Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Naked Allure

I will always love naked ladies. Come one, no brainer. And naked Padma? I am her cheeseburger of love. But – and it almost pains me to say this – this year's Allure The Naked Truth photoshoot leaves me a little cold. Make no mistake, I love the subject matter. Padma Lakshmi, Eliza Dushku, Chelsea Handler and two women I've never heard of but look great in their birthday suits (Lynn Collins and Sharon Leal). Yay, nakedness, yay!

Eliza Dushku - Allure

But for a series that claims to be about naked truths, Allure sure spent a lot of time Photoshopping all semblance of truthfulness or sensual nakedness out of the pictures. The photos are, of course, tasteful. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Naked doesn't have to mean tawdry. But these are so extremely airbrushed and expertly lit that what is so sexy about the female body – namely its raw curves and gentle imperfections – seems to be missing. [Click any and all to enlarge]

For real sizzle, you need to read the ladies' accompanying interviews.

Like what does Padma wear to bed:

“I tend to sleep in the nude. I'm an innately tactile person and a very sensual-leaning woman. You have to use the word 'leaning' or it sounds like I'm boasting! When I'm in my own private space, I do spend time with very little on.”

Or why it's important to knock before entering Eliza's trailer:

“I'll strip down to my underwear and my Ugg boots when I eat lunch in my trailer.”

I'm getting a mental picture. I'm getting mental picture. And...I'm back.

But when it comes to the real pictures the ladies look too great, almost inhuman. Now I know folks were troubled by Dara Torres' Got Milk? Photoshopping last week. And while I agree that she was buffed and polished to a high gloss, I think all best bits were still 100 percent her. But here, while I have no doubt that these ladies all look otherworldly without their clothes, they might as well be wax figures. So how, then, is this supposed to make me feel better about my body as it's supposed mission statement proclaims? I don't have an army of makeup artists, lighting specialists and Photoshop whizzes ready to turn me into a glowing goddess.

Can we get just a little realism with our nakedness, please? Allure's naked photos haven't always been so plasticine perfect. But in the last few years the women have looked less womanly and more mannequinely. Fine, so that isn't a word but my body is having a hard time computing my brain's criticism of naked pictures – any naked pictures – of beautiful women. It keeps screaming something like, “Shut up, conscience. They're naked. They're ladies. What's not to like?” OK, fine. I think I'm going to let my body win this one now and shut the hell up. Did I mention Padma is naked? Mmm, naked Padma, mmm.

p.s. Almost forgot the hat tips: Thanks Virgotex, ThinkArt, Beth, Valerie, TJ!


Anonymous said...

They also all look extremely bored, bored stiff. The point of sensual photography is to invite the viewer in, but there is no "in" in these photos, only vacant stares.

Shannon said...

While these women are all quite beautiful, I do agree with you DS... there's no real allure to any one of these photoshopped overly perfect women in this series of photos.

Allure needs to go back to taking photos of women that looking alluring and alive not making them appear like vacant mannequins.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Nudity is difficult to capture. I know that sounds stupid, but it's true. People, the naked subjects, look either too self aware or not self aware enough. I think that the only truly great nude photos are taken by lovers, who are nude behind the camera as well. Of course I've only tinkered with this theory and haven't culled enough evidence for scientific verification in respected professional journals should a publication choose to take my hypothesis seriously, but when has that stopped me?
As a great feminist once said when roused from a fainting spell caused by stays laced too tight: In my mind I'm naked all the time.

troi8et1de said...

Just saying...
in France they're not naked, but they don't where makeup...

For all the French speaking peps here's some comments on the photo shoot : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8swET9ujuic

Big Shamu said...

I've got a camera and some Photoshop skilz if you want to give the naked picture layout a try. Have your girl call my girl.

Norma Desmond said...

Yeah, they do all look sorta... weird. I should be more enamored with beautiful naked ladies, but, well, they just look funky to me. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

Snarker, I agree!

Who doesn't appreciate the naked lady? But not only are these pic's airbrushed to death, the pic's are really stunningly boring.

Allure has been a big photoshop-offender for many years.

Solo said...

well the thing is..even with photoshop skills sometimes its impossible to fix a picture..they still have to have it...
as for the ladies here...they are way too comfortable naked...thats what makes them look weird..or unreal..or vax...plus the airbrush of course :))
no sensational feelings once u look at it...nothing..

Anonymous said...

Ack! (choke)
This was the sound I made while eating
my cereal and opening your page of naked women.
Naked women in the morning... whew...
I think I'm going back to bed! ;)
Anyone wanna join me?

Anonymous said...

[Click any and all to enlarge...]... what ?!!

Nudie pix and then you have to type in that, Ms Snarker. I nearly choked on my cocopops.

Anonymous said...

Sharon Leal was in Boston Public a few years back.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what's been done to them. They're lovely. Love-ly.

pyewacket said...

The classic battle between head versus heart...

Miss Dorothy is right.

*But Padma is nekked.*

Miss Dorothy has a point.

*But HELLO Padma is nekked!*

I totally get what Miss Dorothy is saying.

*Ummm, who cares?! Padma is really really NEKKID!*

The heart wins this round. :)

Anonymous said...

much as i appreciate the nakedness (and i do!) photoshop makes everyones bodies a little samey.. and there is definitely a mannequin edge, eliza looks the part for dollhouse a little here.

only a matter of time before everyones worshipping pictures that look so unreal we are essentially turned on by pixels? :D

virgotex said...

well played.

and what pyewacket said

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely photos!
but...not sure if this has happened for anyone else, but that Egotastic website caused cascading popups so I had to restart my computer. poopoo on insidious links.

Anonymous said...

but they need to, i mean
they are human but also like
product of showbiz.

so, why not make them look
perfect? they have to make the
pics look good to make people buy
them. somehow photoshop i mean
i didn't know it works for like that surgery. for everything...o..

Anonymous said...

i wish i had u all for myself exactly as in this picture. oh! god! wat i will do then? fuck u till u sweat very very very profusely and heavily............ if possible even till ur or atleat my death