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Ashley Graham for Swimsuits For All, Zoë Kravitz for Harper’s Bazaar and Jameela Jamil for Arcadia magazine are only a few examples of unretouched photo shoots we loved in 2018. Though there’s a long way to go, this year saw an unprecedented number of brands, including Urban Decay and CVS, using Photoshop-free pictures to promote their products, and the beauty of one’s natural features.
From makeup ads showing models’ pores and acne to photo shoots featuring celebrities’ cellulite and stretch marks, we’re completely here for the fashion, beauty and entertainment industry’s shift toward Photoshop-free pictures. Acne, cellulite, stretch marks and other natural beauty marks happen to every person—no matter who they are, so it’s refreshing to finally see brands celebrate that instead of hide it. Look back on the best unretouched photo shoots of 2018 ahead.
Ashley Graham for Swimsuits For All
For her 2018 collection with Swimsuits For All, Graham went unconventional with a campaign featuring paparazzi shots. To promote her designs, the model used only unretouched paparazzi pictures of her in the swimsuits, walking on a beach. The pictures, which showed Graham’s stretch marks, cellulite and other natural features, were praised by the body-positivity community for their unedited nature. “We decided to use unedited paparazzi shots as the campaign images. Reminder: being authentic is beautiful,” Graham wrote on her Instagram.
Zoë Kravitz for Harper’s Bazaar
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Introducing our October 2018 cover star... @zoeisabellakravitz ! The actress/singer goes unretouched for this issue and opens up about defying stereotypes—link in bio for the full feature. Photography by @studioakrans Styling by @patrickmackieinsta Hair by @nikkinelms Makeup by @ninapark for @yslbeauty #ZoeKravitz wears @louisvuitton
For her October 2018 cover of Harper’s Bazaar, Kravitz went Photoshop-free with a close-up of her face, showing off her natural freckles and beauty marks. In her interview, Kravitz talked about how “scared” she was to be unretouched, which made her sad that she felt that way. “I was a little scared when they told me. What scared me most was that I was scared about it. That made me sad,” she said.
Like most celebrities, Kravitz has seen herself be photoshopped by other magazines, which made her feel insecure about certain features. “I haven’t had any drastic experiences. I did a cover of a magazine once and noticed that my eyes were this beautiful hazel-green color, which would be great, but they’re not that color!” she said. “Little things like that. I’ve seen my hands be changed before. It makes you think, ‘What’s wrong with my hands? Or my eyes?'”
Jameela Jamil for Arcadia
In October 2018, Jamil showed off her boob stretch marks in an unretouched photo shoot for Arcadia magazine. The pictures featured the actress clutching her shoulders, framing the stretch marks on her boobs in a strapless pink dress. “I like all the big stretch marks on my boobs 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽,” she wrote on Instagram. #saynotoairbrushing #letabitchlive.” Jamil echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter, urging her followers to “embrace” their stretch marks.” Embrace thin stretch marks. They are nothing to be ashamed of or cover up or edit out. ❤️ #saynotoairbrushing #letabitchlive,” she tweeted.
Aly Raisman and Iskra Lawrence for Aerie
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The most magical shoot ever because the new @aerie campaign features YOU😍 Swipe to see some of the women in the campaign... yup that’s my momma and besties @nataliegage_ @leahlondonofficial I love you - what incredible memories we have together🙏 💕💕💕 As always there’s zero photoshop or retouching because the real you is good enough! And you can head to Aerie.com to see more!!! 💘💘💘 My dream has always been to see all of you in an #AerieReal campaign. I’ve read your DMs for years and was so excited when we could finally announce the competition to get you in the next bra campaign 🙌🙌🙌 because representation matters and diversity and our uniqueness are what makes us all imperfectly perfect and beautiful. Sooooo it’s time to celebrate everyBODY! This campaign is to encourage you all to know YOU ARE MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH so shine bright like all these incredible women... #dontchangeYOUchangeyourbra 😝😝😝 Thank you to the whole @aerie team who made this possible it’s a dream come true and I couldn’t be more proud of how hard you all work and fight for better, it’s making such a huge difference love you all so so much😘 @gutlessandglamorous @abby_sams @nikiya_dunmore @showtimewerner @dubhemay @rajeeaerie @evie_ann @whatuplosas @Itsdyani @srsly_why @isamedinakim @hamilton_gabri @shannonaryca @rachelachin @sadieestrong @youngbreastless @tinymariah @rizell.dvnvrdn @geaux_cassie_geaux @sunflowersandrays @shaynacostello @colonelkerning @grobslynn @toripiskin @jemtotha @caaitlinreilly @_meeeerc_ @annamdavis @alopeachia @soniabcz @catbeyond @graciross @justgotmurphyd @allthingslillyann @itmemoana @sofifi7 @josephine.bruno.music @miss_superhero_doom @itsmajelia @thedivinechels @jessicalucyf @andrea_wuya @sadcurlgang @pattybellmakeup #REPRESENTATION #EVERYBODYISBEAUTIFUL #EVERYBODYISGOODENOUGH #CELEBRATEREAL
Aerie has long been known for its unretouched campaigns, and the photo shoots in 2018 were no different. Raisman and Lawrence were only a couple celebrities who appeared in 2018’s #AerieREAL campaign, which featured unretouched pictures of the stars in Aerie underwear. Yara Shahidi and Rachel Platten also appeared in the campaign.
“Yara, Aly, Rachel, and Iskra truly embody AerieREAL and what it means to be strong, confident, and happy in your own skin,” Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s president, said in a statement. “At Aerie, we believe in authentic, real beauty and never airbrush our models. Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful REAL selves.”
To promote its Born to Run eyeshadow palette in 2018, Urban Decay used unretouched close-ups of models and customers. The pictures featured the models’ pores, acne, birthmarks and skin textures and was immediately praised by fans who noticed the brand’s move to celebrate unretouched beauty. “Loving the real skin, not Photoshopped to death”, one user wrote, per Cosmopolitan. Another added, “Thank God someone has real skin.”
BooHoo made headlines in 2018 when the brand showed a models’ stretch marks in an ad promoting a yellow bodysuit. The picture featured the model in a leotard-like bodysuit, with her backside to the camera, showing off her stretch marks on her thigh and butt. It didn’t take long for fans to notice and praise the brand for its push toward body positivity. “I find this so amazing! That even on a massive clothing brand like Boohoo they haven’t photoshopped away the models stretch marks!” one customer wrote on Facebook. “This is what girl power is all about! And every woman has imperfections. It shouldn’t be photoshopped away to give unrealistic expectations! Its what makes us who we are! Its reality.”
CVS Beauty was another brand that was praised in 2018 for its unretouched ads. The brand announced in April 2018 that it would stop photoshopping its models, using phrases like “Beauty in Real Life” and “Beauty Unaltered” to promote its products.
“As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day,” said Helena Foulkes, former president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice President of CVS ealth, has said. “The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
Though Kim Kardashian has been accused of Photoshop several times, the reality star went Photoshop-free for her latest KKW Fragrance campaign, promoting the brand’s new KKW Body fragrance. In an interview with Refinery29, Kardashian talked about her decision to use non-models, some of whom were her friends, as models for the perfume. Pictures feature the women naked, with their stretch marks, cellulite and rolls showing.
“I was talking to some friends of mine and I had seen a couple other people re-create the [original KKW Body] campaign and I just thought, You know what? It’s not always about my body. The bottle obviously is my body shape, but I always celebrate and love confident women no matter what shape or size they are,” she said.
ASOS is another brand that is known for its unretouched pictures. It was praised again in 2018 when a picture of model wearing a backless dress went viral. The picture featured the model in a low-back orange dress, which showed her back rolls and natural skin. “Look at this gorgeous model and her cute back rolls just out here to show women that their bodies are normal and that real life isn’t photoshopped and filtered 👏🏻 @ASOS” one fan tweeted.