Thursday, April 16, 2009

La beauté vérité

Monica Bellucci - Elle France 2009

I've said it once and I'll say it a thousand times: Photoshop is destroying our perception of beauty. Sure, we all want to look better and it's perfectly natural to want to hide your flaws. But what passes as beauty these days is essentially make believe. The message that sends to women, young and old, is one of constant failure. We want to look like the women in the glossy magazines, but even those women don't look like themselves. So, really, what hope is there?

Eva Herzigova - Elle France 2009

Well, for once, glossy magazines are coming to our rescue. Elle France has released a “Stars Without Makeup” editions featuring unadorned, unaltered European female stars. No (well, very little) makeup. No Photoshop. No retouching. The results are amazing. The three alternate covers featuring Monica Bellucci, Eva Herzigova and Sophie Marceau are portraits in beauty – real beauty. The kind of beauty you see when a woman wakes up in the warm morning light or comes out of the shower fresh and smelling only of skin. You know, the good stuff.

 Sophie Marceau - Elle France 2009

Sure, let's not kid ourselves, these women are all ridiculously gorgeous to begin with. So they're working with a definite advantage already. But this celebration of women and, even if only for one issue, recognition of the artificial beauty trap we find ourselves in is refreshing. Besides the cover models, the issue also includes pictures of Charlotte Rampling, Inès de la Fressange, Anne Parillaud, Karin Viard and Chiara Mastroianni shot by Peter Lindbergh. Good God, I'm so excited to see Charlotte Rampling's portrait I might just buy a ticket to France and so I can pick up a copy of the magazine myself.

To love women is to love the sum of her parts, all of them – even the imperfect ones. That we've come to a point where it's brave or shocking or daring even to show women looking natural is a sad commentary on culture. It's not brave or shocking or daring. It's what women look like – beautiful.

25 comments:

;)) babs said...

poor sophie marceau looks frightfully thin!
I would cook for her anytime...

;)) babs

kimber p said...

Eva looks like she's the most uncomfortable in her own skin, she's really defensive and looks as if she can't wait to be under the "magic" of retouch again... the other two appear to be at ease with themselves it looks like, and that is where the beauty is.

kimber p said...

sorry for the redundancy of my last sentence, I should have reread it before posting..lol

kim said...

thanks for posting that. though i agree, they are all ridiculously gorgeous to begin with, it's still interesting to see Elle Magazine take that approach with a cover.

Shazza said...

No need for that ticket to France (unless you want to of course!) I can pick up a copy here in Switzerland and send it to you. Or just scan the pictures from the copy I will now buy for myself. Let me know if you want!

maria b. said...
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Anonymous said...

Natural is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

C'est magnifique!

Anonymous said...

awesome

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just bought a copy of ELLE few hours ago (with Monica Belluci on the cover)and I am happy you´ve noticed this photoshop-free issue too...:)

Marta,Czech republic

Anonymous said...

OMG monica belluci is sooooo insanely pretty. I think she looks better the older she gets and she doesn't need make-up at all!!WOW!

shelly said...

Great post. Well done.

Anonymous said...

The idea is good. But let me say: they are all beautiful women. Over the top I mean. So they are beauty even without make up....I fell a little sad....no imperfection even in imperfection.. :)) I'm joking of course....

Plus.
I think is good to show how "natural" is beautiful first of all because we leave in an artificial world. But. I love also the way you can transform yourself with clothes and make up. Living in a Carnival. You can change your identity. And this is fantastic too.

Bye from Italy.

cappuccinogirl said...

I have hunted high and low for a photo of charlotte rampling and come up empty handed. I cannot believe nobody has scanned it in yet. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Well, Europeans are already at an advantage to us Yanks. Their idea of beauty is a more democratic, realistic level to start with (relative to us). Barbie doll standards haven't been as insideous there.
When the same issue happens HERE, then it will be astounding. (What US star would sign up for this? Maybe Susan Sarandon...)
And that photoshop and airbrush is employed on 18 year old models - that's an especially obscene standard. Young boys (and girls) are going to wonder why their first glimpse of their girlfriend doesn't reveal that plastic "perfection" of the mags. How "modern" when we can't even recognize what's normal anymore....

estuff said...

The link [if you speak French...] isn't working.

b32 said...

Jezebel has an article on this as well, refuting another blogger saying that these shots are "...a step back." (http://tinyurl.com/cp7x9x)

In a different sense, I'm all for the step back-- step back from the makeup, the airbrush, the hair. Let these women be as flawed and gorgeous as they are!

Morcegos no Sótão said...

Oh good Lord! You reminded me of my teen days, when I was obsessed with Sophie Marceau! I didn't even remember how stunning she is... And then Monica Bellucci? You brought Heaven to me today.

MJNuts

Anonymous said...

right,
they all look great without retouching, but not about human,
think about spoon. nobody wants buy rotten look spoon. so why not to make it shiny?

so, i think the question is not do or don't just how much.

anyway it's true that love something means love all of it.
can i say something, cus there are
so much things to love on the earth. of course women. and etc..

thanks for the good post.
i like this post a lot.

Norma Desmond said...

I knew I liked France...

Gaëllan said...

Am I the only one with this ridiculous fantasy of all these women on a bed together? **go to hide** Anyway, since I'm in France, all youi have to do to get Elle is to ask^^

pippin said...

“To love women is to love the sum of her parts, all of them – even the imperfect ones.”

amen to that! thank you ms. snarker. i have been enjoying your blog for some time now and this post reminded me of a horoscope entry that i found several years ago.

“The Japanese have an untranslatable word, wabi, that I’d like to apply to you now. It refers to a captivating work of art with a distinctive, beautiful flaw that embodies the idiosyncratic humanity of its creator. An aqua groove in an otherwise perfectly green ceramic pot might give it a wabi. A skilled blues singer who intentionally wails out of pitch for a moment might be demonstrating wabi. Wabi is rooted in the idea that perfection is a kind of death. You, my soulfully imperfect friend, are full of wabi.”

susan boyle, from your friday’s post, exemplifies wabi. “Her bushy eyebrows, her frizzy hair, her double chin” only makes her so much more endearing.

-pippin

Anonymous said...

God... Sophie Marceau is hot.

That's all. I just had to say that.

Hot!

Daña said...

link broken again...at least to my computer--

this is wonderful, and such a coda to the Susan Boyle piece--makes me glad blogs go last-to-first...

sevendecays said...
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