While Beyonce seems like a goddess from another planet, she too is a living, breathing human who sports pores and wrinkles in reality.
Alas, Beyonce is not as flawless as fans think.
This is a fact that some can’t bear to accept. Last week, after unedited photos of the singer from a 2013 L’Oreal advertisement appeared on the fan site Beyonce World, complaints from upset fans eventually led to the removal of the photos, according to a CNN article. The photos, which looked more like images of what Beyonce would look like in person rather than in an edited magazine photo, even sparked fan wars.
Aside from the irony of fans reacting negatively to close-ups of a woman who preaches self-love and acceptance, what’s absurd is that sometimes the Photoshopped version of reality is more acceptable than the reality itself.
Regardless of one’s views on Photoshop in the media, it goes without saying that retouched images always have a “before” that shows the wrinkles, the makeup application and the uneven skin of human faces.
Knowing this, it should be obvious that celebrities’ default appearance is not the one with edits for lighting, blemishes and weight, and cringing with disappointment at seeing a star’s face or body without these edits throws the human element out the window.
Understandably, many celebrities do take their image very seriously. For instance, last month, Justin Bieber threatened to sue a website that posted a GIF of his Calvin Klein ad that included a photo suggesting the ad was retouched to heavily enlarge his arms, torso and crotch.
It doesn’t matter whether the photo was actually retouched. The fact it upset Bieber shows he cares about how he appears to the masses.
The public, though, shouldn’t become alarmed when faced with unretouched photos. It shouldn’t take a bad Photoshop error — such as when Target released a swimsuit ad that gave a girl a wide thigh gap while cropping out the bathing suit bottom — to see the disconnect between retouching and how someone actually looks.
Many people who have taken a yearbook photo have received a complementary retouching. While the resulting photo may appear nice on the page, it is generally accepted that retouching is an alter- ation to one’s natural appearance. It’s the same thing as enhancing the contrast on Instagram posts to smoothen one’s complexion — something most millennials are guilty of.
If anything, seeing images of celebrities that haven’t been retouched should be a reminder that celebrities are still people with imperfections. Remembering this is especially encouraging when it makes celebrities such as Beyonce more relatable.
Despite the urges from the public and celebrities themselves to have unflattering photos erased from public memory, there isn’t much worth complaining about anyway when it’s a photo of Beyonce.
Isabelle Cavazos is a junior majoring in Spanish and English.