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My Two Cents: You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman

Elle France No Makeup April Issue

Elle France No Makeup April Issue

The fashion industry is going through a makeover of its own. A few years ago, Spain began by rejecting some models, for fashion week, on grounds that they were too thin and perpetuating negative body image. Now, with the prevalence of leaked “before and after” photos all over the internet, from Kim Kardashian’s Complex Magazine shoot to Madonna’s latest album shots, people are realizing the heavy hand that re-touchers have in generating the images that we see.

Photoshop editing such as making blemishes disappear and color correcting are a fact of life. But as graphic tools have evolved, so has the amount of “correcting.” Waists and hips are shrunken, legs are made longer and twenty years of aging are wiped away. The line between “fantasy” and unattainable standards of beauty is blurred.

Madonna Before & After Photos

Madonna Before & After Photos

At what point does all the photoshopping make women look eerily unnatural? That point is now. We are experiencing a “photoshop backlash” where natural beauty is de rigeur. A while back People Magazine released their annual “Most Beautiful People” issue and some celebrities bravely faced the camera armed with nothing more than moisturizer. In the April issue of French Elle, the magazine featured eight women including Eva Herzigova, Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, and Charlotte Rampling, sans fards, wearing no makeup and without any retouching.

These unadulterated images of natural beauties are refreshing after the constant bombardment of overly perfect faces (and bodies) staring back at us in magazines. Is this backlash just a coincidence or a manifestation of a global “back to basics” approach to life – shunning all things that are superfluous? I think that like all fashion, beauty trends are cyclical, and that with all that is going on in the world people are getting back to simple pleasures. Perhaps the over-photoshopped pictures evoke the waste and superficiality of times past, and people just want to know what’s real. Whatever the reason, I’m a fan of the natural new wave.

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10 Responses to “My Two Cents: You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”

  1. TKC says:

    yes!! this is so refreshing to see 😀

  2. Dee Dee says:

    its funny. looking at these pictures, all of these women are beautiful without the airbrushing.

  3. Itchbay says:

    Oy, Madonna look like the wicked witch of the west right there.
    I think a little photo shop is necessary to improve lighting in pictures

  4. DougTheBug says:

    No Dee, for the most part, they are not.

    What is society without some unattainable vision of beauty? This isn’t something new. Do you really think the artistic masters included every flaw in their renditions?

    Being “real” can be refreshing, but lets not get ridiculous with it.

  5. Jess says:

    “Shunning all things that are superfluous”??

    Does that question even need answering? This is in a fashion magazine.

  6. Adelle says:

    it is art, true. But most people see it as photographs, and most people consider photographs to capture what is really there. If people can begin seeing all magazine photographs as art in the same way a painted portrait is art, then we’ll be okay. The problem is, people see photos and think “it’s real” when it isn’t.

    photoshop should be left off of magazine photos. Let makeup and skillful lighting do their job. Photoshop should be the domain of artsy photography that is CLEARLY art and clearly not meant to portray “what is actually there”

  7. Raevynne says:

    Personally? I’m glad to see someone doing something like this. There really should be more unaltered pictures of women in the media. THink of how much fewer girls would be starving themselves in attempt to emulate something unattainable.

  8. It’s so refreshing to see that the new wave is so real, and realistic! Those photos of Madonna really put the photoshopping into perspective. I don’t even know why she needs to appear so preternaturally youthful – she’s a beautiful woman who’s aging just as beautifully.

  9. Kortnee says:

    All of these women are stunning still even without all the gunk and photoshop. Except Madonna. I usually think women her age have a certain classy beauty to them, but I guess I’m just so used to her being photoshopped that the real thing is a bit of a shocker.

  10. Xposed Expo says:

    I’m pretty sure the “before” picture of Madonna is shopped too…


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