A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s the saying, right? Every year, a celebrity’s pictures certainly spark one thousand words and then some. It seems that suddenly, people cannot stop talking about whatever photo just surfaced, be it from a photoshoot or a paparazzi shot.
This list includes 10 of the most controversial photos of 2015. These photos all sparked debate, criticism, praise or notoriety for different reasons. Yes, these are all photos of celebrities but they range from photoshoots where celebrities bared all to paparazzi shots, where celebrities unknowingly bared all to the world while they thought they were secretly skinny-dipping. Some of these photos are of very polished, made-up women and others are of celebrities showing their true, unfiltered selves, with no makeup and no Photoshop.
In 2015, there was plenty to talk about, mostly due to the Kardashians and Jenners, all of the people who are on this list. Sorry, but there’s just something about that family that gets people talking. The Kardashians and Jenners seemingly cannot do anything without it sparking some sort of controversy. Some of the photos only became a hot button topic after the celebrity in said photo spoke out against how photoshopped they were. One overall theme in these photos is that the world seems to be embracing a change in what is considered ideal. Body positivity and self-love are catching on. You don’t have to be perfect to be on the cover of a magazine, you just have to be you.
10. Justin Bieber In The Buff
While vacationing in Bora Bora, Tahiti with model Jayde Pierce, a friend and rumored love interest, Justin Bieber decided to bare it all while he went skinny-dipping. Considering the fact that he was skinny-dipping in a private pool, he didn’t think he needed to worry about paparazzi. He was wrong and the photos of The Biebs – all of The Biebs – went viral. Can’t the poor guy take a naked dip? If nothing else, this photo made a few more beliebers out of people.
9. Demi Lovato Nude And Makeup-Free
Before the release of her newest album, Confident, Demi Lovato was feeling confident indeed. When the singer met with photographer Patrick Ecclesine for a photo shoot that would later appear in Vanity Fair, she had three rules: no makeup, no clothes and no retouching. Lovato is very open about her struggle with eating disorders and preaches self-love, something that these vulnerable, beautiful photos portray.
8. Zendaya Coleman Photoshopped
19-year-old Zendaya was not happy about how drastically she was photoshopped in a photo from Modeliste. She took to Instagram to sound off, where she posted a side by side of the original image and the altered image with this caption:
“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it.”
The magazine pulled the pictures to which Zendaya referred. Zendaya is always one to be all about self-love. At the 2015 Oscars, she wore her hair in dreadlocks, which was received with much praise, and a fair share of criticism as well. Apparently Mattel disagreed with the criticism because they created a special, one-of-a-kind Barbie that replicated Zendaya’s Oscar look.
7. Khloe Kardashian’s Complex Photoshoot
Khloe Kardashian has endured being titled the “funny, fat sister” in the Kardashian family ever since they blasted into the limelight. Recently, Khloe has started eating healthier and working out like she is training for the Olympics. After shedding pounds and toning up, Khloe posed in a racy photoshoot for Complex. Upon being released, people, of course, claimed that Khloe simply must have been photoshopped. Give the girl some credit, will ya? Fed up with this reaction from people, she posted a side by side of the original image and the magazine image with this caption:
“This one is for all the troll haters out there that cannot seem to give me an ounce of credit for my daily workouts! The image on the left is an unretouched photo from the actual camera on the day of the shoot. The image on the right is the retouched photo. Yes skin is smooth and shadows are removed but I still think I look good on the left image.”
6. Kendall Jenner In A Confederate Flag Shirt
While running errands, Kendall Jenner wore a Lynard Skynyrd shirt with a Confederate Flag on it. A Confederate Flag, you know, like the flag of the South, who was fighting for the right to have slaves and stuff. Yes, the flag is a sign of the southern heritage but it is also a sign of racism so you probably shouldn’t be sporting one while getting a latte. Kendall faced much criticism for wearing the shirt but some people came to her defense, as the model may not have put much thought into what she grabbed to wear while running errands.
5. Kim Kardashian Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before
Kim Kardashian isn’t exactly considered a low-maintenance celeb. The star even wanted to have her glam squad ready after giving birth to North West. Kim is known for her perfectly made up, contoured face, her long, fake eyelashes, her perfectly blown out hair. Basically, she’s not known for being bare faced but bare faced she was indeed for her cover of Spanish Vogue. The photoshoot took place at The Beverly Hills Hotel and featured a makeup-less Kim wearing pajamas and tee shirts, letting her enormous ring from Kanye West do all the sparkling. Of course, some people picked the photos apart, claiming that she actually had makeup on but regardless, this was the most vulnerable and real the world has seen Kim. (That is, if you don’t include her sex tape.)
4. Caitlyn Jenner’s Introduction To The World
Caitlyn Jenner went from being part of the Kardashian circus to being praised for her courage. Hell, she even won the Glamour Woman of the Year Award; however, it was met with much backlash. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Before awards, before anything, Caitlyn introduced herself to the world via a 22-page Vanity Fair feature. The magazine even had Caitlyn on their cover in a now iconic photo taken by Annie Leibovitz. Upon the release of this magazine, it was met with much praise as it was a huge step forward for the transgender community.
3. Kylie Jenner In Black Light
It seems like most things that Kylie Jenner, or anyone from the Kardashian/Jenner clan for that matter, does seems controversial. Just look at this list! Almost every single sibling made it. While Kylie faced much controversy this year for those lips of hers, for dating Tyga and for anything else you could possibly name, her most controversial photos of this year come from a photoshoot done with photographer Marcelo Cantu. The highly stylized photoshoot made Kylie look like someone else, someone with sparkly skin and pink hair. Upon posting one of the photos to her Instagram, people sounded off as it looked like Kylie was wearing blackface. It was apparently just a trick with black lights and neon lights so there was no need to panic but leave it to Kylie to make everyone think the photos are just a little more controversial than they are.
2. Selena Gomez In A Bikini
Poor Selena Gomez. It seems every year the paparazzi must catch someone on the beach looking less than a perfect version of themselves. It has even happened to Victoria’s Secret Angel Tyra Banks. Unfortunately, the cameras caught Selena Gomez having a great time on the beach with friends, while wearing a pink bikini that was a little too tiny and unflattering. People sounded off, wondering if the former Disney star had gained weight. Gomez didn’t let it get her down. She was back on the beach the next day in another bathing suit.
1. Amy Schumer Being Amy Schumer
You know who is having a great year? Amy Schumer. She nabbed an Emmy, was a box office hit and formed a bestie friendship with Jennifer Lawrence. If that’s not a great year, I don’t know what is. This year, the annual Pirelli Calendar, which usually features models in lingerie, changed their game and instead, photographed people who succeed in art, business and sports. Annie Leibovitz photographed everyone, including Amy Schumer, who appeared nude. Also nude was Serena Williams, another famous woman who has endured much criticism about her body. These lovely photos of real bodies are much more beautiful than any highly photoshopped picture and Zendaya would agree.