Fashion blogs were abuzz when model and designer Kimora Lee Simmons debuted the ad for her new fragrance, Dare Me. The ad features a noticeably slimmed-down version of the fashion mogul, who had a baby boy less than a year ago. When Simmons’ Twitter fans asked her about the photo, she answered them on her official Twitter page, saying: “Of course that’s my body!!! With all the help I could get from the airbrush!!! Lol!” Her response to accusations of flattering photo editing – admitting to it immediately and then laughing it off – is unusual in the wake of recent photo editing mini-scandals, such as the dust-up over Demi Moore’s appearance on the cover of W magazine in November. Simmons, whose women’s fashion line is called Baby Phat, spoke openly last month with Momlogic.com about trying to lose the weight she put on while pregnant with her 11-month-old baby, Kenzo Lee. She also addressed the subject of photo retouching head-on. “I’m not the Hollywood mom that says you have to be a size 2 by tomorrow,” Simmons said. “I don’t think what you see in the magazines is what you should strive to be like, because all those images are heavily retouched. It’s more about your mental, emotional, and spiritual stability. If you make healthy life choices, you’ll look great. You should be comfortable at any size or any age. Whatever you have, you should be proud of yourself.” After her initial response to a fan in which she admitted to airbrushing, the fan queried: “But why do you have to airbrush? Can’t you just use your real beauty?” Simmons quickly replied: “Of course! I do! But every girl could use a lil retouch every once in a while, no? It’s all good!” We know airbrushing and retouching happen all the time in ads today, but what about just using someone else’s body altogether? That may be the case in the new ad. The former model did gain a curvier figure in recent years as a mother of three, and those who have seen her new ad for Dare Me are questioning her head was pasted onto a younger, slimmer model’s frame. A new discovery may have proven she did exactly that. The photo on the left is the March 2005 cover of French Vogue featuring Daria Werbowy. She is wearing a Louis Vuitton outfit that looks awfully similar to what Kimora has on in her ad. But in comparing these two photos, there appears to be more in common than just the same pair of shorts. Depending on your perspective, her breezy attitude about digital enhancements either reflects the message of her perfume’s ad campaign or contradicts it. Kimora told Women’s Wear Daily that one of the ad’s taglines, “Dare to be me,” is about “empowerment and self-reliance.” Article excerpts by Yahoo! Shine and Jezebel
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Although I have to appreciate Kimora’s honesty regarding the digital manipulation of her photos, I think she really tarnishes the credibility of the great empowering messages she is trying to send. I thought she looked excellent in the photo beside her ad – she looked healthy and like she was having a great time!
However, I think that this brings up an important point: We often think that body image issues are for younger girls. The truth is, negative body perception as well as pressure from society to look a certain way can affect people of all ages, and not only women. Men are also bombarded with these anti-individuality messages. It is sad to see a message with so much potential and positivity behind it become ruined by a lack of credibility and contradiction. Kimora in her true skin is without a doubt radiant and confident – doing what she loves, with the people she loves surrounding her. It’s a shame that her perfume ad will not lead by example.