Kit Steinkellner
July 11, 2014 3:18 pm

So Vanessa Hudgens recently modeled in a Bongo Clothing ad campaign and (sound of screeching tires) wait, Bongo Jeans are still around? I didn’t accidentally step into a time machine and get off in the year 1997, did I? No, because then Vanessa Hudgens would be zero years old. I completely thought Bongo had gone the way of Delia’s catalogs and the dinosaurs, so it’s probably a good thing they’re launching an ad campaign with everyone’s favorite Disney-Channel-sweetheart-turned-Spring-Breaker, because ads are a great way to let people know you, like, exist.

What’s cool about this ad campaign, in particular, is that it’s Photoshop-free. That’s right, every ad Hudgens poses in is completely un-retouched. No airbrushing Hudgens’ face so hard she looks like a nose-less X-Files alien, no putting a rectangle of negative space under her crotch where thighs are supposed to be, none of those retouching shenanigans. Hudgens just looks like herself. It’s so rare to see a celebrity look like the magazine versions of themselves. After photographs are taken, so much work goes into turning these images into people that don’t exist in real life. Which is crazy-unfair to women who pick up magazines, flip through, and go “Wait, I’m supposed to look like THAT?” No, you’re not supposed to look like that. No one looks like that. Even the people in the photographs you’re looking at don’t look like that.

No only is Hudgens forgoing retouched photos, she’s a thousand percent proud about her what-you-see-is-what-you-get ad campaign. As she says in a press release for the campaign:

“The clothes really make me feel carefree and confident, which is why I love that the final ad images are unretouched. It’s so important for girls to remember that real beauty shines from within and I’m so proud that Bongo is choosing to send such a positive message with this campaign.”

Dari Marder, chief marketing officer of Bongo’s parent company, Iconix Brand Group is also all kinds of excited about the positive message they’re sending with their unretouched campaign. She’s completely on point in her “Women’s Wear Daily” statement:

“In the age of Instagram filters and Photoshop apps, it is more important than ever that Bongo remains committed to inspiring girls to feel comfortable in their own skin, and we are excited to be partnering with Vanessa to send that message with this campaign.”

And WE’RE excited to know that Bongo still exists (okay, whatever, that’s probably just me) and MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY we are excited for Vanessa Hudgens to look just like her gorgeous-pants self in this campaign and be an awesomely-positive role model for us all!