If Beyoncé's slightly unkempt eyebrows and blemished skin are "shocking" in today’s media world then I dread to think what my morning face would be called. Two hundred "unretouched" photos from a 2013 L'Oreal cosmetic campaign were leaked on a fan site called The Beyoncé World this week. It’s worth mentioning Beyoncé still looks incredible. But of course she does. She’s Beyoncé.
Celebrity tabloids and newspapers then caught wind of these photos and were frothing at the mouth at the opportunity to print them and caption it “I woke up like this". Some also referred to her as “the wife of music mogul Jay Z" (excuse me while I just bite off my hand in anger).
Reminiscent of those memes of Beyoncé "ugly dancing" during the Superbowl in 2013 (which her management subsequently asked to be removed), this was another chance prove how Beyoncé isn’t 100 per cent perfect. How she needs bringing down a peg or two. But sadly for the tabloids, this just doesn’t work. Not when you have online fan communities defending you in every corner of the Internet.
Fans were appalled at the website for leaking them, and praised Beyoncé for being an inspiration with or without the magic wand of Photoshop. The Beyoncé World responded by stating that they were “just posting the photos to share the fact that our queen is naturally beautiful, at the same time she is just a regular woman.” This is an awful example of backhanded shaming. Wanting to celebrate her natural beauty is one thing, but leaking the photos against the person’s will is something else.
Un-Bey-Lievable: Ridiculous things Beyonce has done
Un-Bey-Lievable: Ridiculous things Beyonce has done
1/15 Beyoncé admits lipsynching at Barack Obama's inauguration
The 'Crazy In Love' singer performed US national anthem 'The Star Spangled Banner' at the president's Inauguration Day in January 2013, but lipsynched to a pre-recorded track. She blamed the decision on her being a 'perfectionist' and wanting Obama's day to be memorable. 'Due to no proper sound check I did not feel comfortable taking a risk,' she told a press conference.
2/15 Beyoncé attacked by PETA for Super Bowl outfit
In February 2013, Beyoncé was publically attacked by animal rights organisation PETA for wearing a Rubin Singer-designed leotard made of 'python, iguana and cow' for her Super Bowl Half Time performance with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child.
3/15 Beyoncé makes people cringe in sickly sweet documentary
It's the sickly-sweet Bey-and-Z love-in that was her Life is But a Dream documentary. Released in February 2013, just after Valentine's Day, the autobiographical TV film was directed and produced by the singer herself. Her marriage to Jay Z, her miscarriage, the birth of Blue Ivy (not literally)...it's all here.
4/15 Beyoncé breaks US trade embargo and visits Cuba
The pop star sparked a small furore in April 2013 when she holidayed in Communist island Cuba with Jay Z to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. A long-standing US trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling their without a government license. It is unknown whether they had obtained a license or not.
5/15 Feminist icon Beyoncé refuses to say she is a feminist
Leading women's magazine Vogue asked the pop star whether she considers herself a feminist in April 2013. Her non-committal response? 'That word can be very extreme but I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality but why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? I'm happily married. I love my husband.' Because you can't be a feminist and love your partner too Bey?
6/15 'Independent Woman' Beyoncé names her world tour after her husband
She is hailed as a feminist icon around the world for tracks such as 'Independent Women', 'Survivor' and 'Run The World (Girls)'. But Beyoncé chose to name her 2013/14 world tour after her husband, Shawn 'Jay Z' Carter instead. She values her marriage - great - but what message does this send to young women who look up to her as a symbol of self-empowerment?
7/15 Beyoncé bans photographers from world tour
After the press published 'unflattering' snaps of the singer during her Super Bowl peformance in February, her publicist was brought in to put an end to such disrespectful behaviour. To prevent a repeat, no photo credentials were granted for her Mrs Carter Show World Tour and instead, Beyoncé's own photographer Frank Micelotta was hired to capture her best angles.
8/15 Beyoncé banned from Pyramids by 'Egypt's Indiana Jones'
Controversial archaeologist Dr Zahi Hawass was upset when Beyoncé arrived late to his tour of the Pyramids, booked when visiting Egypt. Hawass banished the 'rude' star from the ancient site, claiming she never apologised for being impolite. 'I said Beyoncé was stupid and I left,' he said.
9/15 Beyoncé goes vegan with rapper husband Jay Z
In December 2013, the high profile couple decided to take part in the 22 Days Challenge, which aims to change people’s dietary and exercise habits by encouraging them to omit all animal-based products from their diets.
10/15 Beyoncé dines in a vegan restaurant decked out in fox fur
Newly vegan Beyoncé no doubt ruffled a few feathers when she wore a fox fur coat to a meat-free organic restaurant. The singer was spotted in the £2,915 Christopher Kane parka with a real fur collar as she accompanied husband Jay Z to a vegan meal at Native Foods in Los Angeles before Christmas 2013.
11/15 Beyoncé guerilla releases album
Comprising14 original tracks (including a collaboration with her daughter Blue Ivy, husband Jay Z and Frank Ocean) and 17 videos, Beyoncé randomly released her self-titled fifth studio album on iTunes as a mid-December Christmas surprise in 2013.
12/15 Beyoncé shops for her new album in Walmart
Not only did Beyoncé play the politician’s game at the US store (yes, she did stop to kiss a baby’s forehead on the way round), but she played Santa as well, showering shoppers with 750 gift cards worth $50 each. Presumably so they could spend them on her new album. Or a bottle of her perfume. Or something.
13/15 Beyoncé is 2013's most searched for celebrity on the internet
Beyoncé Knowles beat the headline-grabbing competition to be named the world’s highest ranking human being of 2013 according to Bing, leaving the rest of celebdom trailing in her warbling wake. Controversial pop star Miley Cyrus only manged number 9 on E! Online's list.
14/15 Beyoncé samples space shuttle disaster in pop song
The singer's decision to use a six-second audio clip from the 1986 Challenger catastrophe in which seven astronauts lost their lives was deemed 'inappropriate in the extreme' by NASA representatives at the end of 2013. Words breaking news of a 'major malfunction' open her song 'XO' from fifth album Beyoncé.
15/15 Beyoncé poses in the middle of Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' replica
Closing 2013 in distinctly dubious style, the singer posted a series of pictures on her Instagram account showing her plonked in front of the Italian artist's masterpiece. She is pictured posing in a bright green skirt and pink bustier in the middle of the painting, right in front of Jesus.
Leaked photos leave people feeling vulnerable, and open to the constant scrutiny for being anything outside of traditional beauty norms. For example, everyone knows that perfect skin is a myth, and everyone gets small blemishes from time to time. Yet Beyoncé's slightly uneven skin was quickly branded as "acne" by the Daily Mail. Just imagine if that was you.
The media leaking unedited pictures is a glorified version of that bitch at school taking photos of you unaware and tagging you on Facebook. It’s online bullying. But when the media do it, we just rant and rave and roll our eyes.
Shaming women for looking human is not new. We’ve seen leaked unedited photos of Madonna in Interview magazine, Lena Dunham in a Vogue shoot, Lady Gaga in Versace's Spring 2014 campaign, and most recently Kate Middleton, who "shockingly" exposed two grey hairs. People even enjoy turning the before and after photos into shareable GIFs, spreading like a virus throughout the Internet.
It’s not ok to leak photos. But I can't help but feel that these ridiculous moments of shaming celebrities for being human brings out the positive power of fan communities. As the latest leaking has proven, it doesn't matter if Beyoncé is edited or not - in her fans' eyes, she'll always be untouchable.Reuse content