Gina Vaynshteyn
February 18, 2015 1:43 pm

This morning, The Beyoncé World essentially broke the Internet: Over two hundred unretouched photos of Bey were leaked, depicting a Beyoncé we’ve never seen before. The photos, which were from 2013 L’Oréal Feria and Infallible ad campaigns, show a gorgeous (as usual) made-up Queen Bey with dramatic cat-eye and bold, shiny lips. But these photos only lived and breathed on the site for about an hour—the responses to the un-Photoshopped photos were so cruel, so awful, that The Beyoncé World decided to take them down.

In a post on their site, TBW editors stated: “Due to the disdain of the BeyHive, we have removed the photos. We don’t want to cause any drama, nor do we wish to start fan wars. Some of the things we have seen posted were just horrible, and we don’t want any parts of it. We were just posting the photos to share the fact that our queen is naturally beautiful, at the same time she is just a regular woman.”

So, the uploaded pictures were PROBABLY intended to prove that Bey is a natural human being like the rest of us, that she’s beautiful without retouching, that she is indeed “flawless,” no matter what. But instead of a positive reaction, the photos brought out haters who criticized and complained about the untouched images, fans who expressed their shock and dismay that perfect Queen Bey has—GASP—blemishes. Basically, the offensive responses around the web set us way back in the quest to get advertisers to put down that Photoshop tool and celebrate women’s natural beauty.

These incredibly disappointing reactions to Bey’s photos aren’t anything new, unfortunately. The Internet has attacked women in their natural or pre-Photoshopped state before. Like, a lot, actually. Renee Zellweger was targeted a few months ago, and Uma Thurman just a week ago, and these beautiful women are just two example of the hundreds who have been crucified for their cellulite, their wrinkles, their acne. As a society, we have a problem with famous women aging, famous women breaking out, famous women not being the perfect, ideal versions we see them as.

But guess what? Famous women are real, too. Celebrities are humans. Beyoncé is definitely human. We desperately need to work on embracing women as they are. Otherwise, these vicious beauty standards will persist, and keep persisting. For the record, we think Bey looks beautiful, healthy, and happy—the true definition of “flawless.”

(Image via Instagram)