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Deborah Hutton: Why I posed nude at 50

This photo must not be reproduced without permission © David Gubert/The Australian Women's Weekly.
At 50 years old, Deborah Hutton decided to pose naked for the cover of Australia's most popular magazine. Here, she explains why she decided to strip off.
I can't escape the fact I'm getting older, but it doesn't make me sad, not at all. It's a gradual process of gravity taking over, there's nothing you can do about it.
When your life and career have been based around your face, and it starts heading south, there has to be a sense of loss. But as I stand here now, I think I'm doing okay for 50.
The reason I agreed to pose nude for The Weekly is to celebrate that I'm 50 and my body is the best it can be.
I didn't take the challenge of shooting this cover lightly. I really had to think through why I would want to expose myself in such a public way.
For me, it's much more than just being naked on a cover. I fear there is too much emphasis on how thin women ought to be and not enough on health and the acceptance of who we are, with all our imperfections. So I sit here baring it all for public comment.
Some will be offended and I say to those who criticise my actions, why? Why does this make you feel uncomfortable?
It's a tasteful photograph, of someone who is comfortable in her skin. It's a celebration for me of not shying away from the fact I'm 50, a time most women fear, as society dictates the best years are behind them.
So, on behalf of those leaving their 40s, I say embrace a positive future, celebrate the fact we are still here, that our bodies are healthy and still working, and make the most of every precious moment.
And if I still haven't won you over, then you've quite possibly lost all sense of humour and, believe me, as you get older, you'll need that more and more!
These days, I live by the beach. I stand there in my swimmers letting it all hang out, without a second thought. People may judge me, but I feel better about myself than ever before.
I've never been mad about my body from my waist down and to my knees up. I've always had a bigger silhouette, but I didn't want to have that shape. We're rarely accepting of ourselves, which is a great shame.
If we had a different attitude when we were younger, it would lead to having a healthier perspective. My anxiety about my body impacted on my life for many years.
If I had my time again, I'd give myself a break, stop being so critical and appreciate what I was given.
The beautiful thing about getting older is you just care less. It's a complete turnaround. It's been that way for the past 10 years or so, since turning 40.
When you are young, you don't know who you are — you are trying to be so many things to so many people.
As you develop, you know it's not just your body and looks that matter and you learn to accept yourself; I am more imperfect now than I was then, but I am so much more accepting.
UPDATE: Deborah responds to photoshopping criticism
Very interesting being away and watching the public and media debate around why I agreed to do the cover.
As the photoshopping has sadly become an issue I'd like to clarify exactly what was done and why.
To begin with David Gubert's lighting was so brilliant we agreed on the day that if we could get away without photoshopping at all, that would be our goal.
But I have spent many years in the sun and now suffer a large amount of sun damage, so what we removed was pigmentation and sun spots from my skin to even out the skin tone. That's all.
The lines and wrinkles I have earned over the years remain as they are, I was adamant the shape of my body was left alone.
The retoucher initially went too far but I wanted it to be as close as possible to the original shot, so we took it back to what you see on the printed cover.
Yes I had the spray tan from hell and an amazing make-up artist but it's a testament to David's work that there is such criticism and disbelief that we changed so little.
I'm sorry that some women feel upset by the shot as it was not intentioned to make anyone feel bad...but isn't that the point.
Why are we so critical of ourselves and of other women? Isn't the issue here about why we feel the need to beat ourselves up and feel poorly about ourselves.
I am also a strong supporter of keeping it real and showing it like it is in photography and in media advertising.
Retouching has gone way too far and in most instances looks ridiculous, especially with beauty advertising.
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.
I told the art directors that the public will never believe it and that it had "bull@&$t" written all over it and what kind of message were we trying to sell here. It's an anti-aging cream not a miracle worker!
What I find sad is that most negative comments seem to come from people who have only seen the cover but not read the story. They are so critical and disbelieving about the shot they are clearly missing the entire point.
This body issue and the story that we cover inside, with other women also nude, is all about accepting who we are for what we are and taking the good with the bad.
I simply try to explain that after years of hating my body I have finally accepted it with all its imperfections.
Yes I have cellulite and wobbly arms like anyone my age, but in this instance, I found a position that allowed me to sit and cover everything so it was tasteful and worthy enough of a Women's Weekly cover.
Why the focus on retouching of sun spots, when we have kids at school with the highest ever percentage of concerns over their body image and weight? Shouldn't we be trying to accept who we are with all our differences and on keeping ourselves in good health?
I have wasted too much time, energy and opportunities in life on hating my body...I simply say to others who I'm sure are in the same boat, it's a waste of good energy, the focus needs to be on trying to be as healthy as possible, being thankful we are still here living each day freely.
Read more of this story and see photos of naked real women in the January issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.

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Video: Deborah Hutton defends the retouching of her nude photo shoot

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