Grocery store tabloids love to scream, “Stars Without Makeup,” from their covers. Between the red carpet, editorial images, and ad campaigns, we’re used to seeing our favorite stars look their (often unreal) best, making an untouched, unenhanced image a real novelty these days. It’s why French Elle released eight makeup free covers is April of 2009 featuring stars like Eva Herzigova and Charlotte Rampling. Jessica Simpson was bare faced for the May 2010 cover of Marie Claire, and Lady Gaga did the same thing for Harper’s Bazaar in October 2011. Most recently Kerry Washington, the star of Scandal, gained a good deal of attention and praise for going against the grain with her makeup-free cover of Allure this month.
The thing is, Washington was wearing makeup. “It is a no-makeup look, but I do have some makeup on,” Washington said on The View after being complimented on her appearance. “I’m going to be honest because I think it’s unfair when we tell women they should look like something that’s not real.”
Washington isn’t the only star who has spoken out about the truth about a magazine cover. Actress Kate Winslet has been vocal in the past about her appearance in magazines, speaking out about a British GQ magazine shoot from 2003 where her figure was digitally altered to look slimmer. “I just didn’t want people to think I was a hypocrite and that I’d suddenly lost 30lbs or whatever. So I just came out and said, ‘Look, I don’t look like that’. I’m not mad at the magazine, but I have no intention of looking like that,” said Winslet.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston is proudly declaring her lack of makeup in her upcoming film, Cake. She said it was “so fabulous—so dreamy and empowering and liberating” on Deadline’s “Contender’s Panel” over the weekend. (She only sat in the makeup chair to get the scars her character suffers in a car crash.)
Photo: Echo Films
It might be refreshing to see celebrities without makeup, but it’s even more thrilling to hear them say, “That no makeup pic? There is makeup!” Because the point isn’t really whether or not you have on foundation and lipstick, but how great you feel about yourself and feeling confident enough to own your choice.