It’s been quite a year for airbrush backlash. Just last February, raw photos of Madonna were “leaked” (I parenthesize because I can’t believe Madonna had nothing to do with their surfacing) and Monica Belucci appeared sans fards on the cover of French Elle. Then Talk left Claudia Schiffer untouched and, just this month, Marie Claire let Jessica Simpson go bare-faced (I have to admit she looks smashing). And then there was Kim “Not a Celebrity” Kardashian and Sarah “Look, There’s Russia” Palin, and so on and so on.
Now, Britney Spears has given her blessing for pre-shop photos from her new Candies campaign to appear next to their post-production counterparts, ostensibly to expose the illusion of modern image enhancement.
While, in theory, I applaud the idea of wanting to show some semblance of reality, people also need to realize these women are hardly common specimens. Seeing Monica Bellucci without foundation is hardly like looking in a mirror (for me, at least), and I’d venture to say Madonna is not representative of most 50 year old women. These women are blessed with great genes and an army of trainers and aestheticians. I should hope they look nice without makeup.
But even more importantly (and as our editor so rightly pointed out) why is no one questioning the fact that “professional” photography has gotten to the point where it cannot stand without extensive post production? So many of these “before” pictures are JUST BAD CRAFT. If our Brit didn’t have a single spot of cellulite, three bruises and a camel toe (funny how they didn’t highlight that), this would still be a TERRIBLE PICTURE. It’s like everyone’s just stopped trying because they know they can fix it later.
Finally (am I a fashion conspiracist?) in the copy that accompanies this latest, Britney is quoted as saying, “My favorite set-up was against the gigantic wall of pink cotton candy.”
Really? Because it seems that wall only appears after the shots have been retouched.