The answer, one we all know deep down inside, is almost never. This is because, as Ross eloquently puts it, men are allowed to “look like mature adult beings” while women are “expected to be these smooth dolls their entire lives.”

Yes, it’s frustrating that despite all the progress we have made with beauty standards, ageism and sexism, those modern views aren’t always reflected in Hollywood or in social media…two major influences for how people, especially young people, perceive the world. But that’s why efforts like Ross’ make such a huge difference. We are able to see firsthand how we are trained to think. Which, in turn, helps us to think differently. Or, at the very least, not succumb to low self esteem just because we don’t resemble works of fiction.

Care to see more of Ross’s videos? Follow her on TikTok.

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries


A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.

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