"So Long As Your Face Looks Alright, Everything Else Can Be Photoshopped"

What good is a woman without a little airbrushing? Jessica Simpson and Marie Claire would say a lot, but Elizabeth Hurley, god bless her, knows better.

The 100% airbrush-free issue of French Marie Claire has hit the internet, featuring actress Louise Bourgoin looking slim and dewy and fantastic. Actually, the photographs don't look "different" in any way at all, other than a slight giddiness about them (which could have been on the part of the reader, really). But what did we expect? Just because you remove Photoshop from the equation does not mean Bourgoin's going to have cellulite on her forehead or spare tires around her thighs. As we damn well know, magazines don't have to airbrush images or Photoshop a woman within an inch of her life, and that approach is as harmful as it is prone to spectacularly backfiring.

Now Jessica Simpson is following suit and taking things a step further: She'll appear on the May cover of Marie Claire with no retouching or makeup. Of course she's going to look fabulous, even without her Touche Eclat — she's a beautiful woman, and million-dollar lighting combined with gajillion-dollar skincare and a professional photographer goes a long way towards mitigating any harshness of the lens. It's a forward move for any over-scrutinized woman, but it falls in step with the love-thyself mission of The Price of Beauty. A still photograph of Jessica au naturel may, however, be more effective than watching her giggle her way around the world with Ken Paves. A reality show isn't worth a thousand words, but perhaps her picture will be. (Also, silence is golden?)

But wait! These women are young! Both Bourgoin and Simpson are 29 — their faces, unlined; their jowls, undescended. Any cellulite on their thighs is under-40 cellulite. And we can handle that. But what about the photographs of those older women who stubbornly continue to age? Elizabeth Hurley, for instance, is 44 — she's been the face of Estee Lauder for 16 years, and she's also got her own swimwear line. She's not a kid like these other girls, and part of being a grown-up is being realistic about moving your bikinis off the shelves. She's getting older by the minute, and there's no time to reinvent the wheel:

"I think so long as your face looks all right everything else can be Photoshopped. I don't think anybody minds being slimmed down a bit or taking off the odd spot."

As her body crumbles into decrepitude, she's simply not strong enough to bend the rules.

Elizabeth Hurley Exposes Her Picture Secrets [Daily Express]
Jessica Simpson to Go Make-Up Free and Un-Airbrushed on Marie Claire Cover [NY Post]
French Marie Claire's NON-AIRBRUSHED Issue: Louise Bourgoin Looks Good! [HuffPo]

Earlier: Photoshop Of Horrors, 2000-2009: Worst Photoshop Of The Decade