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The Undoctored Truth About Beyoncé’s Beauty

More than 200 alleged unretouched photos from Beyoncé’s 2013 L’Oreal cosmetic campaign were leaked on a fan site called The Beyoncé World on Tuesday. The pictures of don’t make the superstar look bad—of course not—but they make her look different.

It’s a moment of celebrity disconnect. She is still beautiful, she is still Beyoncé, but the weird thing is she’s not airbrushed Beyoncé. The pictures of Beyoncé—from a 2013 L’Oreal advertising campaign—show her made-up, but with, as the Daily Mail puts it, “uneven and pimply skin under heavily applied foundation.” (See pictures below)Beyoncé Unphotoshopped 01Beyoncé Unphotoshopped 02

The Beyoncé we’re used to seeing and watching is absent. But the Beyoncé we watch is the imaginary one, and the one here, in these pictures, is the real one (albeit with makeup liberally applied), and it alarmed some of her fans.

The legions of her admirers came out in support online, criticizing the posting of the pictures, with many claiming they are not real.

Beyoncé has yet to comment on the unretouched photos, which were immediately taken down by the website soon after they were posted. (They were picked up by Complex and Gawker.)Beyoncé Unphotoshopped 03Beyoncé Unphotoshopped 04

The outtakes appear to be from Beyoncé’s adverts for L’Oreal’s Feria and Infallible products, which advertise hair dyes, lipsticks and foundations.

Due to the widespread condemnation of the images, though, the fansite has since removed them and has posted a message.

‘Due to the disdain of the BeyHive, we have removed the photos,’ the statement reads. ‘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.’

While some of the reaction to the apparent pre-Photoshopped images was cruel, the majority of the ‘BeyHive’ – the adopted name for the Crazy In Love hitmaker’s millions of fans, collectively – supported the 20-time Grammy winner with kind and encouraging words.Beyoncé Unphotoshopped 05

Famed Las Vegas act The Chippendales led the way by commenting: ‘Unretouched photos of @Beyonce just prove she’s a real person and a natural beauty.’

@SprinklesnBooze stood by the 7/11 songbird writing: ‘Am I the only one that doesn’t think #Beyonce looks horrible in these untouched photos?! She still looks better than me on most days!’

@JamilahLemieux reasonably explained: ‘We know Beyonce is pretty. We know Beyonce wears a lot of makeup. You have exposed nothing but your pettiness.’

Meanwhile, others added that the leak of the images was ‘unfair’, while another added that ‘Beyonce is actually a human being, shocking!’.

@MelanieCoMcCoy added: ‘She’s still beautiful. We all have blemishes. Leaking those photos was in very poor taste.’

It’s a mystery how the photos were leaked, yet they emerged at the end of a mini-cycle of moments, in which the twinned fashion and beauty worlds of make-believe showed signs of courting the reality of how women look, and of celebrating physical difference to the size-zero norm.

The release of Beyoncé’s picture follows another mysterious release of another un-retouched photo, this time of the ’90s supermodel Cindy Crawford posing for Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America.

Crawford is looking ecstatic, wearing a black bra and knickers, in a crazy-looking fringed coat, and with a stomach that has not been Photoshopped to sleek perfection. It has stretch marks, it is toned but not smooth and taut; the same for her legs.

There were many hurrahs when the photo was released, just as there will be for Beyoncé. Both pictures bring these idols of beauty down to relatable, sisterly earth: Vanity is one of the most off-putting aspects of celebrity, and these pictures appear to atomize that.

Given how controlled these celebrities are about what images are released of them, one wonders if they had anything to do with it. The pictures reflect as well on Beyoncé and Crawford as another set of pictures, contrasting doctored and undoctored images of Lady Gaga from a Versace campaign, did for the singer when they were released last April.

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. What’s so special about Beyonce?

  2. Is that beyonce?? =-O

  3. ‘Beyonce is actually a human being, shocking!’ hmmm, matured “kolo” dey worry some people sha! b4 she be spirit?

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Lol. There’s a certain level celebrities tend to get placed on that makes them surreal to everyday people. And Beyoncé is one superstar that has even gotten deified sef

  4. Nnam, I was taken aback, k’am gwa gi eziokwu. This is not the beauty I see on videos and pictures. She’s quite……….ordinary.

  5. Much ado about nothing… Beyonce is human, still pretty in the photos but, more ordinary looking than I would’ve imagined.
    PS: I don’t understand this beyhive movement, Walter get in here!!

  6. Is this Beyoncy or “BeyondDScene”? Natural or no natural, her skin looks HORRIBLE! Oh My word! What happened to all d skin products available?! So pudgy nd ………..! Hian! Ihukwa nne blue ivy?! Dont get me wrong, Am a beyoncy fan oh but that nne up there is not looking good cha-cha! Even for a guy, I HAVE A WAY SMOOTHER FACE *pops collars*!

    • shakespeareanwalter

      I don’t believe that’s her.
      It’s obvious these photos were retouched to make her look that way and create brouhaha. I mean,in the photos,she had full-on Loreal make-up,applied by professional Loreal make-up artistes,yea?
      Why would loreal make up not cover acne and blemishes,biko?
      U’ve seen what nigerian make-up artistes can do (b4 and after photos). Yet u believe Loreal make-up artistes can’t cover acne?

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Ok,u’ve seen her on stage. And live on d red-carpet. Red-carpet footage isn’t edited, right?
      How come red-carpet make-up covers her blemishes, but Loreal make-up does not?

      • Wally dear, sounds like you are trying so hard not to let them burst your bubble #dodgingurslippers. Lol! Truth is make up can cover some, a whole lot but not all. Airbrushing do the rest. Take it from a professional make up artist. Soweey!

    • Well done o. See how you have made Wally vex. You will be hearing from the Beygency shortly! I personally believe she was made up to look that way for a reason. Period!

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