Hello, beautiful

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.


Reena Rai

Reena Rai is a 30-something London-based fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for 10 years (!), previously at fashiondaydreams.com before launching her self-titled blog.



  1. Radiant.MakeUp
    June 1, 2011 / 4:11 pm

    I wish there were more photos like this out there of unedited models – I always think they are more striking!! x

  2. Fro' Fashion Fairy
    June 1, 2011 / 7:21 pm

    These women look beautiful. These are the kinds of images we need to see on billboards and magazines. Our children need to see real people rather than strive to become the unobtainable images of the airbrushed masses.

  3. Anonymous
    June 2, 2011 / 3:47 am

    I'm really pleased you posted this. I love that the models did these shots – I still think they look amazing but models do tend to have familiar bone structure and great skin… one thing I realised was that my dark circles are normal and ok. I vow to have more days when I wear minimal or no makeup so I can learn to embrace what I have without covering it all up. I also think (wish!) there should be laws or rules against airbrushing!!www.styleonthecouch.wordpress.comwww.twitter.com/styleonthecouch

  4. Julia
    June 2, 2011 / 11:09 am

    they are all so beautiful! especially the one on the top right corner! its great to see them so fresh faced without all that make up!Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! It is always appreciated! xxhttp://savoirvivrelondon.blogspot.com

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