56-Year-Old Model Paulina Porizkova Trolled For Looking 'Too Good' In Her Nude 'Vogue' Photos

Photo: Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
Paulina Porizkova

When Paulina Porizkova was photographed for a nearly-nude Vogue cover shoot, no photo editing was done. Of course, online trolls are now insisting otherwise. 

The Vogue Czechoslovakia cover showed the 56-year-old model posing in nothing but a sheer black bodysuit, showing off a set of abs that most 20-year-olds would envy. 

The cover is a rare celebration of an aging body. Porizkova, as a mother of adult children who has been modeling since before most current cover stars could walk, isn’t your typically nude model. 

Yet, her stunning cover photos and the subsequent backlash are a reminder of just how problematic our Western beauty standards are, which consistently favor young, slim bodies.

Online trolls accuse Paulina Porizkova of photoshopping her Vogue cover

“It’s unretouched,” Porizkova said of the photoshoot. “As soon as it came out, Twitter was like, ‘Well, fine, retouch [the photos] and then sure, they’ll look fine.'”

The comments are somewhat understandable. It’s rare to see unretouched photos on social media these days. And it’s even less common that we see popular publications celebrating middle-aged bodies.

Combine these two rarities and Porizkova’s cover becomes an anomaly. 

These comments reveal how we’ve become so accustomed to edited images that we almost can’t imagine our lives without them.

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Sure, there are plenty of unrealistic beauty standards out there, and Porizkova’s body is certainly not attainable for all — or even most — women.

But, in a world becoming increasingly hellbent on calling out edited images, we seeem to have started unnecessarily targeting women who do naturally look like the women on magazine covers.

It's proof that women online are damned if they use photoshop, and damned if they don’t.  

Porizkova pointed out that even she doesn’t look like her cover 100% of the time, but insists that Photoshop is not necessary if you have a good photographer.

“It’s like, no, no, no … it was Marie [Tomonova’s] photography! Obviously, you know, you could take a much worse picture than that of me, but you wouldn’t want to see that on the cover, right?”

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Paulina Porizkova celebrates women's beauty for all ages

“Look, when you’re full-frontal nude on the cover of Vogue at 56, I hope it would have some attention,” Porizkova said, recognizing that women her age aren’t usually commanding a spot in mainstream beauty culture like she is. 

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But this isn’t the first time Porizkova has advocated for the celebration of aging bodies. She regularly stands up to ageist critics online. 

“When I was in my twenties and thirties, the less I wore — the more popular I was. In my forties, I could walk around practically naked and illicit nothing more than a ticket for public indecency," she wrote on Instagram back in February. “At fifty, I am reviled for it.”

She appeared to respond to a cultural norm that demands female bodies look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful, but are then discard once they become older and less desirable. 

"Why is sexiness and nudity applauded in a woman's youth and reviled in her maturity?" Porizkova wrote before going on to answer her own question: 

"Because of men. The only thing that is pathetic here is allowing others to set your priorities. #sexyhasnoexpirationdate."

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.