Sundi Rose
December 10, 2014 2:05 pm

So much of what we see in the print media is an illusion. Ads take beautiful women and manipulate them into unrecognizable aliens, homogenizing their ages, ethnicities, and sizes until these women all look like cartoon versions of the same person over and over. Post-production doctoring techniques like airbrushing and Photoshop, have taken quite a bit of pushback from celebrities as of late — with stripped down photo shoots becoming a sort of rallying cry for natural beauty. Most recently Julia Roberts posed for a natural Givenchy campaign in which she looks like an actual person; and even better, she looks like herself.

Shot in black and white by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the Givenchy images feature Roberts with very little makeup and naturally tousled hair. She is wearing Givenchy classics and looks like the most graceful version of herself. The minimalist makeup and hair allow her poise to shine through, and she is working all 47 of her years in the most gorgeous way possible. Givenchy stylist Ricardo Tisci told Style.com “I really wanted her the way she arrived: black jacket, men’s shirt, jeans, which is really what we have in common. No hair, no makeup.” She looks amazing and she looks real. 

To rehash what ads like this are working against, Photoshop has done such damage to models’ bodies and images (and public perception) that The Truth in Advertising Act was introduced in March as a bipartisan bill asking the Federal Trade Commission to regulate altered photos in advertising. As a result celebrities and retailers are aligning against this kind of deception. E-retailer, ModCloth, has pledged to never use Photoshop in their ads, and many other companies now opt for “real” women and “real” beauty.

In a show of solidarity, other celebrities have taken to snapping no-makeup pics and posting them on social media. Even Queen Bey herself is not afraid to show her natural self to the world and often posts pictures without makeup. Of course they are still flawless and breathtaking. No makeup needed.

Demi Lovato, a strong advocate for positive body image and self esteem, often tweets natural pictures as well, and encourages others to be brave and post their own. It’s funny that we’ve come to think about going without makeup as brave, but that is what we’ve been conditioned to do.

Mila Kunis also went fresh faced for a campaign for Gemfields saying in a release about the campaign, “I didn’t have any make-up on; I didn’t have my hair blow-dried — so I felt a little bare. But [photographer Peter Linderberg] made me feel the most beautiful I have ever felt, and he was able to capture a very honest moment.” 

Roberts’ ad is a gorgeous continuation of this trend and we’re thrilled to see it coming from such a massive star, for such a couture line. As for Julia’s opinion of the ad, she seems on board with the makeup free look. She reportedly told Tisci, “I can see myself, my real self.” Isn’t that how it should always be?

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