Monday, April 20, 2009


Free from the shackles of the ubiquitous custom, known as the anti-realism scent for women, eight actresses including the ever so striking, Monica Bellucci (who makes the cover wearing a Christian Dior cashmere sweater), Eva Herzigova, Charlotte Rampling, and Sophie Marceau among others, appear in French Elle magazine sans fards, sans retouches (without wearing any makeup nor having any airbrushing done to their photos)—all in the name of not haute couture, but haute natural glory. Apparently, it was photographer Peter Lindbergh, who successfully convinced the actresses to pose for a facial nude. At first he let the celebs go through the usual process of having their hair and makeup done prior to the shoot, and then he had them wipe off the makeup with lotion just enough to leave the chosen women with a moisturized glow.

The issue is featured this April, which should be in newsstands through out the States by this week. This concept is so cutting-edge, that it is creating quite the buzz among other magazines and magazine lovers alike. It’s a wonder how their advertisers might be handling such a brave gesture from the French magazine. So Brava to Editor in Chief Isabelle Maury, felicitations pour le gutsy move! In a world where female celebrities wearing no make up and relinquishing any airbrushing rights might actually be considered avant-garde, the front page reads HUIT FEMMES OSENT LA BEAUTE VERITE,” which translates into “EIGHT WOMEN DARE THE TRUE BEAUTY.

France has been known to be a society that is more diligent in appropriating what images are presented to their female counterparts. Just last year the French National Assembly underwent an astonishing legislation that deemed promoting extreme dieting (on any publications print or new media) punishable by law for a handsome fine of $47,000 plus two years in prison. Talk about a protective social order. This was a response partially ignited after the launch of Guy Laroche’s 2007 Spring/Summer collection, when models strutted the ill-malnourished-near-death-look walking down the French catwalk (see above).

At the time Maury thought, “It may mean that we won't be able to publish anything."

These days she is pioneering a realistic point of view of women for women by placing the true image of a real woman unveiled on the front page of one the most influential women’s magazines to date. Perhaps it is in this era, our era, where we are left to work with a much transformed economic landscape, and as a result, luxury and excess might just become a baggage of the past. It would be interesting to see if we become a market where ideal is no longer plausible against the real. Well if anyone can start a revolution that would challenge the on going repercussions of exploiting a woman’s looks, it would certainly be the French. Vive La Révolution! As Simone de Beauvoir once said, “La pensée féministe n'a rien de monolithique,” [feminist thought is not at all monolithical] (1974).

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...