Gorgeous Gimmick: Jessica Simpson Without Retouching Or MakeupS

We got our hands on the May issue of Marie Claire, for which Jessica Simpson was photographed without makeup, and without retouching. This will shock you, but:

She looks great.

Jessica is a pretty lady, no doubt about it, and photographer James White created fresh, spring-y, natural images. It is interesting, however, that in many of the shots, Jessica's face is slightly obscured…

Gorgeous Gimmick: Jessica Simpson Without Retouching Or MakeupS

Either by her hair…

Gorgeous Gimmick: Jessica Simpson Without Retouching Or MakeupS

…Or by leafy shadows. God forbid we readers, with our delicate constitutions, should see some sort of "flaw," line or a wrinkle. Human skin doing what human skin does, in the pages of a magazine? Commence the clutching of the pearls!

Gorgeous Gimmick: Jessica Simpson Without Retouching Or MakeupS

Because it's a beauty piece, the focus is on her face and hair, meaning we don't see much of Jessica's body. It would have been nice to see her figure, though, mainly because Jessica has been subject to waist-whittling in the past.

Gorgeous Gimmick: Jessica Simpson Without Retouching Or MakeupS

Marie Claire has never been a serious Photoshop Of Horrors offender — though Tina Fey looked almost unrecognizable when she was on the cover — but the editors should be commended for mixing things up and taking a chance. Even if this issue is "special," and the next one is all airbrushing and makeup, at least we — and readers around the country — have a chance to refocus our eyes and minds and think about how much deception, obfuscation, misdirection and shenanigins go into the average glossy magazine cover. When it comes right down to it, the "no makeup, no retouching" angle is a gimmick. A gorgeous gimmick, but a sales strategem, none the less. (The mag needs your money, and has realized it won't get it, churning out the same crap over and over.) But if the result opens up dialogue about the time and energy wasted making women on magazine covers (and in life) look "perfect," it might just be worth it.

Simply Jessica [Marie Claire]

Earlier: "So Long As Your Face Looks Alright, Everything Else Can Be Photoshopped"
Jessica Simpson's Elle Cover: Waist Not, Want Not