Stars show their true beauty for French “Elle”

If video killed the radio star, then maybe Photoshop killed the beautiful star. You see, as I’ve argued again and again and again and again and again and again (trend: I’ve spotted one), excessive Photoshopping is seriously damaging our perception of beauty. How can we mere mortals ever feel beautiful if even the beautiful people aren’t beautiful enough? Well, to that all I can say is vive la France!

This month’s issue of the French Elle magazine is devoted to “Stars Sans Fards,” which translates to stars without makeup. But, really, it means stars completely as is — no makeup, no Photoshop, no airbrushing, nada. That cool breeze you just felt was the breath of fresh air this photoshoot just exhaled all over the fashion industry. Posing for the three covers were European stars Monica Bellucci, Eva Herzigova and Sophie Marceau.

Granted, all these women are astronomically gorgeous to begin with. They’re big winners in the genetic lottery and certainly have other advantages including personal trainers, chefs and the like. But to see them stripped of the normal trappings of glamour only enhances their beauty for me.

The feature spotlights eight stars, including Charlotte Rampling, Inès de la Fressange, Anne Parillaud, Karin Viard and Chiara Mastroianni all shot in gorgeous black and white by Peter Lindbergh. I particularly love 63-year-old Rampling.

We could all learn about aging gracefully from the British beauties like Rampling, Helen Mirren and Julie Christie. Do you hear that, American starlets? Botox make you look like a mentally-challenged deer in klieg lights. Just like the exception proves the rule, our imperfections make us who we are. Perfect is boring and easily forgotten. I can’t remember the face of a single Miss America contestant, but I’ll never forget Meryl Streep and her alluringly askew nose.

OK, so even I’m having trouble finding the flaws in Bellucci’s face. But darn it if I won’t keep trying.

Some more of my favorites from the inside spread. [Hat tip, Ostinato24 and maxime68!]

Marceau and actress Mastroianni (the daughter of Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni)

Model Inès de la Fressange and La Femme Nikita star Parillaud

Czech model Herzigova.

So, what do you think of all this unadorned beauty. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if American glossies followed suit?

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