The Economist saved money on Photoshop this month, when Cate Blanchett opted to appear on the cover of Intelligent Life -- their bi-monthly lifestyle and culture magazine -- without any computer touchups.
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The fact that the actress went unairbrushed was a statement made by the magazine that real is beautiful.
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"When other magazines photograph actresses, they routinely end up running heavily Photoshopped images, with every last wrinkle expunged," Intelligent Life editor Tim de Lisle said on the magazine's website. "Their skin is rendered so improbably smooth that, with the biggest stars, you wonder why the photographer didn't just do a shoot with their waxwork."
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Blanchett appears on the cover in casual attire, with lines on her face exposed for the world to see.
"She looks like what she is -- a woman of 42, spending her days in an office, her evenings on stage and the rest of her time looking after three young children," de Lisle said. "We can't be too self-righteous about it, because, like anyone else who puts her on a cover, we are benefiting from her beauty and distinction. But the shot is at least trying to reflect real life. It's a curious sign of the times that this has become something to shout about."
The choice to use a natural looking photo was a step against the norm in the magazine industry, but one that makes de Lisle proud.
"Publishers want a recognizable person on the cover, with a real career; but they also want an empty vessel -- for clothes and jewelry and makeup, which often seem to be supplied by the advertisers with the most muscle."