In the age of both the Photoshop of Horrors and the gimmicky “no makeup” editorial, it’s pretty excellent to see someone come at this issue from just the right angle. Intelligent Life‘s Photoshop-free Cate Blanchett cover is everything such a cover shoot should be: gorgeous, honest, and not overly self-satisfied.
In a statement of purpose about the cover shoot, editor Tim de Lisle had this to say:
When other magazines photograph actresses, they routinely end up running heavily Photoshopped images, with every last wrinkle expunged. Their skin is rendered so improbably smooth that, with the biggest stars, you wonder why the photographer didn’t just do a shoot with their waxwork.
It’s a supreme example of having it both ways. Publishers want a recognisable person on the cover, with a real career; but they also want an empty vessel—for clothes and jewellery and make-up, which often seem to be supplied by the advertisers with the most muscle. (One cover shoot we spotted this week even had a credit for a fragrance. You would hope that the readers smelt a rat.) The actresses end up playing two conflicting roles: both modern women and throwbacks, both something to aspire to and something to negate.
Cate Blanchett, by contrast, appears on our cover in her working clothes, with the odd line on her face and faint bags under her eyes. She looks like what she is—a woman of 42, spending her days in an office, her evenings on stage and the rest of her time looking after three young children. We can’t be too self-righteous about it, because, like anyone else who puts her on a cover, we are benefiting from her beauty and distinction. But the shot is at least trying to reflect real life. It’s a curious sign of the times that this has become something to shout about.
The short version of his very wonderful statement is this:
1.) Most magazines Photoshop stars until they are basically unrecognizable.
2.) This is silly, because movie stars are gorgeous the way they are.
3.) Here is a gorgeous picture of Cate Blanchett! Pretty, right? She hasn’t even had any plastic surgery!
4.) We realize we’re not standing up for ugliness or even deviation from beauty norms, because it is Cate Blanchett. Isn’t it fucked up that this photo of a very good looking person feels “real” or “refreshing” to us? What a world we live in.
Why, it’s almost like Intelligent Life lives up to its name. Brb, figuring out how to download the article so I can read all about this interesting and human-looking person.