Britney Spears has done a new ad campaign for Candies, but this is not just one more in their long relationship. Word is she didn't want to appear retouched. You'll see below why that was an absolute no-go on its own, so the shoe company offered to devote a part of their campaign to a split screen ad only vaguely about shoes (about the shoes, there is one cute pair in the gallery after this article).
[caption id="attachment_3020" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Before half of the frontal "before and after" spread"][/caption]
The new Spears/Candies move is in the wake of the year-old French Elle with no make-up, this month's Marie Claire boasting the same (with Jessica Simpson, picture included in article), paired with numerous "photoshop" scandals that leave real women --- readers and followers of these publications and stars --- insulted and brimming with criticism.
This particular version of an un-retouched star is somewhat reminiscent of the very accidental slip of a brief Internet publishing of a pre-retouched, blotchy Kim Kardashian. While Kim quickly blogged that she loves her real body, she nearly as quickly changed that body, slimming down in the gym. That move obviously hurt the curvy/love-yourself cause and is plainly quite aggravating - so it does paint Britney's original, along with her intentions, in a beautiful light.
The major difference to this boldly publicized "before" is that there is no way the original could have been published anywhere aside from a tabloid or to support this cause. It's not due to flab, Britney's looking slim, but due to mere general flaws.
[caption id="attachment_3021" align="alignnone" width="298" caption="Candies' retouched version. (Ours is below, we hope you like it better.)"][/caption]
Last Tuesday, fashion bloggers were ahhing over the novelty of photos so honestly-unretouched, while it seems other publications & media outlets buzzed over her camel toe (in even the retouched version, by the way - above).
While it is refreshing to see a celebrity with true flaws (Oh I just mean the leg bruising probably from a rigorous dance routine, no insult here -- oh wait, and nasty feet, sorry Brit but it's true). What makes it especially refreshing right now is this "coming out" is in a world where perfect 10s make "unretouched" / "un-made-up" (yeah right) magazine covers and those create oohs and even some refreshed sighs.
Even more important than refreshing is that these images can be used to support the simpler acts of photoshopping/retouching, while also still pointing out the cruel eyes that guide hands to change women into fairy tale beings we don't want parading in front of our daughters.
Using the two Candies' front shots as examples, there's nothing wrong with Spears' shape, the beauty issue lies with the coloring and details of her legs and feet. (OK I might be harsh on feet.)
The Candies' marketer/graphic artist still went to extremes to shrink Britney, in addition to the acceptable-in-some-cases* smoothing of her skin. They gave her a 12-year-old's waist and stick legs where Britney's real-life tone is actually a badge. And how dare they lean down her perfect-for-28 slim yet womanly arms?
Yes, the extent is "normal" and arguably to prove a point, but it's not just to prove that point, these moves would have been made regardless.
Of course certain artistic photos and glamorous, swirling advertisements require more perfectly smooth and glistening skin - these things are about image, idealism, want. They correspond with equally or moreso false backgrounds, so what can we really expect? I bet we do want superhuman images, sometimes.
I still see a problem when it's a celebrity vs. a model, though. A face and body so well-known, especially in the days of tabloids, suddenly or sometimes appearing altered to an ideal is very unsettling to real humans, especially women. Possibly worst of all is it is damaging to young girls' self-esteem and development at a time when mental health is a more serious concern than any other point in life.
I decided to have fun and do some retouching of my own
to serve as a better example of appropriate ways to alter a star. I did go an extra mile and accentuate a smaller waist, but mostly to only show what is acceptable, and I think this is the farthest that should be gone.
Unfortunately I've realized these photoshop artists must be serious nerds who pore over literally every pore, trying to create their fantasy women. Fellas, if this is true and you, that could be why you might have trouble with women. Aside from your flawed desires, it's not you, it's your view of them.
Of course in reality the profession is mixed with money-hungry marketing-savvy people who just cannot stop until they've seen beyond perfection. Trust me, I understand the need to pick, but it must stop. In this case, the perfectionism is not an art - it's just evil business.