In the wake of this morning’s post on going out into the world bare-faced I wanted to share these images from CR Fashionbook with you. In these photos the model is without make-up and un-retouched and for that reason alone the Internet is humming with cries of ‘how brave!’ and ‘well done!’.
She is 18.
As I started reading the various comments to this editorial this one thought kept crossing my mind: if an 18-year-old posing au naturel is considered brave, what would we call a 30-year-old or a 40-year-old then when showing herself un-retouched? A national hero? A martyr of beauty? And all of a sudden it all seemed very strange to me: a quite frankly rather innocuous looking 18-year-old in underwear…this is what gets people talking?
Now the major part of the uproar, in my view, stems from the fact this happens to be Bella Hadid, younger sister to Gigi Hadid. Gigi, who is only 20, has already made quite a name and a very lucrative career for herself as a model. Mostly based on her admittedly extremely beautiful face but also on her very clever use of social media alongside her friend and fellow model Kendall Jenner. Her less than graceful stomping around the catwalk and her one-dimensional photographic gaze quite frankly make it rather impossible for me to see her as the accomplished model others seem to think she is. Bella herself for me also does not stand out as a model, she simply lacks that je ne sais quoi.
So I do think Bella, as is CR Fashionbook, is surfing along to the success of her sister and power to her for doing so. At 18, who knows what the future will hold for her and she should enjoy the here and now with all the perks that come with it.
But what if it had been an unknown 18-year-old model with the same inexperience and look? My guess is this whole editorial would have gone completely unnoticed. To me this was not about promoting new standards of beauty in the fashion industry but about promoting oneself through the name Hadid.
A name game, plain and simple.
Agree or disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments.