The added attention on the importance of physical appearance in Hollywood has created a number of different issues regarding how celebrities are perceived by the public. While no one ever bats an eye when a celebrity wears an extra pair of Spanx or goes old school with a Marilyn Monroe-style corset, new ideas of what constitutes beauty has brought some dirty behind-the-scenes secrets into the light.
While it’s bad enough that they now sell padded underwear to create a Kim Kardashian– style butt, and plastic surgery has become so mainstream that it seems normal for celebrities to engage in lunchtime procedures on a whim, there are other tips, tricks, and scams celebrities use to make themselves appear more “perfect” onscreen and in photos.
This has brought up some questions by the media and the general public because it brings up negative ideas of what is considered beautiful by all of the young girls looking at these images. In the time of Marilyn Monroe, the healthier look was considered the epitome of beauty and sex appeal. Yet, nowadays it seems like the new motto is “the thinner, the better.”
The ironic part of this dilemma is the fact that these young girls are striving to look like the women in the magazines, and yet, even the women being photographed don’t actually look like that. Airbrushing, filters, specialty makeup products, and intense Photoshop tools have created a new normal in Hollywood. This can be seen more acutely when celebrities are photographed by fans or paparazzi when they don’t have all those extra bells and whistles to hide behind. Check out 15 starlets that need help looking beautiful onscreen and in photos, and see if you have been bamboozled by these trickster celebrities.
15. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence has definitely made her mark on Hollywood, especially since winning the Best Actress Oscar in 2012 for the film Silver Linings Playbook. While her acting skills have brought her awards and accolades, it’s her personality and strong convictions that have made her extremely endearing to fans. Unlike other actresses that look to be on the brink of starvation, Lawrence has embraced a much healthier attitude about her outward appearance. She addressed her unwillingness to lose weight for a film role in an interview with the BBC in 2013 saying, “We have the ability to control this image that young girls are going to be seeing [in The Hunger Games]… girls see enough of this body that they will never be able to obtain… It’s an amazing opportunity to rid ourselves of that in this industry.”
With her feeling so strongly about the importance of setting a realistic example, it’s ironic that so many of her pictorials and covers have been altered. Her 2011 Flare magazine cover was altered to create the look of a slimmer waist and elongated neck, and another pictorial shot shows incredible changes to her arms, waist, and thighs.
14. Britney Spears
While there was a time when Britney Spears was the epitome of sex appeal and beauty in the music industry, quite a lot of time has passed since her breakout song, “…Baby One More Time.” With audiences seeing Spears grow up in front of the camera, the public has been privy to all the ups and downs in her personal life as well as her outward appearance. While becoming a mother, going through a number of breakdowns, and showing the signs of aging, Spears has been criticized on more than one occasion for her lackluster appearance.
From the “Gimme More” performance at the VMAs to the multitude of paparazzi photos showing all of her flaws and extra weight, she no longer has the body type she had early in her career. Yet, many of her pictorial features have shown her as perfectly toned with flawless skin. By slimming down her thighs, cinching her waist, and evening out her skin tone, Spears is definitely no stranger to airbrushing in photos.
13. Mariah Carey
When Mariah Carey was first introduced to audiences, she was seen as the fresh-faced amazing singer that knew how to rock anything from a ball gown to a bra top. Her “Honey” video is probably at the top of the list in regard to when she was at her thinnest weight, with each subsequent video showcasing a much bigger body type. Fans don’t seem to mind that Carey hasn’t been able to maintain her toothpick figure, since she was most loved for her voice and not her dancing skills or seductive outfits.
While it may not bother fans, it certainly seems to bother Mariah Carey. Many of her album covers feature Carey wearing a highly seductive outfit, and have come under fire because of suspicion of airbrushing. While she has never publicly come out about altering her photos, the proof is in the side-by-side photos of Carey on the red carpet or on stage and the dramatically thin photos on her album covers.
Madonna has always come under fire for her provocative ways, both in her personal life and on the stage, but in recent years the controversy has revolved around her unwillingness to age gracefully. Refusing to dress appropriately for her age, she is often seen walking the red carpet with over-the-top outfits that bare everything from her butt cheeks to her breasts only covered with pasties. While some can argue that she still looks pretty good for being almost 60 years old, those people probably haven’t seen Madonna up close and personal…
Close-up photos of Madonna’s face show a puffiness that simply isn’t natural looking, whether it’s plastic surgery or just some fillers and Botox. Yet things get immensely worse when she steps out without any makeup on. She obviously needs all the help she can get, since she’s trying to compete with other celebrities half her age. This might answer the question of why Madonna dresses so shockingly provocatively, since it will at least draw attention away from her face.
11. Ariana Grande
Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it seems strange that celebrities would feel self-conscious about how they look in film and pictures. While the public sees them as part of the glitterati and ultra-beautiful at all times, many of them have their own qualms about their personal appearance. Ariana Grande seems to have an obsession with her preference about which side of her face is photographed, and has been very vocal about preferring the left side of her face.
Often using this as a stipulation when meeting with media, Grande has even been known to delete photos of herself from her fans’ telephone cameras when out on the street. After carefully inspecting photos taken on the left side versus the right, it does appear that Grande has a little sweet dimple on one side of her face. While this might be the justification she gives in why she prefers her left side, it shows that even celebrities have insecurities on what they feel makes them look beautiful onscreen and in photos.
10. Julia Roberts
While magazine covers and pictorials have had their fair share of criticism for altering the photos of their models and celebrities, it’s the endorsement ads that have received the brunt of the outrage. Hair coloring companies have long since had a work-around for their products, since the celebrities that endorse the products need only use a portion of the ingredients in the box color within their hair regimen. While you might want to think that Beyonce truly only uses ‘drugstore box” hair color when she does her hair, the public doesn’t seem to mind the fact that even though she endorses the products she isn’t exactly at home every two weeks dying her own roots.
However, makeup companies don’t get the same leeway, and many have been called out for false advertising. British Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson made headlines in 2011 when the L’Oreal advertisements featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington ad campaigns were banned for being overly airbrushed. From anti-wrinkle serum to flawless makeup, it is definitely false advertisement when the celebrity has been airbrushed to perfection in the ad.
9. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart is an actress that was pretty much thrust into super-stardom early on in her career. While she did star in a few commercially successful films, including Panic Room with costar Jodie Foster, it wasn’t until her portrayal in the Twilight Saga that she reached true mainstream fame. When Bella Swan made her transition to the undead, audiences didn’t seem to mind that CGI came into effect in helping her to look emaciated as well as absolutely flawless with sparkling white skin.
However, it was the promotional work when Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn was released that had fans giving Stewart the side eye in how she was being portrayed in photos. Appearing on the November cover for Glamour magazine in 2011, the attempt to make her look as thin as possible was taken to a new level. Stewart is seen sitting in a provocative cross-legged style wearing a flirty tube top that showcases her slim legs and arms. Yet, one of the arm is inexplicably missing. With paparazzi photos released showing what Stewart looks like without makeup, she apparently needs all the help she can get (including airbrushing away one of her arms).
8. Angelina Jolie
Since many of the hottest A-list leading ladies in Hollywood are starting to show signs of aging, a makeup trick made headlines in 2014 when a number of starlets appeared to have large white patches on their face. Since hi-definition has become a norm in people’s home TVs, celebrities are turning to specialty hi-definition makeup to create a flawless look on video. From walking the red carpet to sitting in the audience at an awards show, the makeup actually bounces light off the skin to create a smoother and more contoured look.
Yet, when the makeup is used with glaring flashing bulbs, the powder creates a mirrored effect that draws attention to all the areas of the skin that were kissed by the makeup. A number of starlets were photographed wearing this powder, including Nicole Kidman and Eva Longoria. However, it was Angelina Jolie that was most surprising, since she always seems so effortlessly stunning onscreen and on the red carpet. Proving that even the ultra glamorous Jolie needs a bit of help looking flawless as she starts to age, she quit this makeup trick since she was first outed by the cameras in 2014.
7. Katy Perry
When Katy Perry married Russell Brand in 2010, people wondered whether or not this would be a relationship that would stand the test of time. While they both exuded the rock n’ roll persona, sometimes it’s better to have at least one calming force to make a successful couple last. The two ultimately divorced in 2012, but not before Brand posted a photo of his new wife sans makeup and looking like she just woke up. Posting it to his Twitter account, people were taken aback at how different Perry looked without all the heavy makeup she usually wears when photographed.
It was deleted quickly after it was posted, but the damage had been done. The public got a glimpse of what Perry looks like before all the hair and makeup, and she looks far from the blue-haired beauty from the “California Gurls” video. While everyone was looking at her cupcake bra, they should have looked a little closer at how thick her makeup needed to be applied to cover up her tired-looking natural face.
6. Lady Gaga
While magazine covers used to only be reserved for supermodels, celebrities have now become the new go-to model for everything from the cover of Redbook to the cover of Vogue. So, it wasn’t surprising when they asked Lady Gaga to shoot the feature cover for Vogue magazine’s September issue in 2012. It was a Special Anniversary Issue featuring 120 years of style innovators, and Gaga wore a Marc Jacobs origami dress on the cover. The hype surrounding this photo shoot peaked when a video was released showing the behind-the-scenes of the pictorial. While magazines are known for altering their cover photos, Vogue took it to a new level with the intense Photoshop tools used to create the final product. The public can forgive the over-the-top fried hair that was airbrushed to stay put, and the purple tone that was added to the plum-colored gown; the cartoon-like depiction of her body and unrealistic skin property appears more like a drawing than an actual photograph, though.
5. Kate Upton
Kate Upton landed her first Sports Illustrated cover at the tender age of 18 years old, but her true fame resulted from a variety of quirky insights into the personality behind the photos. From the videos on the Internet featuring Upton doing the “Dougie Dance” to the ultra laid-back look during her downtime, she gained true celebrity status that has helped launch her onto the silver screen.
Although she has been hailed for embracing her voluptuous body type, it’s important to note that she looks quite different from her original Sports Illustrated cover. While she’s never been the typical toothpick size of a model, recent portrayals of her have shown a bit of a heavy handed approach at Photoshop. During the filming of The Other Woman, Upton had to wear a super skimpy white bikini while running on the beach, and she admitted to feeling nervous about how the scene would look onscreen. Her newly defined body type may be the reason why so many of her pictorials have a slimmer look compared to real-life stills.
4. Kim Kardashian
Although the public sees Kim Kardashian through the reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the way she appears on the show is quite different than the pictorials and sporadic photo shoots that pop up every so often. While the reality show can hide her physical shortcomings with layers of clothing and strategically placed furniture, the pictorials are often scantily clad outfits that don’t leave much to the imagination. With a celebrity with such an overwhelming social media presence as Kim Kardashian, many fans would be shocked to know that she isn’t the only one that has a role in her pics and posts on the Internet.
While you might think all those selfies are all natural, she’s been called out on more than one occasion for altering her pictures. One of the more blatant examples of airbrushing was in a photo spread for Complex magazine. The unaltered image was accidentally released, and the public was able to grab a peek before the outlet could swap it out for an airbrushed version. While slimming down her waist and thighs, the magazine even smoothed out her skin tone to create a more polished and perfect look.
3. Kate Winslet
Back when Kate Winslet was a redhead and she starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the hit film Titanic, she received more than her fair share of criticism for her physical appearance. Although her body type in 1997 was much more comparable to the average woman than any of the other toothpick actresses in Hollywood, she was instantly called out for being “plus size.” In recent years, she has changed her persona in the public eye, with a blonde hairstyle and a much slimmer look. Although she is smaller than how she was portrayed early in her film career, it seems that there are still those that think she could stand to look even smaller. GQ magazine made headlines in 2009 when they released a pictorial of Kate Winslet that had been clearly altered. The photo features Winslet’s profile highlighted, and a mirror in the background. Yet, the mirror depicts a completely different version of the starlet. Clearly showing a slimming effect on the torso and arms, even her butt is reshaped to create a more feminine look.
Known for embracing her voluptuous body, Beyoncé started her career with such hits as “Bootylicious” to show the public her unapologetic attitude about being curvy. Yet, when she posted photos of herself via social media, it was shocking to see that she had used Photoshop to create a thigh gap. Posting a photo of herself walking down stairs on Instagram, you can clearly see that the stairs aren’t creating a straight line. The surprising thing about this is that she can’t blame the photographer or magazine because it was a photo that was posted through her own Instagram account.
Beyoncé is no stranger to airbrushing controversy since many of her pictorials have received criticism over accusations of skin lightening. Yet it’s surprising that she would feel the need to alter her own social media pics to create the look of a slimmer body. Her fans are fully aware that she has a “bootylicious” body, so there really isn’t any reason to try and appear skinny.
1. Cameron Diaz
While there was once a time when Cameron Diaz was thought of as the most desirable woman in the world, a long time has passed since her 1998 film, There’s Something About Mary. In the meantime, her film portrayals have started to dwindle and she has branched out to write a variety of books on aging. Her Body Book made it to The New York Times’ bestseller list, and she recently announced a follow-up to focus on longevity. While the first book highlighted a natural looking Diaz baring her body on the cover, this 2013 release doesn’t depict the true Diaz of today. With deep set wrinkles and an aged look, it should come as no surprise that she is looking for outside help for her new cover. Releasing a statement on Our Body Book, Diaz wrote, “And as we diligently put the finishing touches on the book, we’d like to ask for your help once more. This book is for you and about you, and that’s why we’d like to see you on the cover. Much like the cover of the Body Book, under the jacket, where we featured women of all different shapes, sizes, builds and ethnicities.”