Why We Love To See Our Stars Sans Makeup

We love seeing celebs without makeup, and this year, People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” issue even featured a bunch of famous ladies sans fards. But it used to be that celebrities would avoid being seen without a full face of makeup. What changed? A fascinating article from New York magazine charts the changing celebrity attitude towards getting caught without their faces made. Stars like Snooki, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna have all willingly been shot without makeup, with the idea that they’re somehow subverting the celebrity machine in doing so.  

Just 20 years ago, paparazzi were paid good money to catch a celeb coming or going without makeup. There’s still a premium paid for a particularly heinous photos of famous faces, but thanks to Facebook and Twitter, celebs can now post their own makeup free shots, undercutting the pap market and offering their fans another look at their lives. 

The makeup-free shots feel more personal, often somehow more intimate than a shot featuring spackled on, airbrushed foundation and eyeliner. Which is why Russell Brand’s pic of an early-morning, just-awake, sans fards Katy Perry made waves when he posted it to his Twitter in 2010. Fans loved seeing the “Teenage Dream” singer in a more personal environment, stripped of all the artifice of fame. Simliarly, Rihanna’s been posting candid shots of herself without makeup and (sometimes) without clothes. And earlier this month, “90210”‘s AnnaLynne McCord spoke directly to her fans and posted a not-very-flattering photo of herself amidst an acne breakout. “I woke up this morning and decided I’m over Hollywood’s perfection requirement. To all my girls (and boys) who have ever been embarrassed by their skin! I salute you! I’m not perfect—and that’s okay with me!” McCord has also posted personal nude photos, too.

Of course, not all makeup-free shots are created equal. In 2011, Louis Vuitton caught flak for touting an ad featuring Angelina Jolie as makeup-free when it was pretty clear Jolie was wearing a fair amount of mascara.

Do you like seeing make up free shots?

[New York]