Look, I get it. You wake up one morning, look in the mirror and think, Whoa, when did that under-eye bag become a double-decker? You give a few tugs, the skin flattens out, and suddenly you’re looking at your old self again. But the minute you let go, you’re back to thinking, Soon I’ll look like a basset hound. And so you spackle on the moisturizers with reflecting crystals and decide, I’ll be fine, as long as I avoid fluorescent light. But at lunch you run into a competitor who’s your age but looks 10 years younger, and what you want to say is, “Hey, you cheated!”
As I said, I get it. You show your beauty anger in letters that accuse More of redesigning celebrity faces. “I’ve seen [insert celebrity name] on TV, and she’s never looked that great!” various readers have challenged. Other letters say all magazines hurt women by “running celebrities on the cover who’ve had work done.” I’ve even seen friends lie about the cosmetic surgery they’ve had, for fear of backlash. “I don’t want to become the talk of my office,” one told me after a very subtle eye job.
I understand why my friend lied. But when it comes to photos in More, here’s the truth: Cover shots of cupcakes may sell certain magazines, but this is not one of them. So our best choice is to run celebrities. (Hey, this is a business! And no, readers do not buy “real” women. We’ve tried it.) Not being a plastic surgeon myself, I couldn’t tell you which actresses have had work done and which have not. What I do know is that it’s every woman’s right to decide how much she wants to do—which could be a lot, a little or nothing at all.
Of course, everyone wants to look as good as possible in photographs, and at More I do everything I can to help. We pay the world’s top stylists and photographers to make every cover subject look as if she’s having her best day ever; in her place, isn’t that what you’d want? We retouch for color and balance, never to erase age. In fact, I get into fights with photographers—who are trained by celebrity PR people to make everyone as smooth-skinned as a 12-year-old—to put wrinkles back in our photos! And let’s be honest about what natural means: No one who has ever plucked her brows or shaved her legs can claim total purity.
So here’s my friendly proposition: Can we manage to put aside our beauty anger and let every woman—celeb or civilian—age as she sees fit?
What do you think of Lesley’s proposition? Are we too judgmental of each other’s beauty routines? Would you have work done? If so, how far would you go? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.