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Britney Spears Releases Un-Airbrushed Photos From New Campaign

Britney Spears Releases Un-Airbrushed Photos From New Campaign

My first reaction to this article: Britney Spears is only 29?  She was never a significant part of my childhood (my parents refused to allow her CDs into the house), but she’s certainly an icon for my generation, although perhaps not an unambiguously positive one.  It seems odd to realize that she’s only a few years older than I am. 

That said, the reason she was resurfacing was even more interesting.  In a new campaign for Candies, Spears released un-retouched photos (lnked above) next to digitally altered versions.  I’ll let you guess which ones were for the ad campaign.

The article was a little confusing, but the Daily Mail certainly seemed excited to see the photos.  “It’s refreshing,” the reporter wrote, “to see one of the world’s most famous pop stars allowing all of their imperfections to be highlighted.”  Apparently this is an “extraordinary” move.  An unnamed source said, “Britney is proud of her body – imperfections and all.”

I’m not sure if I would go so far as to call the move “extraordinary.”  Certainly, I’m glad that Britney Spears is joining the train of celebrities (who now include Jessica Simpson sans makeup in this month’s Marie Claire) who are openly admitting that many media images are unrealistic and actively created.  But the unretouched photos are not exactly what I’d call unflattering, and Britney Spears is certainly not exhibiting all of her imperfections, as the Mail seems to suggest. 

And is this even the way we want to be talking about airbrushing?  Artificially retouched photos don’t create perfection, they manufacture a non-existent ideal of beauty.  Britney Spears’ body is not “imperfect,” by any stretch of the imagination.  And while I am excited to see more and more celebrities stepping up to reject these fake images, I’ll be even more thrilled when someone like Britney Spears refuses to let the airbrushed photos be released at all.

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Photo from Samlavi's Flickr photostream.

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59 comments

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9:10PM PDT on May 18, 2010

I think a little photo-shop is a good thing. Like a blemish or bruise but it is way out of hand. People don't even look like people in magazines anymore and I refuse to buy them.

11:45AM PDT on Apr 26, 2010

The most important point that is being missed is: who cares?

1:55PM PDT on Apr 19, 2010

with or without the " magic" , she is beautiful, talented and rich. I saw a tv documentary, several years ago about her life, when she is a kid, so inspiring one. I like her, not a fun though but she is a keeper. Way to go, Britney .

1:05PM PDT on Apr 19, 2010

Should any photos of celebrities be airbrushed?
Answer:No

6:23AM PDT on Apr 19, 2010

What exactly do you mean by saying that Britney's body is 'not imperfect?' I don't think you can claim that many women (or men) have perfect bodies. Very little ever is perfect and that includes the bodies of most people. By definition it means that it is the best possible. No surprise that it is therefore pretty much unattainable and most people fall short. But that doesn't mean we should call something lower 'perfect' just to soothe women's egos.
I am male. Is my body an example of male perfection? No! And I am fine with that. There's the difference I have noticed between men and women (not all men or women, but there's a trend): men are capable of being perfectly fine with themselves while acknowledging they don't look perfect, whereas women seem to need to say they look perfect even if in fact they are 200 lbs overweight. Don't say 'women's bodies aren't imperfect' - say 'even without perfect bodies women shouldn't feel bad!'

As to objectification, does sexual posing simply make women sex objects? If you mean, some men look at such things and think of the woman in a primarily sexual context, perhaps, but at the same time it can be a form of sexual expression on the part of the woman. For religious reasons I think women should not do this (by their own choice, not by enforced rules or law), but solely from reasons of women's rights and feminism I should say women should have the right to express themselves any way they see fit, even if that means highly sexual art.

5:09PM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

@Carole A: "I dislike adverts turning women into objects for sex, as that is what sexual molestors do"

Carole, sexual molestation is NOT a sexual act, it's an act of violence. It's an attempt at complete dominance of someone against their will. This is not the same as the sexual objectification of women (not that this is a good thing, either). There are many (far too many) men who believe that a woman's place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant, who nonetheless would NEVER want to have sex with a woman against her will. (Think of Archie Bunker from 70s TV show All In The Family, who was an obvious sexist, but definitely NOT a rapist.) THESE are the people encouraged by ads displaying women as sex objects only. And that IS a bad thing. But such ads do NOT encourage or condone sexual molestors, who are violent sociopaths who are going commit their horrendous crimes regardless of what messages ads are sending out. I'm going to chalk your remark up to hyperbole, and assume that you don't really believe that ads can make men believe it's OK to rape women.

3:57PM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

Thomas T., my thoughts exactly when I saw the headline. You beat me to it but I'm going to ditto it anyway!

2:51PM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

Some people are photgenic, some aren't. Photography is an art form and usually want people to look their best. If we don't want our children exposed to capitalism, it is up to us to turn off the t.v. and use the library. Sure, our kids will hate us for awhile, but thank us later. I dislike adverts turning women into objects for sex, as that is what sexual molestors do, and it perpetuates the myth that this is acceptable behavior.

11:46AM PDT on Apr 17, 2010

"It's refreshing," the reporter wrote, "to see one of the world's most famous pop stars allowing all of their imperfections to be highlighted."
"Britney is proud of her body - imperfections and all."

I think it's good that non-airbrushed celebrities' photos appear on the news. But it's not so good when the message is "in reality, people have imperfections" instead of considering their real beauty.

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