Nicki Minaj for ELLE Magazine

Posted on March 15, 2013

Nicki Minaj strikes a blow for womankind everywhere.

 

Nicki Minaj covers the April 2013 issue of ELLE magazine photographed by Thomas Whiteside and styled by Joe Zee.

 

On her make-under for Elle‘s shoot: “When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a… like, I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. I feel that it’s become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes- you know, nothing – I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”

Okay, stop. We can’t EVEN. Give us a second here, because we’re about to go off and we’re trying to keep it under a certain decibel level.

 

Tom Ford Spring 2013 Collection/Model: Karlina Caune

Dolce&Gabbana Fall 2012 Collection/Model: Andreea Diaconu

Jeremy Scott for Adidas Print Bathing Suit

Salvatore Ferragamo Spring 2013 Collection/Model: Ava Smith

 

 

Sweetie, you had your picture taken wearing slightly less makeup than you normally wear when you get your picture taken. Let’s not act like you cured cancer or just scored your first doctorate. We’re not ladies, as you may have noticed, and we don’t claim any authority as to how ladies do or should feel about certain things, but if we were ladies, we can’t imagine we’d be anything but annoyed at the slow trickle of female celebrities and models who:

  1. Get styled in outrageously expensive clothing by people who are masters at it (hello, Joe Zee!)
  2. Wear only a little bit of makeup, applied by people who are world class at applying makeup.
  3. Get photographed by people who have built their entire, successful careers around making people look good in photographs.
  4. Go on and on about what an accomplishment it is, while breathless commenters laud them for their bravery.

Bitches, please. If wearing only a little – or no- makeup is an accomplishment, then 90% of women on the planet deserve a medal any given day of the week.

How are these pictures anything but glamour shots? She’s an uncommonly beautiful woman wearing expensive clothes under perfect lighting conditions. Just because she’s not making crazy faces or wearing a shocking pink wig doesn’t mean we’re suddenly enthralled by the brutal realism on display.

Having said that, we like the editorial. That bathing suit is all kinds of cray-cray, as is that Dolce & Gabbana dress, although we don’t think the latter really works for her. Love the cover, but her facial expression leaves something to be desired. That’s another thing; whenever they do these gimmicky “makeunders” in magazines, they always pick pictures where she looks tired or angry or she’s making some kind of weird face. You can bet, if this was a standard candy-colored Nicki Minaj editorial, that cover shot would have been tossed aside.

[Photo Credit: Thomas Whiteside for ELLE, style.com, luisaviaroma.com]

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  • ohayayay

    Holy boob shadows, batman!

  • Anathema_Device

    I love you guys.

    Amen to everything you said. The only thing you left out is the inevitable retouching on editorial shots.

  • Jessica O’Connell

    “Bitches, please. If wearing only a little – or no- makeup is an
    accomplishment, then 90% of women on the planet deserve a medal any
    given day of the week.”

    YES. TLo, if possible, I now love you even more. Seriously, you feel naked for not wearing makeup? Not our problem that you feel the need to look like a clown everywhere, sweetie. Please shut up about it? Thanks!

    I am amazed at how beautiful she can look when she actually looks human though. She should try for a non-cartoon-character look every once in a while.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      This was possibly my favorite TLo line EVER.

  • werika

    You tell her that TLO. Tell it like it is. Amen.

  • http://twitter.com/Moondragonic Charlotte

    I can’t focus on anything other then that fabulous jacket.

  • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

    I want to see Elisabeth Moss wear that leather ensemble. I want to see Tilda Swinton in that bathing suit. I want to see Lady Gaga in that Dolce & Gabbana red flowerpot number, with some crazy hat and sunglasses. This clothing is so outre that the whole editorial comes off as a parody, especially with Nicki Minaj as the model. My eyes hurt from rolling so much.

  • dschubba

    No wig, huh?

  • http://www.facebook.com/conysoledad Constanza Álvarez Espinoza

    It’s not like she’s not wearing makeup at all, or as she isn’t Photoshoped. I don’t get her reaction and moaning. I can only dream about looking with a flawless skin and no undereye bags in a photo with no makeup on, no good lighting and no Photoshop.

    About the editorial, her boobs look like their going to explode in that D&G dress and I wish I could appreciate more the Tom Ford jacket that her boobs, but I liked it. I can only hope she looks like this everytime and not like a cheap imitation sold on flea markets of a Barbie doll. Girl, you’d still be wearng makeup!!

  • twocee

    “Bitches, please. If wearing only a little – or no- makeup is an
    accomplishment, then 90% of women on the planet deserve a medal any
    given day of the week.” Heh — that is awesome.

    I had no idea I was so accomplished. I guess I can quit my day job and rest on my laurels of never wearing make-up and still feeling like a suitable member of the human race.

    • PastryGoddess

      Yes! I plan on firing my clients so I can live my fabulously makeup free life. I wonder if I’ll get a Nobel prize for it

  • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

    The thing is, she isn’t wearing *little* makeup, she’s still wearing a fucktonne, it’s just in more natural colours and blended better. She canNOT claim she isn’t wearing false eyelashes. I think she is a beautiful, striking woman, but I wasn’t born yesterday and this is not makeup free.

    • kmk05

      I was gonna say the exact same thing, especially about the eyelashes. If these are natural then I’m the queen of France. She is contoured and her eyebrows are on! Like, seriously.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        Exactly! No makeup my ass! “Natural colors” as opposed to “bright pink lipstick” doesn’t mean you’re not wearing makeup, especially when it’s troweled on. In the words of our beloved Jinkx Monsoon at the RuPaul roast, “She’s so full of shit, the toilet’s jealous”.

    • http://twitter.com/ThisMersLife ThisMeredithianLife

      Or photoshop free.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      You said it better than I ever could.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    Love that picture of the model in the Tom Ford leather suit…so very Emma Peel. I see there are some pictures of Nicki Minaj too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Monzerrat-Ontiveros/100000216133922 Monzerrat Ontiveros

    uncommonly beautiful woman??????????

    • SassieCassy

      she really is tho

      • j_anson

        Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to remember when she buries herself under makeup and wigs and cray-cray clothes, but she has an amazing and distinctive face.

  • nannypoo

    I am, at this very moment, wearing no makeup. I had no idea it was an achievement.

    • AthenaJ

      Wait right there, the Nobel Prize committee is rushing over right now.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        And a party, with cake and ponies! ;-)

  • Synnamin

    I have never thought of her as being particularly beautiful. Interesting, but not really “beautiful.” But these shots make her look WAY more beautiful than I have ever seen her. I love cray-cray, and applaud it, but her particular brand of it never did anything for me. It always felt too hamfisted.

    • SassieCassy

      she IS beautiful! it is hard to see under all the candy colored crap but she has a gorgeous face. like please pose and hold still so i can summon one of the great masters from the dead just so he can paint your face.

  • Sobaika

    I might be alone on this, but I feel like what she said wasn’t too cray? At least it wasn’t on “I use instagram for STENGTH!” level.

    I’m pretty sure others (Gwen comes to mind) have said similar stuff about something as silly as lipstick.

    • NC_Meg

      No, I agree. When you’re used to going out in a certain look, changing it feels weird (and I would imagine it feels extra weird knowing you’re going to be on the cover of a magazine.) Plus I hear regular women say things like, “I forgot my lipstick/mascara/watch today and I feel naked!” all the time.

      DEFINITELY not on using Instagram and pot for strength level so she’s got that going for her.

      • Sobaika

        Exactly, I usually feel pretty underdone without eyeliner. I don’t know, if that’s the worst thing that Minaj can muster up in an interview then there’s nothing to get worked up about. She’s not talking about how doing the laundry is elegant.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          I think it’s one thing to say it feels strange, but it’s quite another to say it’s an accomplishment.

          • Sobaika

            This is true, and I agree with the overall gist of your post. I guess it’s just a part of me can see where she’s coming from.

          • ConnieBV

            I do too. I think no matter how bright the plumage(and sometimes even more so with the showy gals) you feel ugly and uncomfortable in less face armor than you usually wear. If she feels it’s a personal accomplishment to be able to think she doesn’t look too bad with a more natural face, then I’ll let her have that.

          • mightbewrong

            Gonna agree with you. Personally I feel like I’m daring to look unattractive if I go out of the house without straightening my hair first. Everyone has their ‘things,’ rational or not.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

            This may be the language barrier speaking here but I read that more as “this is an accomplishment for me because I did something I am uncomfortable with” instead of “wearing this little makeup is an accomplishment in itself”. I mean, in a way, I feel like she’s admitting that wearing a fuckton of makeup, a giant wig and a crazy outfit makes her feel more secure.

            Then again, I might be reading too much into it.

          • Derek_anny

            That’s how I read it. Overcoming personal hangups is a pretty big thing foe a lot of people.

          • Amelia

            Same for me too. She was pretty clearly saying that it was a personal accomplishment to go out in comparatively little makeup (and to all the people scoffing at her describing it as “little makeup” I would bet that most of you don’t go out in public with as much brightly colored and obvious makeup as she does on a regular basis. She is speaking form her own frame of reference, not yours). When you wear makeup on a regular basis, you get used to looking a certain way, and other people get used to you looking a certain way. She has a hell of a lot more people watching her and judging her than the average person does and she did something that was difficult for her in the interest of self-acceptance. I don’t think describing that as an accomplishment is delusional or deserving of so much vitriol. Taking off a little of her armor isn’t on the same level as saving a life, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a significant personal victory.

            Also, that bathing suit is fucking terrifying.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Sorry, ladies. As we said, we’d never tell any lady how she’s supposed to feel about this (or anything else), but I’m simply not buying these comparisons to your own makeup-lite moments simply because HER makeup-lite moment came with the help of world class stylists, photographers, makeup artists, photo-shoppers and fashion designers. Their presence renders her supposed “personal accomplishment” in such a vastly different light from the average woman’s life that we can’t even compare them.

          • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

            So you are kind of telling us how to feel. When the average woman goes out on the street without makeup she’s not being stared at and judged for how she looks. Nicki is. And this “going out in public” is on a magazine cover so she’s exponentially exposed. This look, while completely styled, coiffed and made-up is a drastic departure from what she generally looks like and this site kind of exists to talk about how shitty (and occasionally awesome) primarily female celebrities look when they don’t hew closely to what is considered attractive or stylish. (Not a read because I’m here, have been for years and join in the conversation on occasion.) You can’t really have a feature called “Girl, that’s not your dress,” and not see how a female celebrity might be extra special sensitive about how she looks to the public.

            So when someone with a very distinct image changes it up completely, and it’s an image that kind of has a mask and costume attached to it, no amount of professional pampering and styling is going to make the anxiety of not looking like yourself lessen. Yes, she’s a young and beautiful woman, but so is Anne Hathaway and people just LOVE shit talking what she looks like. Yes, all those professionals exist to make their mostly female clientele look as good as possible, but there are plenty of features here and elsewhere about how all those professionals all too often fail at that job.

            I completely buy what she had to say and I agree that her comment was solely about herself and not about how the rest of womandom should feel. It’s just how she feels about appearing in public, and putting herself up for the public scrutiny, looking dramatically different from what she normally looks like. All celebrities are constantly being judged, it comes with the territory but I don’t think you would deny that female celebrities have it far worse than men. You say it every time you feature some guy with a too tight, too shiny or too long suit.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            How is stating how we feel about it turn into telling you how to feel about it? That kind of stuff absolutely kills conversations.

          • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

            Not trying to kill any conversation. If anything, you jumping in to tell us you’re not buying the counter-argument does since this is your site and your rules.

            But I’m just one very infrequent poster among many. I just didn’t realize how sensitive you were to criticism considering how very generous you are with dishing it out.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            And thus you have effectively killed the conversation, by slinging accusations and making it personal, all because we said we didn’t agree with a certain argument being put forth.

            Thanks for the reminder!

          • http://www.nahuli.blogspot.com cjcris23

            I love when you guys join the conversation! I agree that her remarks are so goofy — I recently stopped wearing any makeup, and I certainly don’t feel it is an accomplishment.

          • sekushinonyanko

            This might be something if she was actually not wearing makeup, but she is, so the whole bravely going out naked thing is kind of moot.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PVIY3NBCZJAJNFWDBCWG2DMKL4 Jen R

            Wrong. Women judge other women every day based on how they look – and I don’t just mean photos of celebs online or in print. I know I’m guilty of it. Think about the last time you went to the market and saw someone in pajamas and slippers. You know you were judging them for an inability to be bothered to wear actual clothing. What do you think people doing job interviews do? They look at your appearance. The same is true for other professions. You can’t, for example, be a lawyer and show up in court in jeans and a tank top and expect no one to take issue with it. You can’t be a teacher and wear a sheer blouse and a mini skirt to teach school. Both of those outfits would get you fired quickly. By the same token, a stripper can’t really work in granny panties and a cross-your-heart bra and expect to get a lot of tips. So to say that the average woman doesn’t get judged on her appearance is just wrong. We all do our best to put our best face on and get together a look that is tasteful and appropriate but still expresses some kind of style and most of us do it on a limited budget with a limited amount of clothing, and without help from pros. For Nicki Minaj to say that it was an accomplishment for her to put herself in the hands of pros whose best interest is in making her look fabulous is just an overstatement. If she’d simply said, “I was nervous about a different look from what I’m used to,” or perhaps, “I’m used to knowing exactly how I want to look and to let someone change that and trust their vision was a bit scary for me,” that would have been much more to the point.

          • Amelia

            Sure she has world-class level makeup artists etc., but she also has way more scrutiny. The average woman who wears a lot of makeup regularly doesn’t have access to all those things when she wears little/no makeup, but the average woman doesn’t have so many people judging her and criticizing her either (also people feel free to say nasty things about celebrities publicly that they would never feel comfortable saying about an average person to their face). I guess to me it seemed like both ends of the equation scaled up so that the comparison to our own experiences would still be valid.

          • Corsetmaker

            The thing is the level of the styling/make-up etc isn’t that relevant. It doesn’t matter how expertly it’s done, whether it’s the best MUA in the country, the lady at the department store counter or a friend, it’s still a removal of a mask. I used to be a lot gothier than I am now, had I had my make-up done minus the eyeliner, bright lipstick etc. Been put in colourful ‘trendy’ clothes and had my hair re-styled it wouldn’t have mattered how expensive it all was or how expertly done it wouldn’t have been me, I’d have felt just wrong. If for her that mask is tied up with other issues then yes dropping it is a personal achievement. Accomplishment might be too strong a word, but then it’s hard to say just how much importance those layers may have for her.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            “The thing is the level of the styling/make-up etc isn’t that relevant. ”

            Could not disagree with that idea more.

          • Corsetmaker

            Your prerogative of course. But my point is if losing your accustomed mask is stressful then it will be stressful no matter how pretty they can make the face underneath. That’s unlikely to be the issue. Wearing the mask of an extreme image hides her real face, a good ‘natural’ MUA accentuates it.

    • SassieCassy

      yeah ITA this is not goop-level delusion

    • j_anson

      Nah, I agree. I don’t wear a lot of makeup normally, and I have a cousin who does. She once told me (no kidding) that she thought it was really brave of me to not wear makeup much. My point is not that I was particularly brave (yeah, not) but that there really are women out there who feel like makeup is something they’re expected to wear, and that being without it publicly is like being without clothing publicly. I don’t think she’s saying it was a cancer-curing-level accomplishment, just that it was hard for her and she was chuffed about having done it. And I think there are women out there that will sympathize. Admittedly, I partly cut her some slack because, for all that she’s a bit of a clown in persona, she’s said things that make me think she actually consciously thinks about gender and presentation and has interesting opinions about how to be female in a tough industry. Not to say she doesn’t have issues, but at least she’s thinking.

      • MilaXX

        We’ve all seen those women. They wear a full face to the gym.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          My aunt doesn’t leave the house without her red lipstick. EVER – to the supermarket, to the gym, just to come over to my mom’s house for coffee… I mean, in my 30-something years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without it. It’s just her “thing,” and that’s ok.

      • ConnieBV

        Very well put.

      • Pterodactyl111

        I used to feel that way about not wearing foundation, but I’ve been trying to get over it lately. Everybody else can suck it. I don’t care about my uneven skin tone.

        • Indigo54

          Amen sister!

    • MilaXX

      I think she was trying to say she trying to get used to not wearing every color of the rainbow and regular length lashes instead of her usual 3 inch drag queen lashes. That’s just not how it came out.

      • NC_Meg

        That’s how I took it: a personal achievement for her, not for women everywhere.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      I think it’s the context. If she was was really NOT wearing makeup, then I could maybe appreciate what she said. But the fact that she’s actually wearing it in these “made-under” photos, strikes me as incredibly disingenuous.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    Who needs makeup when you have hundreds of Photoshop filters and plugins?

  • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

    “Bitch, please” is pretty much always my response to her. I barely tolerated Gaga, it was the TLo’s appreciation of Steffi that brought me over to the side of objective fashion critique instead of irritated famewhore hostage. I have no room in my world for this type of fabricated “artist.” And she needs to literally close her damn mouth.

  • VioletFem

    I always look at the pictures before I read the post (to see if my opinion matches TLo’s), and honestly didn’t really notice that she’s not wearing nearly as much make up as usual. It honestly look like a pretty standard Nicki Minaj editorial:
    Blonde wig? check
    Weird and interesting clothing? check
    Crazy faces? check (ok technically only one crazy face, but still…)

    Just cause she is not wearing her normal 5 lbs. of make-up doen’t make it groundbreaking.

    • AthenaJ

      Make that a ratty blond wig.

      • http://the-afterimage.blogspot.com/ lae

        I actually don’t think it’s a wig. Unless they’re selling wigs with regrowth now

        • spooki C

          they actually do make wigs with a different color at the roots, I think they look stupid but I guess they’re supposed to look “more natural”. It could also be a weave, but either way it looks pretty bad.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    What a “makeunder” indeed. She’s only wearing one pound of make up instead of her usual four, and she paired it with ratty hair because that’s apparently her “I’m just like you guys!” wig. I get what Zee was going for with the styling, but it’s not super flattering.

  • http://twitter.com/omg_dora Dora K.

    She might as well not be wearing any makeup at all — we wouldn’t know under ALL THAT PHOTOSHOPPING.

    SHUP UP STUPID CELEBRITY.

  • MzzPants

    Thank you TLo, for the genuine ire. The real world drove me to go out in public today with bed head, in lounge wear. I was ducking aisles to avoid people I know. The planet continues to spin. When does that happen to her??

  • librarygrrl64

    PREACH!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/jallioop JanW

    First time I ever noticed that she had major boobs. Guess I’m usually too busy looking at the pink hair and lipstick.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LCM5POTSHO74MUOQO6IAV4YUBE Jessica

    “My eyes are up here….or.. there. Fine, look where you want”.

  • Qitkat

    I’ve already started planning my Medal Ceremony. Ya’ll are invited. We’ll throw the biggest BitterKittenBitchFestival west of the Mississippi. Cake, champagne, balloons, live music. Come wearing something fabulous darlings, inspired by any episode of this season’s PR. The neighbors won’t know what hittem. We’ll storm the local Sally’s Beauty Supply and have a contest to see who can look the most like Nicki Minaj.

    • DeborahJozayt

      If I rip my clothes off like the male stripper Project Runway episode during the party, will that be too fabulous? I promise I won’t be near the cake while doing that.

      • Qitkat

        Well, I was hoping someone would want to do that. There will be no such thing as *too fabulous* at this party!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2066192 Melissa Mellon

      I’d like to thank the Academy…my parents for believing I could go makeup free…my co-workers for not visibly cringing when seeing my bare face…my employers who continued to employ me based on merit…oh, who am I missing!?!

  • Ogden1990

    On behalf of my dearly departed mother who wore her hair bright orange (naturally at first, then less so) and eyebrows filled in (dark reddish brown!) from the age of 16 to around 75, going natural, for her, was a HUGE accomplishment. She deserved a medal, come to think of it. Nicki, not so much.

  • WittyCism

    Amen, TLo! Gurl, puh-leeeease…!

  • Janet B

    Oh brother!
    Pretty girl, but who does she think she’s fooling??!?

  • http://stylishsass.blogspot.com/ Terri Smith

    *mike drop*

  • snarkykitten

    hah. hahaha. haaaaaaaaaah.

  • Anniebet

    Yes, honey…you have boobs. We’ve noticed them. Now put them away, pls, and take note of how very lovely you look in the picture with that insane bathing suit. I’d buy THAT girl’s concert tickets and CDs, but a not damned thing from your cartoon/clown persona.

    • Amelia

      you base your music purchases on how attractive you find the artist? I would think that if you don’t like the way her songs sound, her starting to dress in a way to make her look conventionally attractive shouldn’t make much of a difference.

  • ashtangajunkie

    She had me until the word “accomplishment.”

  • mightbewrong

    She’s clearly beautiful, but I honestly think she would be more attractive if she GENUINELY went without makeup, because it looks cartoony to me even here.

    As for the bathing suit, it’s been pulled straight from my nightmares.

    • NC_Meg

      Seriously. That thing is straight out of nightmare town.

  • Imasewsure

    Really like these pictures… Ok to me too that she is delusional and crazy… never said she was bright just brightly outfitted most of the time.

  • http://twitter.com/irmaladuce_l8ly IrmaLaDuce

    Wish they snatched that wig off her head when the did this “makeunder.”

  • MilaXX

    She wearing the same amount of makeup just with neutral colors and smaller lashes. I think she looks pretty, but she’s a nice looking gal to begin with. My only quibble is why she has chosen blonde wigs with black roots for her new neutral makeup, less outrageous clothes look.

  • poggi

    I think i kind of get where she is coming from. In her pink wig and full get-up if someone criticizes her, she can rationalize this as they are insulting the character she has created or the costume she has put on, but in appearing in public without the costume insults and negativity may be harder to shrug off because it is more about you.

    However, I also get TLo’s point. I am often annoyed by how little perspective many celebrities have. While I may revel momentarily in an accomplishment, I can usually keep all this in perspective. I have not really done anything terribly important or brave or risked much of anything to do it and I probably had a lot of help. I think this is what celebrities often lack (or at least appear to lack) and why when one of them either is or sounds self-deprecating in the slightest, I like them. While his may feel like a personal accomplishment for her, some notion that she is aware that this isn’t that big deal in the grander scheme would help me tolerate her and many celebrities more easily.

  • carolie_king

    She is wearing FAR more makeup than I do in a week, probably longer. Oh, the bravery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzie.vazquez Suzie Vazquez

    Are these ridiculous quotes just written for them to spew out? Because I don’t know if that’s better or worse!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacoryd JaCory Deon

    That bitch is painted, lighted, and lightened whenever she gets done…save it for the marines dear! It’s a cute shoot (for her) though.

  • formerlyAnon

    You guys! XO

  • TSkot

    Who knew that under all her get-ups there was such a beautiful woman?

  • http://angryfemur.tumblr.com Andrea Lane

    Boys, I love you.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • bertkeeter

    Love her “no makeup” makeup! FRESH…

  • Coco Cornejo

    the woven outfit makes her look like she’s wearing a lampshade.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Oh, honey – STOP. With how that cover turned out, with that hot-assed mess of hair on your head? You shouldn’t consider this photo shoot “a success”.

  • http://twitter.com/algaechick algaechick

    I think the ‘accomplishment’ comes not necessarily from goes sans makeup, but going more ‘natural’ (as compared to the usual cartoon) when her professional career is based partly (a-lot-ly) on the character she portrays. She is in an industry where image sells. If she started out looking like ^^^^, she wouldn’t have become the superstar that she is. That is, I believe she could very likely see such pictures as a professional risk.

  • Hhhope

    I read the tone of that quote by Nicki differently. To me, it sounded like the normal style/color of her make up is so much a part of her persona, that it felt daunting to change it for a photo shoot. Not that she is asking to be lauded. Just a personal comment on her own image. *shrugs*

  • http://twitter.com/pattylapatty pattycupcake

    she’s really pretty

  • http://twitter.com/CaitrinofFenris Caitrin

    Ok… I was full of it. This kind of shit is annoying.

    By the way, when do I get my medal for today? I just put on eyeliner.

  • http://www.sineaddoyle.com Sinead

    I’m getting total Maxim/FHM/ name other mens magazine from this cover shot. Very, very odd choice for Elle, no?
    Love the other looks, quirky and interesting clothing choices and she manages to pull them off.

    I get where she’s coming from with the accomplishment thing but it is kinda funny ’cause she is wearing a ton of make-up here! It wouldn’t bother me though.

  • http://twitter.com/mannahattamamma MannahattaMamma

    I just don’t want to wear something that’s effectively going to put eyeballs on my boobs.

  • http://profiles.google.com/hillaryschuster Hillary Schuster

    Honestly, her comments wouldn’t bug if she was actually wearing no makeup. Celebrity is celebrity and I can see how getting shot in no makeup would be a very different experience. As other’s and TLo have said: she is wearing a ton of makeup here and shot under incredibly flattering lighting (and under a skilled mouse-wielding hand in Photoshop). Yeah, those lashes are so fake.

  • kikisayshi

    I like the whole thing – even the cray bathing suit. And let’s face it – these celebs lost touch with reality a long time ago so let’s not make them cry by telling them they are just like us.

  • JANE LANE

    In defense of Nicki, I didn’t get the impression that she was trying to paint this as a blow for Feminism or for all women. Her make up and pink wigs and cat suits an Giuseppe heels are probably like body armor for her. This was an accomplishment for her. And, being honest, I think pretty much everyone has a similar hurdle. I know more than a few women who won’t be seen without make up. Granted, she’s not make up free and she’s in gorgeous clothes with good lighting and expert photogs, however, she’s also not wearing her Nicki Minaj mask.

    • ampg

      I’m totally with you – I think someone who creates such an obvious public persona is working very hard to keep people at arm’s length from her private self, so taking off that mask really is kind of a big deal for her, personally.

  • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

    the amount of photoshop around her clevage is surreal and renders her quotes even more ridiculous than they already are.

    the dolce is crazy unflattering, but the third picture is actually really nice. her hair is fried, tho.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    That bathing suit is just silly. I feel like this has been done before but I’m not sure where – certainly on a billion tee-shirts and dresses and such. Sigh.

  • cocohall

    When people have created a public persona as outsized as Nicki Minaj’s, it does seem like a sort of psychic armor. Nicki has spoken publicly about her father’s horrific abuse toward her mother. Without her usual “Barb” makeup, Nicki looks a lot like her mom. I suspect there is something a bit deeper going on here than just “a day without make-up.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/darva.sutra Darva Sutra

    Agree with you guys 100%! Even as “one of those ladies” who never goes out without a full face of makeup, she’s frickin full of it to bill this shoot as a breakthrough. Butch, please! And that Tom Ford S&M jacket is TO DIE! (sigh)

  • libraangel

    Never mind the make-up or no make-up, what is with the trend of dark roots?! That Dolce & G dress makes her butt look as big as the world

  • Melizmatic

    I hate the hair.

    HATE. IT.

  • guest2visits

    I think she looks pretty great on the cover.
    I usually have nothing positive to say about her trademark over-exaggerated clown face; this is a nice change though.

  • ccm800

    makeup comes in naturals and you’re wearing a shitload of it. Calm down.