BRITNEY SPEARS: DON'T RETOUCH ME THERE, PLEASE

Britney Spears releases un-retouched shots, Jamie Lee Curtis poses in undies pre-Spanx and glam squad, and Jessica Simpson takes it off for Marie Claire.
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Britney Spears in a Candies campaign, pre- and post-retouching

Britney Spears in a Candies campaign, pre- and post-retouching

Is it wrong to be a little bit amused at Britney Spears' latest publicity offering? I guess it depends on your perspective. The singer has released true-and-false images of herself from a Candies ad campaign to illustrate how hard it is to live up to beauty expectations. The Daily Mail calls it refreshing (agreed) and she's been commended for her for her bravery, but really, Spears is 29 and looks great in the Before shots.

Still, kudos to Spears and her physique. Hers is a pre-phototrickery bod I'd buy for myself if I could get one that fits, but we all have insecurities about things that others don't necessarily see or identify with, and the Internet can be a cruel place even if you were perfect in every way.

Then there's Jamie Lee Curtis, who at 44 pulled back the Photoshop-Spanx-liposuction curtain for More Magazine in 2002. That was brave.

Jamie Lee Curtis reveals liposuction secrets and her Spanx-less self in More Magazine.

Jamie Lee Curtis reveals liposuction secrets and her Spanx-less self in More Magazine.

Also part of the as-we-are group is Jessica Simpson and her recent air-dried hair/no-makeup Marie Claire cover and photoshoot. Frankly, she cleaned up at nature's beauty buffet – google "Jessica Simpson no makeup" for more evidence and candid shots without professional lighting – so from this side of the screen, she didn't need much courage to pose for that shot. 

Jessica Simpson no makeup or understated makeup for Marie Claire 2010

Whether Simpson is actually makeup-free or not (I'd call it understated instead), so many of us are shy about revealing our naked faces in public; maybe she is too? Besides, in my case anyway, her public is vastly different from my public, and that cover comes with expectations higher positive tweets: it has to sell millions of copies, not just one or two to family members. That's pressure.

Hmmm. New thought: maybe what really disturbs me about the Brit Spears images is the 1980s I-sponge-painted-that-wall-myself "after" background?

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