Photoshop is Sharon Stone’s best friend

Sometimes, blogging about beautiful women presents a dilemma for me. (Yeah, I know – poor me.) Seriously, though, maybe you can help me sort through this. Here’s what started my crisis of conscience:

That gorgeous shot of Sharon Stone is part of a new ad campaign from Damiani, the Italian diamond jewelry company. According to popbytes, the photos were inspired by Eve (above), Amelia Earhart and “today’s modern woman.” (I think I’ve just been cured of my fear of flying.)

Obviously, the pictures are exquisite. They also are airbrushed – a lot.

I’ve seen Sharon Stone in person and she is stunning. She glows, in fact. Here she is just a few weeks ago at Women’s Night 2008. This is a woman who turned 50 in March. Just wow.

Stone has claimed for years that she’s had no plastic surgery. She even sued a plastic surgeon a few years ago for implying that he had worked on her. I believe her – her eyes wrinkle when they twinkle. Lest you think she had something done right before the ad photo shoot, this pic is from the campaign launch last week.

Now here’s my conflict: I don’t think that airbrushing is automatically a bad thing. In this case, diamond jewelry is the product and Sharon Stone is the model. Damiani paid a lot of money for Stone to appear, but the focus of the ad is the jewelry, not the model. And, unlike some retouched photos we’ve seen recently, no one is implying that the picture is not airbrushed.

Yet, the choice of Stone seems to be based on more than looks. According to Damiani, the campaign is all about “women who can be what they want and go beyond the limits allowed. These are women who are beautiful, romantic, tender, charming, brave, confident, courageous and full of mystery, who always feel at ease regardless of their environment.” Stone is known for those things – her edginess and outspoken activism are why we love her (even when it gets her in trouble.) To embrace her personality without embracing the experience lines she’s earned in the process seems contradictory.

What do you think? Does the airbrushing in this case bother you or is it understandable? Do you enjoy seeing photos of your favorite actors even when an overzealous Photoshop artist was involved? Or do you prefer all natural, all the time?