Beyonce is Perfectly Imperfect (And You Will Deal)

These are pictures of a female human under bright lights and a HD camera. Deal.

These are pictures of a female human under bright lights and a HD camera. Deal.


Water is wet. The sky is blue. Beyoncé is imperfect.

All of these are fundamental truths, but somehow one just became evident yesterday after website The Beyonce World leaked more than two hundred un-retouched  Beyoncé images from her 2013 L’Oreal campaign. In the “worst” of the images, which are eons more flattering than many people can manage for their VSCO cam–edited Instagram photos, Beyoncé’s face looks puffier than usual, mostly result of poor camera angles. Despite the heavy makeup— this is an ad for L’Oreal after all— her jawline has blemishes. Her plump lips are framed with “laugh lines”, a genetic trait undoubtedly passed down from her mother, “Mama” Tina Knowles.

So no, these pictures are not “flawless”, an image Beyoncé— and near every other woman in the public eye since the dawn of photography and film— has tried to project for years. They are pictures of what an attractive woman looks like with harsh lighting and a professional grade camera zoomed inches from her face. And still, Beyonce looks imperfect and perfectly fine.

What isn’t fine, however, is the hysteria and backlash over Beyoncé’s unretouched photos, a response that was notably absent when an unretouched photo of supermodel Cindy Crawford began making the online rounds last week. That leaked photo, which showed Crawford with cellulite and a soft midsection, was an outtake from a photoshoot for Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America.

American Marie Claire called the photo “real… honest… gorgeous.” CNN asked if Crawford’s cellulite was “empowering” and published an article that stumbled all over itself with praise for the image. Cosmo called Crawford’s photo, an “excellent reminder that ~unretouched~ photos are gorgeous, and so are our flaws.”  There was so much praise for Crawford, you would have thought she published the image herself. She didn’t.

And I humbly ask, where is all the celebration and praise for Beyoncé’s unretouched photos? Instead, people have gone nuts.

I don’t understand the alarm, the type that led Gawker to title a story about Beyoncé’s photos “Uh-Oh: Beyonce’s Face Is Uh-Oh” and snarked, “[these] should make you and Solange feel a little bit more secure about yourselves.” Really? The feedback was so bad that The Beyonce World removed the unretouched Beyonce images from their website, and actually apologized for upsetting people.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. The difference is that Beyonce’s image is SO contrived and she so carefully and obviously curates and promotes that image that people are taking glee in the fact that she is actually not ***flawless. Even you called her out for her “makeup-free” “natural” look in the HBO Special.

  2. Quaysa B says:

    Her look is “contrived”? Hmm..who actually posts their “ugly” photos up on the ‘gram or on Facebook? Like, every single woman in the world doesn’t take a million photos and then only selects the cute ones to go online. Contrived is a strong word. Even the song “flawless”, if you listen to the lyrics isn’t really her thinking she’s “perfect”. It’s about her feeling perfect Note the difference.

    If anybody ACTUALLY believed Beyonce was perfect, then that’s on them and their fantasies. Of course, she isn’t going to show up to an awards show looking a mess (lol, at least not on purpose. Not gonna say it’s never happened). And of course she isnt’ going to post up photos of herself that she thinks aren’t very flattering. Why would she do that? Lol, why would anybody do that? I think the public has done a better job of making Beyonce out to be “perfect” than Beyonce herself.

  3. Kylei says:

    She’s still pretty for me! It’s very much understandable as she needs to look good all the time as she’s got loads of endorsements to take care of.

    Let’s have fun at - Fake A Baby -

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