Remember "flawless" skin? Magazines (ahem) that would urge you to smooth this, even out that? Ads promising to hide imperfections? What were we all so afraid of? That people might realize that underneath the artifice we are actually human? In a world where we are one filter away from erasing reality completely, perhaps nothing is more important than seeing a person for who they truly are. Because, as the poet told us, beauty is truth, truth beauty — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Our February beauty shoot is a celebration of skin texture, like scars, acne, and wrinkles, that is so often erased with editing apps. "Why should women feel ashamed of something as natural and normal as a stretch mark?" model Jocelyn Corona told us. "In what moment did we buy into this idea that normal bodies [and skin] are not normal?" We spoke with Corona, Bria Bryant, Stevens Añazco, and Sylke Golding about their skin. "I don't want any retouching. That would be like lying to myself," says Corona.
"I'm still trying to understand the changes in my skin and listen to what it needs," says model Bria Bryant (above). "My skin has gone through many phases— hyperpigmentation, acne. What I had to learn is to trust the process; be gentle and don't overdo it with too many products at once." Ultimately, that trust grew into something larger and more powerful for Bryant. "I like the way my skin can tell a story. It has details that will always be there and may never fade, from the freckles on my hands to the birthmark on my arm. They're part of the beauty of my skin and the changes it makes as I age."