When I have a minute to sit and think about the celebrity and fashion-centric culture we live in, it sometimes makes me a little sad. It seems like there’s no such thing as real beauty anymore – if a celebrity/model isn’t a myriad of plastic surgical enhancement, she’s getting airbrushed to death. Why on Earth do young women need botox? Why would you choose to get cheek implants? The real beauties of yesteryear – the likes of Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn – are timeless icons because they are naturally beautiful without having had nips and tucks.
Surgery aside, I’m glad that I have my head screwed on enough to see beauty in imperfections and know that real women have pores, laughter lines, stray hairs, lumps and bumps. But I’ve sat through hours (I kid thee not) of makeup and looked in the mirror, barely recognising my own face and then had a photographer airbrush or “digitally enhance” the image. The end result could be seen as a ‘more perfect’ version of me, but it’s like a distorted version, it’s not me. It’s a cold, hard, mannequin version. But that’s the standard that has been set these days I guess. The effect of seeing fake perfection forced upon us on a daily basis can be wearing to say the least, especially for young, impressionable kids.
That is precisely why I think it’s such a smart move by Viva Model Management to release raw images of some of their models without make up, hairstyling or retouching. The images were shot by Scott Trindle and feature the likes of Natalia Vodianova and Raquel Zimmermann as they really are – naturally beautiful. The raw images were strange; they actually let you SEE the real person, rather than buffing away their character and showing a human mannequin ready to be adorned with clothes, jewellery, sunglasses, make up or whatever commodity they need to promote. These pictures really are worth a thousand words. Here’s to showing real beauty.