Madonna’s unflattering, unaltered photos keep popping up

**Unaltered Louis Vuitton ad on the left, altered ad on the right, credit: Louis Vuitton and New York Magazine.**

Last year, Louis Vuitton unveiled new ads with their spokesmodel, Madonna. The ads were… in a word, hysterical. Madonna looked airbrushed within an inch of her life, down to the last veiny piece of gristle in her hands. She looked, in the ads, like Heidi Montag looks in real life now. Like a doll. An unmoving, frozen, sketchy plastic doll. Anyway, Sassybella and New York Magazine got their hands on the unaltered Madge ad (above, in the side-by-side – the unaltered photo is on the left), and I can only say that it’s truly frightening the kind of Photoshop horror is trust upon the general public.

I came to see this altered ad because Jezebel ran a piece called “The Irresistible Allure Of Unretouched Madonna Photos”. Erin at Jezebel asks “Who keeps leaking the “before” shots of Madonna photo shoots?” and “Why her more than anyone else?” Possible answers: there’s tension between the Madge Camp and the Steven Meisel camp, the photographer who shot the Vuitton campaign, a W Magazine spread from several years ago and Madge’s Hard Candy photo shoot (which also had some leaks).

As for the alleged joy (or schadenfreude) we get from seeing unaltered photos of Madge, Jezebel continues: “Madonna offers her own complications: She seems to regard her body as a hard-fought act of defiance, a bulwark against weakness or aging. If the unretouched photos of her tell us anything, it’s that people are still obsessed with confirming the ultimate impossibility of that goal.”

Here’s the now classic unaltered Madge photo from Steven Klein’s photo shoot with Madonna and Jesus Luz, for W Magazine (courtesy of Pop Crunch):


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42 Responses to “Madonna’s unflattering, unaltered photos keep popping up”

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  1. RReedy says:

    They are all unflattering: she has morphed into Norma Desmond.

  2. kelbear says:

    She just doesn’t have the appeal anymore. It seems like she thinks we should adore her til the end of time.

  3. Tess says:

    Mother Superior Gristle Perpetua and her newest little foundling, photographed at The Boytoy Home for Little Wanderers, the orphanage she founded half a century ago.

  4. ogechi says:

    Madonna be a role model to your children, you are quite embarrassing.

  5. fizXgirl314 says:

    it looks like they just leaked the least flattering of her before photos where she’s got her head down and her neck is squashed so it show more aging… the lighting also looks terrible… I think photographers just don’t bother with lighting anymore knowing full well that there is the safety of photoshop….

    quite frankly, I don’t think it’s that bad… by any definition of the word, she’s already a fairly old lady. Photoshopping is an abomination in general, but this isn’t the only/worst case of it…

  6. Constance says:

    At least someone in her photoshoot didn’t need to be retouched, Go Baby JeJe!

  7. Dorothy says:

    How much work has she had done? He chin is almost gone. Her nose, her lips, her mole, her eyes etc….

  8. Garrett says:

    Madonna seems to refuse to acknowledge that Father Time also follows her. She’s a sad, plasticized, skeletal mess. Pathetic!

  9. Lway says:

    That star on Jesus’ you-know-what is awfully small ……. i mean come on – he might as well have been a woman…

    As for Madonna… well, small things ….. i guess 🙂 lol!

  10. lucy2 says:

    Those LV ads don’t even look like her. Why bother paying her a small fortune to be in the ads if she’s not recognizable?
    She looks downright creepy in that bottom photo.

  11. Constance says:

    @Dorothy, Bigger question? Why is she so lazy when it comes to dealing with “da gap” in her mouth? I mean wtf sense does it make if she got rid of all the things that made her “look” like the younger Madge. haha

  12. Gwen says:

    I find this rather depressing. She used to be an icon for strong women – now she just seems desperate.

  13. lilred says:

    Sad,desperate & hanging on by her grizzled claw to youth (her version of it at least).

  14. Amy says:

    first of all i dont think the untouched picture looks THAT unflattering what she’s wearing does make her look stupid.

    now i am annoyed because this story is about to make me defend madonna (which i cant believe i’m about to do) yes its silly that shes trying to pull the old tricks she did years ago to stay releveant. but considering that the media industry is much harsher on women than it is on men even women who have a long iconic career like madonna its no surprise she pulls this crap. yes she may be a famewhore, but i dont see why people are being so nasty about her untouched photo. like she said herself, men at her age are rather unkempt. they dont get nearly half as much shit as women do, and she is 50, what do you expect. yes she brings this on herself but i refuse to be part of the circle that sustains this type of bigotry.

    and damn you again for making me defend her!

  15. bros says:

    I think she has actually managed to make herself look older than 51 with all the crazy work she has had done to her face. There are plenty of 50 year old hollywood people who look younger than she does because they havent inserted weird implants into their cheeks and altered their skin/face so much. She needs to quit because she looks like a 64 year old with multiple surgeries, not 50 or 51.

  16. Erin says:

    she looks TIRED. i guess that’s what eating a completely fat free diet and working out 3 hours a day will do to you. that’s no way to live@

  17. kermit says:

    I’m with Amy. She looks rough due to having little body fat and being so muscular. I think some will find her to be an attractive woman in her early 50s. Why can’t women look alluring or sexy at that age? Why not? I do agree that you dress differently, and I never though Madonna looked good in lingerie due to her muscularity and lack of softness and curves. The problem here is the costumes aren’t working for her complexion, her hair color probably doesn’t work, and the old imagery of what she used to provoke earlier in her life doesn’t provoke anymore but turns her into a caricature of her former self. That said, I find the photoshop pictures are way worse than the unaltered.

  18. Dorothy says:

    LOL Constance! It is probably so she can say she never had any work done! hasn’t that been her line before?

    @ Amy there are so many beautiful women of a certain age who have had little to no work done and are doing very well in Hollywood. Michelle Pfeiffer, Meryl, Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburger, just to name a few.

    As for the men I don’t like when they try to stop Father Time either!

  19. Novaraen says:

    That nasty botox and cosmetic surgery always turns out looking soooo awful. The skin gets a weird ripply look to it..and there’s bumps and stuff where they shouldn’t be.

  20. Richard Se says:

    To all Madonna haters: I really think the pictures are all crap. No one will appear in a photo shoot without make up, I think someone will get sued for this. I now think that the photos were re-touched to make her look really bad. If you look at the W photo with Jesus at the back, I think the wrinkles were photoshopped in, I mean if you look at the lips, they look distorted compared to the nose, and they are lopsided, it is like she had an accident befoere the shoot. I have to defend her on this, she looks better in many paparazzi shots, before or after alleged surgery, how can she look that bad in this photo? Then the LV shot, first of all, she does not look that bad, this picture may not be taken by Steven Klein, you can clearly see that the lighting is in the wrong direction. It is not meant to be taken at this angle. I am a photographer, people can look really bad if the lighting is done in the wrong direction, no matter now perfect you look, all the bad things will show. This looks like a snap picture by some assistant taken during the shoot. To compare them for real, we really need to see the exact photo taken by Steven Klein. Besides, I think to get the effect in the final photos of the LV ad, I think there are some other colored lights used in the shoot to create that solarise effect, which we don’t see in this picture. And, have we seen the video of the shoot, she doesn’t look like this. It is quite expensive to touch up videos, I don’t think LV spend money before releasing it on the internet. I certainly think that Steven Meisel will not allow himself to be insulted by inappropriate use of photoshop, he is still an artist who has integrity. Now I start to question the validity of the Hard Candy out takes. Don’t believe in all this crap. People are just jealous and refuse to believe that she can look good at 51.

  21. sickofit says:

    she looks dead in the eyes, this makes her look even older

  22. ccoop says:

    She does NOT “look good at 51”. She looks like a 60-year-old who could PASS for 51.

  23. snapdragon says:

    madge used to be so pretty before she started messing with her face and working out like a lunatic. she was soft and curvy, and she looks so stringy and hard now. she needs to put on some weight and stop injecting things into her face.

  24. NicoleB says:

    I really don’t understand this obsession with not excepting your age…what’s funny is that I find the more you fight the worse you look…in LA when you see those women that are fighting tooth and nail to stay young they always looks so terrible and desperate…Now am I staying b/c Madonna is 50 she should stop everything and go get the mom haircut and sit down somewhere…no not at all…but the over working out, only eating raw kale, and dating dating guys that are more than 20 years younger than her just to PROVE to all of us that she’s still got it is just SAD….and please I think it’s even worse when men in their 50s pull this same crap…it all just screams DESPERATION!!!!!

  25. Maleficent says:

    She is hideous!

  26. Lenore says:

    For a woman in her fifties I think she looks pretty great.

    If you ignore all the stupid shit that she’s done to herself, of course.

    Bleached hair, gristle, cheek implants… If she’d eat a nice big sandwich even once a month maybe, nice soft brown dye job, and get rid of the plastic, she’d at least look age-appropriate and we might see a normal, attractive fiftyish woman, rather than a freakish creature ruining herself with pointless attempts at defying time. There’s a good-looking woman in her fifties being stomped on by a muscular megalomaniac.

    I don’t know when these stars will realise that bad plastic surgery and over-exercising do nothing BUT age someone. The minute the unplasticised flesh starts sagging off the chipmunk cheeks, or shrivelling around the grapefruit tits, or the minute you raise your fifty-year-old-hands to your week-old nose job, all anyone can see is “Man I didn’t realise she was that old”.

    I’d love one of these women to TRY aging naturally. I swear, even if they don’t look their old beautiful self, the respect and love they will get for not TRYING to look like they’re thirty will surely be worth it. Much better than people across the globe mocking your self-delusion.

  27. GatsbyGal says:

    Hahaha, she looks like Kirstie Alley in that first picture!

  28. Bete says:

    The warning on his genitals should say, “Too small!”
    Yeah, that’s low, but my god. There is no notable bulge there at all!
    Seriously though, New York Magazine was wondering why Madonna’s arms were resized for the Louis Vuitton campaign, and it’s obvious. She looks like a transvestite now. She pushes her body to the limit, thinking that resembling a steroid addled bodybuilder is tres chic. There are trannies that look better than her.

  29. DrM says:

    Quote of the Day to describe Madonna:

    “surgically retrofitted high priestess of self-absorption”

    Thank you posters on Boy Culture! A truer word was never spoken!

  30. Ruffian9 says:

    Lway: EXACTLY what I was thinking! Itty bitty star……

  31. j. ferber says:

    Yes, Madonna looks tired in the pics, but what glee and venom in trashing her! Once a woman ages, the men drop her and the women tear her apart. So sexist on both sides. Also, Jesus just stepped out of a pool. Obviously, some shrinkage is normal. His body looks perfect to me, but how insulting that they chopped off his head.

  32. j. ferber says:

    Let me add, that if I weren’t married, I’d choose Jesus for my lover, too.

  33. lin234 says:

    One of the best examples of aging gracefully is Julianne Moore. I have no idea if she’s had work done and maybe she has. But whatever she is doing is subtle. She is 49 years old and can hold her own ground with Amanda Seyfried while looking breathtakingly beautiful without photoshop. I wish I knew her secret.

  34. scandoll says:

    UGH!!! she makes me sick! I hve known her ‘allure’

  35. scandoll says:

    February 9th, 2010 at 3:31 pm I really don’t understand this obsession with not excepting your age…”
    That would be “accepting”

    Groan! Rolling my eyes Judge Judy style….

  36. Wresa says:

    Well said, Lenore!

    For someone who used to own her sexuality, why isn’t she owning her age? If there was ever a woman who change the way people think about older women’s sexuality it was Madonna, but she really blew it.

  37. Kelly says:

    Madge is old. And if you don’t kick the bucket, so will you be, soon enough. That’s by no means a tragedy in itself- most of us who’ve made it past 30 wouldn’t wish 20 on their worst enemy! Being old actually rocks, in it’s own saggy, cranky, funky way. Take it from me.
    What IS tragic is Madge being so silly and desperate and self mutilating and insecure, just LIKE a 20 year old ho who doesnt know any better and thinks the world will grind to a halt if they get a zit or put on a kilo.
    WHAT IF BOYS DONT LIKE ME!?! is what I get when I look at her. I left that shit behind when I was 17. This lady is 50 something. Props for attaining official Hag status, Madge, I look forward to it myself, but can you please just have a fucking cigarette and stop sucking your gut in and leave all that stoopid shit to the babygirls, bless them?

  38. LakeMom says:

    Norma Desmond…that’s about the best description ever!

  39. fizXgirl314 says:

    I’m a little confused at these before photos though… how can she look fat AND buff at the same time?!?!?

  40. cara says:

    poor madge is attention-seeking again.there is nothing worse than being a 50+ trying to act like a 20+.You would think someone would have the balls to tell her that to her face.
    That last picture looks really weird,like her head is way too big for her body

  41. lennie says:

    Maybe that Madonna is not that strong and fierce woman she once claimed to be! A real strong woman is NOT afraid of her age. A real strong woman is NOT afraid of how every human being turns out after few decades. Now she is just a mere DESPERATE granny who lives in denial, and the worst thing is that she looks a way older than a 50 year old woman!
    My mom is 50. And she is beautiful. She takes care of her skin, but she has never done any plastic surgery. She looks her age, and she has taught me how to be secure and look bright even at 50. Poor Lourdes she must doesn’t have a clue about that.

  42. Griffin says:

    I agree with Richard.
    I am a photographer and no professional especially Steven Meisel would shoot Madonna in flat lighting…the photos that are supposed to represent Madonna “Untouched” are actually retouched to make her look unflattering.
    Intentionally adding larger pores, skin texture and bags/wrinkles.

    Yes dont believe everything you see people, in this case Madonna has been altered to look BAD. the proof is in the pudding. Madonna looks pretty impressive, toned and tight.