Fashion cover girl, Jennifer Hawkins goes all natural

By Hilary Caton

The world of fashion is exploding with trends, but one trend that fashion seems to be playing around with recently is the idea of projecting the message that women should love the body God gave them. But is their choice of spokeswomen the right ones?

Aussie model and former Miss Universe 2004, Jennifer Hawkins, recently posed nude for the Australian cover of Marie-Claire for their February issue. No big deal right? Wrong! This cover has stirred up all kinds of controversy because Hawkins appears unairbrushed on the cover. Not to mention many women are bashing the idea that a former Miss Universe and model could possibly represent real women.

Editor of Marie-Claire, Jackie Frank, was inspired to do the photo shoot, sans airbrushing, after reading the results of a survey in Australia about the feelings women had towards their bodies. Frank discovered that only 12 per cent of women were happy with their body.

Way go to Marie-Claire, with this cover you just made the other 88 per cent feel even worse about their bodies

What’s even more shocking is that Marie-Claire believes they’re doing the world some good by splashing a thin woman, like Hawkins, with her almost unnoticeable imperfections on their cover. If a dimpled thigh here, a crease in her waist there and some skin tone changes, is supposed to instantly boost the way women feel about their bodies, Marie-Claire doesn’t have a clue about the turbulent relationship almost every woman has with her body.

Showing a practically flawless Hawkins, even without the airbrushing, isn’t exactly telling women everywhere to “love the you that you are” it’s more like “if you can’t obtain a body like Heidi Klum, why not shoot for a former Miss Universe?” type of message.

According to the Huffington Post, Marie-Claire chose Hawkins for the cover because “she represents a positive body image.”

Sure, their intentions are in the right place, but let’s be serious. By publishing this cover, Marie-Claire isn’t doing anything groundbreaking. Show us a woman with some cellulite, a few scars and birthmarks, then come back and say you chose a woman that was representative of real women.

In the magazine, Hawkins tells readers that” I’m not a stick figure–I thought it would be great to tell women to just be themselves and be confident.”

Yeah, that would work, if they looked anything remotely like you.

The photos of Hawkins plan to be auctioned off later this month, and donate the money to The Butterfly Foundation, a support group for women with eating disorders.

The general manager of The Butterfly Foundation, Julie Parker, told The Age, magazine that photographing an average Australian woman wouldn’t have worked, because it “doesn’t make the same point.” And by putting an average woman on the cover “would not have created the same awareness”

Call me crazy, but if a magazine like Marie-Claire did put this “average woman” on their cover It would have turned as many heads and gotten as much buzz as this cover has and for all the right reasons.

Perhaps the Australian zine should take a hint from German magazine Brigitte, who no longer hires professional models to appear in the magazine but real women of all shapes sizes and ages. Simple because, according to the editor, Brigitte Huber, “Fashion has changed. Nearly everybody today is a trendsetter.”

Now that would be a boost in positive body image, for any woman.


9 thoughts on “Fashion cover girl, Jennifer Hawkins goes all natural

  1. I think it’s going to take a long time before fashion magazines will put down the airbrushing, especially because there’s already such a narrow view of what body images are “acceptable” in the mainstream fashion industry.

    Nice try, Marie Claire. Having your cake and eating it too. Still, it’s a step in the right direction, even if it’s a tiny one.

  2. OK did they actually use the expression “all natural” in the article? Cos if they did, I have yet to meet a woman who was born with make-up on her face permanently and grew hair extensions from her head.

    What the editor said was dumb but maybe what they were trying to say is “look at this you guys! Even skinny swizzle stick models have cellulite” and that’s not a bad statement at all. Why didn’t they package it that way? The model could be like “hey i represent a tiny minority of the population. That’s why I’m a model and not you. But hey, i still gots a bloodflow problem and fatty deposits in my upper thighs!” But wait, then my reaction would probly be “well no duh.” No duh, marie clare, no duh.

  3. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. Don’t try to bash the magazine for something positive they’ve done. Although granted, the average woman does not look like this model does naked and without having been airbrushed, you cant deny its a step in the right direction.

    Having an ordinary woman would get people talking yes, but it would not raise the money for the organization and the photos would likely not be auctioned.

    also, you should give props to the model who is WILLING to be on a magazine not photoshopped and not knowing how the photo will turn out. she put a lot of trust into the process obviously and she should be commended for that. maybe this is just a drop in the bucket, but it could also be the start of a turn to more natural representations of women.

  4. “Way go to Marie-Claire, with this cover you just made the other 88 per cent feel even worse about their bodies”

    Do you really think 88% of women are overweight? No. Many of those women with self-esteem issues/unhappy with their bodies are thin. I really don’t see how putting a non-thin model on the cover could help women that are skinny and have poor self-esteem. I guess they could go “oh, well at least i”m not as fat as *her*” or whatever…. That seems kind of cruel to the non-thin model they would use.

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  5. LOL. What a joke. If you want to see what JHawk REALLY looks like naturally, trying googling pictures of her before she was “famous” (try “Jennifer Hawkins legal secretary”.. Gross. So beyond average that I can’t figure out how it even became a model. Apparently hair dye, fake tan, loads of makeup and a few minor procedures is all it takes to get that “natural beauty” look. Laughable.

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