Supermodels are rarely seen without the help of makeup or Photoshop. But when they are caught au naturale are they still absolutely gorgeous or just plain average?
In 2010, the casting photos for Louis Vuitton's Fall 2010 runway show were released and became a sensation on Reddit. The casting shots showed supermodels like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Bar Refaeli, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and more without any makeup on and completely un-Photoshopped.
The photo posted on Reddit juxtaposed the model without makeup or Photoshop against an editorial shot. Comments on Reddit included: Seriously, though-how many of them have enormous foreheads and huge eyes? A lot of them are not attractive sans makeup. Their faces look smooshed; they're too damn skinny. Put down the coke straw and eat a cheeseburger, ladies! and the more poetic coke, coke, coke ,coke, heroine, coke, heroine, heeeey that one is smiling..., coke, heroine, heroine, coke, ...
Although these photos are two-plus years old, they are still making the rounds.
In February, Complex magazine took these no-makeup casting shots as well as other black-and-whites and candids to compile a slideshow. This slideshow was made up of the no-makeup photos adjacent to photos of the models glammed-up for a job or red carpet event.
From magazines to the runway, supermodels appear effortlessly flawless. That's why their stripped down off-duty looks are often more jarring than smoky-eye and bronzer could ever be, wrote Tara Aquino. We're so used to seeing these women look a million times more attractive than the average human that it feels unnatural when they resemble someone regular. For the record, we think these supermodels are beautiful no matter what, but these 30 Shocking Photos of Supermodels Without Makeup definitely caught us a little off-guard.
Not all images are as shocking as the Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 casting photos. Those shots were presumably taken during a hectic Fashion Week when models are worn out and tired from running ragged.
That same year, Glamour magazine featured supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio, Crystal Renn (a plus-size model) and Brooklyn Decker on its June cover. A paparazzi or maybe just a passerby snapped a shot of the models posing on a beach in St. Bart's together in white bikinis. The photo was celebrated for showing the women in their true, unadulterated form (obviously, gorgeous as ever).
Sometimes supermodels will snap candid photos of themselves without any makeup on. Adriana Lima tweeted a shot of herself sweaty after a long workout; while fellow Victoria's Secret Angel Erin Heatherton snapped a pic of her lounging in the sun in a bikini. No makeup. No Photoshop. Nothing.
Why are people so obsessed with seeing these images?
The mystique that comes with celebrity surely has something to do with it. Celebrity worship is common in Western culture as actors, musicians and models are made gods. Over-saturation of coverage makes them a part of daily life.
In our society, celebrities act like a drug, James Houran, a psychologist at the consulting firm HVS Executive Search who helped create the first questionnaire to measure celebrity worship, toldLiveScience.They're around us everywhere. They're an easy fix.
According to others, the reason for celebrity obsession lies in biology. There's a few different reasons for that, Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan, told LiveScience. One is just learning what high-status individuals do so you might more effectively become one, and two, it's basically political. Knowing what is going on with high-status individuals, you'd be better able to navigate the social scene.
It is this mystique coupled with the celebrity-equals-deity mentality that make such personages and imagery of them so powerful.
The obsession can turn dangerous when young girls compare themselves to the made-up and airbrushed images seen in advertisements and in magazines. Findings suggest that in female adolescents, there is an interaction between Intense-personal celebrity worship and body image between the ages of 14 and 16 years, and some tentative evidence has been found to suggest that this relationship disappears at the onset of adulthood, 17 to 20 years, according to a 2005 study by L. Maltby.
Israel enacted a law that bans too-skinny models from working unless they meet a specific body mass index (BMI). The skinny model ban also prohibits the use of models who look underweight in advertisements, reported Yahoo! News. Developers of advertisements in Israel must disclose whether or not they used Photoshop or digital alterations to make the model look thinner.
In Israel, approximately two percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 18 have severe eating disorders, according to a study by anthropologist Sigal Gooldin. We want to break the illusion that the model we see is real, Liad Gil-Har, assistant to law sponsor Dr. Rachel Adato, told the New York Daily News.
So, a photo of a supermodel or a celebrity without makeup or Photoshop editing becomes a sort-of counteroffensive to this unattainable notion of flawlessness, since those who are supposed to embody the highest standard of perfection might not even meet it themselves.
Check out photos of some of these supermodels without Photoshop. What do you think -- absolutely gorgeous or just plain average?