Gisele Bundchen's New Fashion Campaign And The Problem With "Best Side" Pressure 

We weren't aware of Vivara Jewelry until just now—but it's amazing what a fashion campaign starring the illustrious Gisele Bundchen can do. Looking at the jewelry brand's Winter 2014 campaign ads, though, it's impossible not to wonder . . . is that really her? Something about the pictures is slightly off; not quite familiar.

In an age where Renee Zellweger's face is considered big news, it's hard not to get suspicious of celebs who look different than usual. Cosmetic surgery isn't the reason Gisele doesn't look quite herself, though—she's simply being shot at a different angle. Yet this, too, is fraught with questions about social pressures surrounding female beauty.

Check out some of Gisele's other campaigns and magazine covers. Rarely does she look straight into the camera, as she did for Vivara. Usually, her face is photographed tilted, semi-profile, lit up and sculpted by highlighter and shadows. Her famous jaw line is everywhere, to the point where a photograph that doesn't highlight that looks foreign and "not quite right."

The fact that one of the most beautiful models in the world is typically shot in a specific way may come as no surprise—but it does reveal the pressures women are so frequently under to appear a certain way before the camera. On the web, there any number of stories telling women what they should do to look decent in a snapshot: stories like "How to Pose for Photographs" and "11 Ways To Never Look Bad In A Photo Again" emphasize the right angles and body/face positioning to avoid the dreaded "ugly picture." There's even a psychological study telling people that their left side is the most aesthetically pleasing.

This pressure is one of many contributing to the fact that, to cite but one depressing representative study, 97% of women have at least one negative thought about their body and looks a day.

In this sense, the Gisele photo shoot is telling. If even Gisele Bundchen has a "best side" she tries to showcase, we can probably agree our problems have more to do with social expectations than actual physical appearance.

Oh, and for the record: We think Gisele looks gorgeous in her new shots . . .  "best side" or no.

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