April 15, 2009

Taking a real look…

This is awesome! Thanks for posting this link on Facebook, Lani. There’s no doubt that the proliferation of endless streams of images that show highly polished and edited women that appear younger, thinner and more flawless than they actually are has altered our view of reality and created a perverse critique of ourselves.  If only there were more regular images of women, we’d be less likely to beat ourselves up daily, over exercise, diet, fast, cleanse, endure regular colon hydrotherapy and see ourselves as the exception rather than the truth.

Here’s an excerpt:

The April issue of French Elle features eight female European celebrities–including Eva Herzigova, Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, and Charlotte Rampling–all without makeup and, perhaps even more revealing, all entirely without Photoshopping or retouching of any kind. The mag’s headline “Stars Sans Fards” translates to “without rouge/makeup,” but it’s a French saying that also suggests a sense of  “openness.”

Judging from the images that have been leaked so far (the entire issue hits newsstands later this week), this title could not be more apt. Model Herzigova, 36, and actresses Marceau, 42, and Bellucci, 44, all look refreshingly natural, relaxed, and vulnerable in a way  American stars are seldom seen.

In fact, what might be most striking about French Elle’s pictorial is how it actually appears to embrace and celebrate the organic beauty of these famous faces (even if the lighting is super, super flattering and the women are all unbelievably gorgeous to begin with). In the U.S., when you come across a “stars without makeup” story, there’s always a GOTCHA! element, a message that says “Our gift to you: Derive pleasure from how ugly this person looks without cover-up for her zits!”

If you think about it, even our celebration of “natural beauty” is often far from natural. Consider the air-brushing scandal that surrounded last year’s Dove ads, or the countless “normal” celebs who are heralded for their curves but then, when they’re featured in a magazine, are digitally whittled down so they appear several sizes slimmer. We’re a curvy country that can’t handle looking at curvy people. It’s all kind of sad.

October 23, 2008

Campbell Brown calls out the double-standard

I appreciate Campbell Brown’s statement. Watch and listen.