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Deborah Hutton on the nude cover scandal

Deborah Hutton on the nude cover scandal
This photo must not be reproduced without permission © David Gubert/The Australian Women's Weekly.

My decision to appear naked on the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly was not one I took lightly.

The proposal was put to me 12 months ago, to highlight that women should be proud of their bodies, regardless of their age.

That is certainly something I agree with. But having your naked body on the front of a magazine read by more than two million people a month was a daunting prospect. Needless to say, I gave it some serious thought.

I went ahead with the shoot for a few reasons. One is that I admire The Weekly for engaging 40-plus women on issues that are important and relevant to them.

The other was that I was turning 50 and, given that a lack of body confidence is such a big issue for so many women, I wanted to share my body journey with The Weekly's readers, a journey that started with crippling insecurity in my 20s to appreciation at 50 (it only took 30 years!).

I work hard at looking the way I do, and, as Susie O'Brien rightly said in her column yesterday, I don't sit on a couch eating burgers all day, and make a big effort to keep my body fit and healthy.

Still, I am far from perfect. There are parts of my body I don't like. There are bulges, and cellulite (thankfully I was sitting on that) but I didn't want retouching to minimise any wrinkles, or lumps, or make my shape any different. I just felt that some of the sunspots, from years of sun damage, were unsightly.

Susie argues we shouldn't have removed a few sun blemishes after the photograph was taken. So, for the record, let me also tell you that I wore make-up, got a heavy spray tan the day before the shoot and had my hair professionally styled, as many women do for special occasions (and a naked photograph to be seen by millions of Australians certainly counts as one of those!).

There was great lighting from photographer David Gubert, which forgave me many sins. Does anyone begrudge me that? Would it be acceptable if the blemishes had been covered with concealer before the shoot, rather than airbrushed afterwards? This is a cover for a great magazine, not a happy snap.

One of the things lost in the photoshopping debate over this cover is that The Weekly is the only magazine gutsy enough to really tackle the retouching issue.

Many magazines would not have been brave enough to let me disclose the amount of retouching. The Weekly is one of the only magazines in Australia with a policy of declaring when a photo has been digitally altered.

I challenge anyone to show me a women's magazine cover, that is un-retouched and that is anywhere in the world! Have a look at some other magazines next time you are in a newsagent, and compare the level of re-touching ...you'll be surprised.

More particularly, have a look at the advertisements. This is where retouching is extreme to the point where it is ridiculous, where cosmetics companies are offering a result that only an airbrush could deliver.

A few years ago, I shot a commercial for Olay Regenerist and was appalled by the retouching they did to my face, especially around the eyes, and refused to sign off on it until it looked like I did in reality. We were selling an anti-ageing cream, not a miracle worker.

In her column, Susie says the photograph doesn't reflect what I look like. Well, she has never met me, so she doesn't really know.

I find it sad that Australian women are so critical of others — perhaps because of the insecurities I mentioned before. The cover was never intended to make other people feel bad.

The story is my story, a personal account of my relationship with my weight and my body, which I have chosen to share.

Your say: What do you think about Deborah's nude shoot?

Video: Deborah Hutton defends the retouching of her nude shoot

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