Radar: Marie Claire says “no” to retouching
Just yesterday I tweeted about French Marie Claire’s April issue, which will feature 100% non-retouched photos, or “Numero 100% sans retouches”, if you’re feeling Parisian. Louise Bourgoin will be on the cover, a fresh-faced French actress that isn’t foreign to sweat or leg dimples. It’s been a while since models or celebs have graced a cover and really bared it all. It definitely struck me and I realized that it is these imperfections on seemingly perfect folk that makes them so interesting and unique. Styleite’s Verena Von Pfetten made a great point regarding the modern use of Photoshop to alter images, “I’d say that I’m happy to have photographers and editors use whatever overexposures and soft lighting they need to to get the desired dreamlike quality — as long as they leave the limbs, waists, body fat, and imperfections (both miniscule and major) in place.”
Today the Huffington Post reported that the May cover of Marie Claire, featuring the lovely Jessica Simpson, will be completely unaltered. Jessica told the mag, “I don’t have anything to prove… What other people think of me is not my business.” After taking a look at the few images leaked on the web, I definitely think there is a certain raw sensuality and beauty because you can see the ripples of her skin and the curves of her body. The quality of photographers combined with this new appreciation for old school techniques, will only up the bar for the publishing world and set a fine example for young ladies.
This couldn't come at a more perfect time. In the last few months we’ve heard a lot of jabber regarding eating disorders, plus size models, and over editing on magazine covers. Perhaps, this is a slow transition towards art imitating life, versus life imitating impossibly perfect art.
Marie Claire jumped the gun this year and started a trend. Back in January word spread that the Aussie cover of the magazine would feature an un-touched Jennifer Hawkins. Ahem, fully nude. The image sparked a huge media debate, many arguing whether Hawkins was a proper “role model” for the mag, insinuating that she was smaller than the average woman. However, it’s a step in the right direction if a former Miss Universe can bare it all. Who knows what’s next?
Back in January Grazia took a cue from Marie Claire and featured a nude spread of Jude Law’s ex-wife, Sadie Frost. Sadie told the magazine that she wanted to do the editorial to speak out about being healthy and holistic. She told Grazia, “And I felt that there's been so much pressure on women, and I've noticed such a negative movement over the last few years on how peoples' bodies should be.”
Although the magazine covers are still graced by practically perfect paradigms, it’s satisfying to see that the media and models agree that perfection isn’t possible and we should embrace the skin we’re in.