Rise of the Real Girl Aesthetic

Although there are a million things written about how the fashion industry promotes negative body image, here at Lone Wolf Magazine we chooses to remain optimistic. Call us romantic, but we sense a shift in the air and a light on the horizon.

All around us there are genuine signs that we’re slowly moving towards an aesthetic of authenticity, simplicity and genuine humanity. Gone are the over-photoshopped editorials of old (ok, not completely gone, but they’re certainly no longer reigning supreme). Instead, stylists and photographers the world over are embracing a “real-girl” look. Skin is kept natural, and makeup less. Hair is largely left alone, except when it is artificially (or not, we can’t be sure) made to look unwashed. The overall style and feel of these images is pure and unaffected in the most beautiful sense.

new face maggie maurer
Our favorite new model Maggie Maurer with Elmer Olsen Models

Recently, the industry’s taste for unconventional beauty has only gotten more potent. It’s the result of a quick succession of events, starting, we believe from that whole hipster thing no one really wants to talk about. Big thanks so Alexa Chung and Chloe Sevigny here. They made it ok to look a little off, a little disheveled and perfectly imperfect.

Alexa Chung
Chloe Sevigny

When Lara Stone suddenly appeared looking every bit a real woman she made it ok again for supermodels to be curvy. She was quickly followed by Crystal Renn who, by the way, completely devoured (pun not intended) her skinnier opponent in the “One Size Fits All” editorial in V Magazine. Renn’s sucess resurected the careers of formerly “too curvy” models like Laetitia Casta.

Lara Stone for Vogue UK
Crystal Renn, and the other one, for V Magazine

But perhaps the most noticeable and exciting shift is our new love for beauty in all stages of life. Ever since model Kristen McMenamy burst back on the scene with her gorgeous head of grey hair, we’ve seen a ripple effect through the entire industry. In an instant, you saw big-name companies, like American Apparel, which chose the silver haired Jacky O’Shaughnessy as the new face of the company. The iconic 1950s cover model Carmen Dell’Orefice, who is now 82 years old, is still very much working the fashion circuit. Suddenly all our favorite models from the 80s and 90s came back, a little older, and all the better for it, snagging lucrative ad campaigns.

Kristen McMenamy for Jean Paul Gaultier

Linda Evangelista for Prada
Daphne Self, 80 year old working model.

Magazines like Elle, Allure, Maire Claire and W all had stories featuring celebrities and models not only without makeup, but without photoshop altogether. The public was clearly hungry for something real, honest and above all imperfect. And the industry listened. We don’t know about you, but that gives us a lot of hope for the future of fashion. Because ultimately, there is nothing more beautiful than honesty.

Natalia Borecka

Natalia is the editor in chief and publisher of Lone Wolf Magazine. She founded the publication in 2012.

  1. This is such a great article. It’s so encouraging to see this shift finally starting to happen- the fashion media have made a disaster of what (especially younger) women feel they should look like. This is such a needed, healthy, and rich change.

  2. Eli Becker says:

    This is great. There’s nothing more empowering than embracing you natural beauty, and it’s refreshing to see that becoming more acceptable. Thanks for this post.

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