Glossy pages and catwalks have a long history of pushing a particular ideal of perfection: long limbs, glowing skin, and flowy hair have equated beauty for decades. All the “imperfections” were made invisible through makeup, airbrushing, camera angles, and cosmetic surgery.
No peach fuzz. No dimples. No blemishes, rosy noses, or glossy foreheads allowed. The human was taken out of the model equation, leaving the population with unrealistic expectations and ambitions when they looked in the mirror.
With our technological abilities to modify and edit images at an all time high, the digital generation is pushing back with a transparent no thank you, insisting that perceived flawlessness just isn’t that attractive after all.
The new it-girls (and guys) are real—bold and confident with their gap teeth, breakouts, bumps, curves, and frizz. The gap between reality and fashion is closing, letting all sides be goods sides.
Super hip sites like Vice’s i-D are overwhelmed with posts of edgy, relentless beauty that keep an honest, selfie-like approach: arm pit hair is flaunted and clean faces shine.
The tangled hair and awkward postures insist that beauty is natural, not something to be achieved. Anti-airbrushing campaigns are taking off around the world, with some retailers making public promises to cut the edits.
Aspiring to look like Claudia or Gisele was bound to leave you disappointed, broke, and starving, but today’s fashion icons are diverse—finding a beauty idol is more about finding appreciation for their unique attributes. Naturalism is hot and thankfully that’s something we can all rock.