If two is a trend, then magazines putting forth issues that forgo re-touching are the new all-black. French Elle was arguably the first; this year, the title released its April issue chock-full of celebrities — from Eva Herzigova and Inès de la Fressange to Charlotte Rampling and Chiara Mastroianni — all of whom were pictured without makeup or enhancement by way of airbrushing. The move engendered quite a bit of acclaim from figures within the fashion industry; the argument that Photoshop’s role in magazines has gone too far has been gaining steam for seasons. And now an Australian magazine is following in French Elle’s footsteps.
As part of a “Heart Your Body” campaign, Aussie fashion rag Dolly has gone “airbrush-free.” Granted, as Jezebel points out, seeing as Dolly is a teen mag, most of the models are without wrinkles or sagging thanks to the fact that they’re 16. While the effort is no doubt commendable, blogger Girl with a Satchel makes a number of good points with regard to why Dolly’s no-airbrush policy requires a closer look. For one, the “Heart Your Body” campaign closely resembles the “Self Respect” campaign rival magazine Girlfriend, launched in 2006. Not to mention the “Kristen Stewart cover, shot by Marvin Scott Jarrett, is supplied pre-touched. Inside the mag, there’s a breakout box that says, ‘Get Kristen’s fresh, flawless skin! Make like our uber-cool covergirl by trying a product like Proactiv Sheer Finish Loose Powder, $29.95’.” Granted, encouraging awareness of the intensity with which most magazines’ images are pulled and prodded to achieve an artificial concept of perfection is a good thing. But whether or not any mainstream fashion magazines will have the moxie to follow suit remains to be seen.