How many times did we complain about the fact that professional makeup and expert retouching techniques enable celebs to create a false image that sets unrealistic standards in terms of appearance? For decades in a row, even the most respectable media outlets have been criticized for publishing heavily Photoshopped images of A-listers, which distort our realities and make us embrace an inaccurate perception of female beauty.
At this point, the 2017 Pirelli calendar may drive change in this sector, after featuring 14 of the best-loved actresses from different parts of the globe without any makeup and/or retouching tactics.
Penelope Cruz, Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Kate Winslet and Robin Wright are only a few of the bold celebrities who accepted the challenge of posing makeup-free for the 2017 Pirelli calendar, in an attempt to remodel the general concept of female beauty by ditching retouching, makeup and airbrushing, the three key elements that guide consumers towards the same kind of beauty-driven towards perfection and youth. This false idea of beauty has very little in common with the real world and its women.
While celebrities have access to the latest retouching techniques and the most expensive makeup products that can make them look years younger and more attractive in the eyes of millions of men and women, they age like everyday people, and shouldn’t be praised as immortal goddesses that look flawless around the clock, on and off the red carpet.
The 2017 Pirelli Calendar is trying to convey a very powerful message, revolving around the idea that long-lasting beauty revolves around so much more than the appealing images that advertising exposes us to. Peter Lindbergh, the famous photographer behind the iconic shots, aimed to portray strong, inspiring women in different ways. He chose actresses who played a key role in his life and worked hard to establish a deeper contact with his muses when taking his photos.
The photographer involved in this mindset-changing project describes his work for the 2017 Pirelli Calendar as a “sensational experience” that allowed him to form a direct, powerful bond with women whom he has always admired, and discover different other sides of their natural beauty and personality, which aren’t so apparent when you see them on stage or on the big screen.
After two hours of shooting, Nicole Kidman told Lindbergh she had a lot of fun while posing for the 2017 Calendar. Kidman also added that this experience was absolutely unique for her, underlining the fact that no other photographer has ever seen and immortalized this side of her.
In a society governed by questionable role models and unrealistic beauty standards that are virtually impossible to achieve, Lindbergh’s initiative may just help the grand public embrace a more down-to-earth, healthier concept of female beauty, and mark the end of the glory days of retouched photos that have a negative impact on our self-image, health, and overall quality of life.
The fully clothed, yet naked celebrities share a powerful, emotion-rich message with all of us through their photos, letting us know reach the conclusion that natural beauty is underrated, and making all of us think twice before turning to retouching tools and thick layers of makeup to conceal our small imperfections, and follow the rules dictated by a rigid, plastic society that is still reluctant to change.