Paulina Porizkova opens up about accepting ‘what I really look like’ in unretouched photos

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Paulina Porizkova walks the runway for the Jiri Kalfar Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images) (Victor VIRGILE via Getty Images)

Paulina Porizkova is a natural beauty.

On Monday, the 56-year-old modeling legend shared a black and white photo of herself from a recent issue of Unconditional magazine. In it, she's wearing a cut-out crochet dress that showed a little skin. Her hair's styled in messy waves and her face is beaming.

"I’m gonna be vulnerable here, and admit that although the photos are beautiful, the ME, completely unretouched and through the very sharp lens of a high resolution camera, looks older than the ME I imagine seeing in the mirror," she captioned the photo. "This is the most flattering of the photos. I’m trying my best to sink into this feeling, this acceptance of what I really look like, but most days it’s not at all easy. Yet."

Celebrity friends and fans flooded the comments to praise Porizkova for her transparency.

"First of all, the digital images of you will never be you. They’re high resolution/definition and magnify everything. People forget that phone selfies and digital camera images exaggerate every minuscule details. Second, jeez you are so insanely gorgeous," Helena Christensen said.

"Beautiful!" Cindy Crawford wrote.

"While I can certainly relate to your statement, you look AMAZING! And I love reading your posts. You being you is making the world a better place!" A fan commented.

"This photo of you is just beautiful…We see ourselves through a different lens than the world sees us," another person added.

In her interview with Unconditional, Porizkova touched on several topics from her modeling career to the importance of using her platform, particularly on social media, to inspire others in light of the struggles of being older and still "wanting to be seen."

"I post what I would like to see from other women, from the women that I look up to," she told the publication. "I want to see what they do to stay looking the way they do. Like, please tell me. Most of them don’t, so I figure fine, I’ll deal with that. Although I absolutely understand why they don’t, because of the scrutiny you come under when you do. You can never please everybody but there’s a lot of shame heaped on older women. As an older woman past 50, you get shamed just for wanting to be seen. And there is a lot of shame heaped on very young women about not measuring up; not being pretty or skinny enough."

She also took aim at the culture of social media that only emphasizes appearance and strives for perfection.

"When people like you for being perfect, I think it’s bound to hurt you. People only love you for your image, not for who you are. Ultimately that’s going to feel very shallow and eventually, you won’t be able to measure up. At some point you’re going to fall off and then you’re going to have to relearn who you are and who you want to be," she explained.

This is not the first retouched photoshoot the supermodel has had. Earlier this year, Porizkova posed for a photoshoot for Vogue Czechoslovakia in her home in April. She looked stunning in a see through bodysuit.

In an interview with Page Six following the shoot, she confirmed that the pictures were unretouched despite social media skepticism.

"As soon as it came out, Twitter was like, ‘Well, fine, retouch [the photos] and then sure, they’ll look fine.' It’s like, no, no, no … it was Marie [Tomonova’s] photography! Obviously, you know, you could take a much worse picture than that of me, but you wouldn’t want to see that on the cover, right?” she explained.

In April, Porizkova opened up to Yahoo Life about aging and using the the hashtag #BetweenJLoandBettyWhite. "Jennifer Lopez may only be just a few years younger than me, but you're talking about a woman who is 51 and looks 30, and is incredible gorgeous and sexy and absolutely viable as a woman — everyone can agree that she's hot. And then Betty White is just adorable and charming and so funny and we just love her because she's such a firecracker at her age. And in between the two of them, there's nobody," she said. "So you either have the middle-aged woman that looks incredible and doesn't look her age, or the truly older woman that absolutely looks her age, but doesn't act her age. There's no celebration of actual age."

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