Harper’s Bazaar: Au Naturel
We have opinions.
Our opinion? Much like Vogue’s “All Black” issue, this is nothing more than a stunt to make the beauty industry look deeper and more responsible than it actually is. Sure, they’re not wearing makeup and the photos haven’t been retouched. They’re also famous the world over for being some of the most beautiful women alive and they’re being lovingly lit and photographed by a leading photographer (Peter Lindbergh). What are we, as readers, supposed to take away from a stunt like this? That they all have great bone structure? We knew that already. Is this supposed to make the average woman identify with them somehow? If so, FAIL. They’re all still amazingly beautiful women even when the artifice is stripped away.
What makes this almost laughable is that each of these world-famous beauties offers a beauty secret and none of them had the nerve to say “Good genes.” No, instead it’s all yoga and yogurt, which is particularly egregious because they’re giving the appearance of not being artificial while offering up completely artificial “tips” to women who will never, no matter how much yoga they do or how much money they spend on anti-aging creams, look like these women.
It’s also of interest that these are all women in their 30s and 40s, which is normally the has-been period of a model’s career (if she even has a career at all at that point). You’re not going to see the 19-year-olds posing for an editorial like this because they’ve got too much on the line to risk it. Most of these women are household names at this point and some of them are retired, so they’re not really risking anything, really.
But, we’re supposed to think they’re “brave” for doing this and we’re supposed to applaud the industry’s willingness to rip away the veil of artificiality. Bullshit. Nothing will change and the industry will go right back to presenting impossibly beautiful women day after day, month after month. And we’re not even saying there’s anything wrong with that. It’s called the beauty industry for a reason, after all. All we’re saying is that it’s a stunt and like all stunts it’s interesting for a moment or two, but after that it fades away into meaninglessness. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, beauty industry. It’s insulting.