“do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly”

by bellab

Beauty Photography in Vogue by Martin Henderson

Well so said Baz Luhrmann in his late 90s psychedelic sermon Wear Sunscreen. But he’s got a point. Riffling through some books at a West Norwood charity shop a few weeks ago I happened upon this gorgeous coffee-table tome of Beauty Photography in Vogue by Martin Harrison for the knockdown price of £2.50. But it wasn’t until I got it home and really started studying it that I noticed something wasn’t quite right.Vogue Beauty in PhotographyPublished in 1987, but with pictures dating back to the 1930s, not a single picture in this book has been retouched. This was an era before digital, Photoshop and even in some cases, computers. The images are no less beautiful for their apparent lack of perfection. On the contrary, their honesty gives them a certain plucky charm and authenticity. I’m not anti-retouching per se, lord knows it’s saved my arse on many an occasion when somebody forgot to snip off a label or tuck in a ponytail, and after all this is fantasy we’re selling here, but the below makes me realise how homogenised our view of womens’ faces and bodies must have become in the last 70 years that we VERY rarely see details, textures and imperfections like these any more on the pages of our favourite magazines.

A furrowed (some might say wrinkly) brow, John Deakin 1952

A furrowed (some might say wrinkly) brow, John Deakin 1952

Stretchmarks *gasp*, Jeanloup Sieff 1968

Stretchmarks *gasp*, Jeanloup Sieff 1968

A smattering of pimples, Lester Bookbinder 1973

A smattering of pimples, Lester Bookbinder 1973

Lady tache anyone?, Deborah Turbeville 1987

Lady tache anyone?, Deborah Turbeville 1987

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