Here we go again. Just days after the internet was buzzing about the leak of Cindy Crawford’s unretouched lingerie pics, over 200 pre-Photoshop pics of Beyoncé have hit the web. The photos, which were unearthed from a 2013 L’Oréal ad campaign and posted on a fan site called The Beyoncé World, show Queen Bey looking beautiful and very real. OK, so she’s not #flawless in every picture, but who is? Her foundation, which is always plastered on for photo shoots, looks heavy, and underneath majorly strong lighting Beyoncé has pretty normal skin—a few bumps, some shine, pores—exactly what you’d expect from ultra close-up photos under extreme lighting at a photo shoot. Had the lighting been softened, and the camera pulled away just a few more inches, the resulting images would have been very different.
According to The Beyoncé World, they pulled the images from their site after major backlash on their website. It even resurrected the social media hashtag #BeyHiveAttack. “Due to the disdain of the BeyHive, we have removed the photos,” the site wrote. “We don’t want to cause any drama, nor do we wish to start fan wars. Some of the things we have seen posted were just horrible, and we don’t want any part of it. We were just posting the photos to share the fact that our queen is naturally beautiful, at the same time she is just a regular woman.”
But interestingly, many of Beyoncé’s fans have been incredibly supportive on social media. They are praising the singer for looking beautiful in the un-retouched images, and are happy to see genuine images of Queen Bey.
After the initial wave of internet bullies, it seems that positivity is winning out. Having the veil lifted off of the amount of retouching that goes on in magazine images and ad campaigns may ultimately be a good thing. People are finally ready to celebrate authentic, unairbrushed beauty.