The title of photographer Henrik Adamsen’s images of Claudia of 2PM for the latest issue of Schön! Magazine speaks volumes to American women — moreso than French or Scandinavian women. Titled ‘Flaw’, Adamsen is focused on freckles and Claudia’s sensuous beauty.
America is in the business of ‘flaw fixing’. In my career as a lingerie industry executive and consultant, I’ve been in many brainstorming sessions about how to ‘fix flaws’.Behind clothes doors we’ve discussed every inch of a customer’s body and how to ‘fix it’.
Much of the marketing on hang tags actually used the word ‘flaw’. Ouch! Thinking in particular of one brand I’ve worked on, I love every woman on that design team. We were multi-racial, different ages and nice people. But our mission was to fix your flaws. Thinking about my past just now, I’m taking a pause.
On a personal note, I distinctly remember the day I was watching a Today show segment on ‘flaw fixing’ and the presenter began talking about aging ear lobes.
In all honesty, I had never considered my ear lobes — pro or con — in the mirror. All I know is that I’m aging fabulously with a lot of luck and hard work, and I don’t inspect every little inch of my body looking for spots that need fixing.
When I do start inspecting, I become depressed realizing that absolutely nothing about myself is right enough for the beauty and fashion industry. Then I skip the gym, being ‘too tired’ for exercise and have a martini, given the evening hour.
Just kidding — usually it’s a glass of wine, but you get the idea. In Europe, and especially in France, a woman’s idiosyncratic beauty is celebrated. The goal is not perfection, which is considered to be very boring, but individuality.
I love magazine editorial that’s increasingly willing to confront these subjects head on.
Of course, there are universal standards of beauty that have been scientifically proven again and again. But an advanced civilization understands the beauty in individuality and personal expression, whether in freckles, hips that are a bit too big or a gap in one’s front teeth.
Lara Stone single-handedly killed off the dental industry with her front-tooth space. Not only was Lara Stone considered too fat as a size 4 — making her a plus size model — but her front teeth are memorable and traditionally in need of fixing, although Lauren Hutton also mastered the look.
Today we celebrate freckles in all their sensual glory. Any beauty industry executive who wants to fix Claudia’s freckle flaws can now think twice before launching — what product? Bleaching agents? Oh No! Please don’t do that. Anne
Images via FGR