Let’s just be honest – sometimes, looking at photographs of celebrities can be discouraging because they appear to be pretty much perfect. We stare at photos of celebrities with perfectly glimmering hair, perfectly toned bodies, and gorgeous, flawless skin and it can seem completely unattainable. “I’ll never look like that!” we exclaim, staring at the magazine covers. Well, here’s a reality check for those who didn’t know – they don’t even look like that.
Sure, it can seem obvious that celebrities are completely made up in certain photoshoots where they’re sporting a more dramatic make-up look or complicated outfit. For those photos that are a bit more natural looking, on the other hand, it can be tough to spot what’s natural and what’s just really, really good photoshop.
Luckily, a lot of celebrities lately are speaking out about not wanting to participate in that unrealistic culture of too-perfect. They want to be honest and upfront about their fans. Yes, their image is often altered to get the best photospread. That’s just the entertainment business. However, celebrities are beginning to take the initiative and share their own unphotoshopped photos. Images that formerly never saw the light of day are surfacing for the public to see and helping us see just what technology can do vs. what Mother Nature has done.
Here are 10 photos of celebrities without photoshop.
10 Bethenny Frankel
Reality television personality and queen of the Skinny Girl empire Bethenny Frankel has received a lot of public scrutiny for her appearance, with many critiquing her for being a bit too thin. In 2009, this health conscious chef made the decision to pose for PETA, with the frequently used PETA caption of ‘Fur? I’d rather go naked.” The billboard-sized photo soon captured the public’s attention because it seemed far too photoshopped. So, Frankel decided to release the unphotoshopped images – and you can clearly see wonky tan lines, wrinkles, skin that isn’t quite as uniformly smooth and glowing, and more. She’s still in phenomenal shape, but in the unphotoshopped version of the picture, she actually looks like a real woman and not a smoothed out plastic doll.
9 Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian’s level of fame means pretty much any photo taken of her is examined and picked apart, and this photo she took for Complex was no different. Kardashian posed in her sultry finest, with pouty lips and a skin tight bodysuit, and someone at Complex accidentally released a photo that hadn’t yet been photoshopped. Many were quick to harshly critique Kim’s body, and the photo was soon photoshopped. Kim, however, got her girl power on and posted the original photo on her own website, saying that she was proud of her body, flaws and all, and that she believed sharing an unphotoshopped image would help people see that the images on magazine covers often aren’t realistic. Take that, trigger-happy photoshoppers.
8 Taylor Swift
Nowadays, singing sensation Taylor Swift is rarely seen without perfectly applied make-up and perfectly coiffed hair, whether she’s out for a night on the town with her girlfriends or coming out of the gym. Back when she was only 18, however, she made a powerful statement by posing for People magazine with no make-up on. In order to up the ante, the images taken of her bare face also remained Photoshop-free. Swift proves that women can look great all dolled up, but are equally gorgeous in their totally natural form. Who knows – this photo may very well have originated the popular hashtag, #wokeuplikethis.
7 Eva Longoria
Actress Eva Longoria is absolutely stunning, and continues to maintain an unbelievable physique despite having reached 40 years of age. However, a set of photos taken of her shows that even a bombshell like Eva gets photoshopped. The photoshoppers have enhanced her hair, adding a bit of caramel-colored streaks, smoothed out her skin, both on her face and body, made her legs a bit more voluptuous, made her waist a bit narrower, and more. Sure, the image on the right will probably sell a lot of magazines, but the image on the left proves that she’s gorgeous no matter what.
6 Britney Spears
That’s right – the Queen herself has been photoshopped. When she was younger, Britney Spears was probably hated by photoshoppers everywhere, because her body was so tight and toned there likely wasn’t much they could do. As she’s gotten older, she’s become their new favorite subject – they’ll find countless things to slim and trim on her still in-shape body. One example is this photoshoot she did – they photoshopped a few innocuous things, like changing the pink background to give it more texture. They also slimmed her waist, thighs, butt and more. Photos like this prove just how unnecessary photoshop can be – Spears looked completely fine in the unphotoshopped shot, but they still needed to tinker with her body to make it that much more unattainable to anyone seeing the photo.
5 Kelly Clarkson
Sometimes, photoshop is used to merely smooth out a few lines, take out a shadow or two, to make the image more aesthetically pleasing. And then sometimes they get a bit too trigger happy and essentially give the individual a new body – like with Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson has struggled with her weight throughout her career, and has always been outspoken about the fact that it’s her voice that truly matters, not the package it comes in. Her fans have cheered on her body confidence statements, and this photoshopping undermines all that. They’ve done fairly standard things, like giving her blonde hair a bit of extra dimension and amping up the color of her clothing to make it more vivid and crisp. However, they’ve also taken about four dress sizes off her frame. Doing something as drastic as that sends a strong message – and not a positive one.
4 Jennifer Aniston
Due to her healthy lifestyle and dedication to an exercise routine, Jennifer Aniston seems to be merely getting better with age. Her body is more toned than it was in her 20s, and countless women pore over photos of her on red carpets and in magazine spreads. This photo demonstrates just how tricky and subtle photoshop can be. It’s not always a case of the before picture being an absolutely different woman – after all, there are limits to what even photoshop can do. In this unphotoshopped photo, Aniston still looks gorgeous and fresh faced. However, if you look close, you’ll see a few wrinkles across her forehead – something we all have, something that would be endearing for her fans to see. Instead, the photoshoppers quickly zapped that out, giving her a smooth forehead for a seemingly candid red carpet photo.
3 Katy Perry
It seems to be a frequent refrain for pictures of celebrities – they’re in incredible shape, and their natural bodies are something many of us strive for. Despite this, the powers in the photoshop studio always want to add or take away a little something, seemingly just because. Perry was shot for a daring cover of Rolling Stone, stripping down to her underwear. Her curvy yet slim frame looks stunning in the unphotoshopped image, but they made several tweaks, slightly slimming certain body parts, making her stomach more uniform and even, adding a bit of extra oomph to her cleavage. Particularly for something like a cover photo, it’s understandable that they want to capture attention with the crispest photo possible, but the unphotoshopped image is equally striking.
2 Piper Perabo
A lot of photoshop work involves adjusting the colors in an image to make it crisp and ensure it looks good in print. This image of Piper Perabo doesn’t have that excuse, being in black and white. Looking back and forth between the unphotoshopped image and final product and you might have to squint to find what’s actually been done. They’ve added a bit of texture to her hair, made her skin glow a bit, and most significantly, smoothed out the skin on her face to create a flawless canvas. Adjustments like that make one question – why even bother?
1 Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett is most certainly not a shy, shrinking English rose; throughout her career she’s been outspoken about many issues. For one of their issues, the U.K. magazine Intelligent Life decided to unleash Blanchett in her full glory – no photoshop added – on their cover. It’s a bold statement in a world where people will critique a slight bulge in Kim Kardashian’s thighs, but all the advocates for natural, unphotoshopped images rejoiced. Blanchett’s wrinkles and slight imperfections are visible, but it just makes her beauty all the more striking. Take note, glossy magazines – you don’t need to photoshop a celebrity to within an inch of their life just to sell magazines. We bet Blanchett’s issue was flying off the shelves.