After the ‘No Makeup Selfie’ craze hit social media sites, the issue of how women look without cosmetics became a hot topic. Novelist Laura Lippman started the trend in support of Kim Novak at the Oscars, and a successful campaign for the Breast Cancer charity was launched.
Now comes the Lady Gaga Versace Photoshop Scandal, where unretouched photos from the recent Versace campaign have been released, showing the 28-year-old pop idol looking barefaced and unglamorous, with dark circles round her eyes. The stark contrast between these natural-looking shots and the polished pics used in the campaign suggests that photoshop wizardry was entirely responsible for the smooth perfection of her image.
Some people have been busily analysing the changes: bruises on her legs seem to have been airbrushed out, while her hair color has been enhanced and her skin tone perfected. Her face and figure appear to have been modified as well. What has puzzled commentators is why her make-up appears to have been digitally applied – is this the end of fashion make-up artistry as we know it?
All this raises the question of whether we need actual models in fashion photos at all. Why not shoot a blank dummy, and apply random features to the digital image? More disturbingly, the familiar controversy about young girls aspiring to look like the perfect image of their rôle models rears its ugly head with a vengeance.
In an attempt at damage limitation, the company representing the photographers, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, have threatened legal action against anyone infringing their copyright by publishing the photos. Whether Gaga herself will be troubled, however, is debatable. She has weathered a similar scandal when a video of her 2012 photo shoot for Vogue showed a ‘before and after’ contrast in her looks. The Lady Gaga Versace Photoshop Scandal of 2014 may provoke debate, but the star herself is unlikely to suffer any loss to her fan base.
Photo credit : JoseLMonster