And she shows us that #flawless doesn't have to mean, literally, flawless.
224 supposedly unretouched photos of Beyoncé were leaked on a website called The Beyoncé World this morning, obviously sending tsunami-size shockwaves through cyberspace. They apparently come from commercial and ad shoots for L'Oréal's 2013 Feria and Infallible campaigns.
But within an hour of their appearance, they were taken down, because, as the website explained, "Some of the things [they] have seen posted were just horrible, and [they] don't want any parts of it." Complex managed to grab a few of them, though.
While, admittedly, the harsh lighting is unflattering for a face caked with makeup, the photos certainly didn't warrant such a negative response from the public.
We already hold celebrities to ridiculous beauty standards. Cindy Crawford took a stand against this notion by allowing the release of unretouched photos of her body earlier this week. But we put "The Queen" on an even higher pedestal. Despite her incredible talent, she is human. She has blemishes. She has wrinkles. And she's beautiful, not in spite of them, but because of them.
In her 2014 single "***Flawless," Bey is encouraging women to be confident in their natural physical appearance — bedhead, acne, and all. And while in this case, she might not necessarily have "woke[n] up like this" with all that makeup on, her message still applies. Flawlessness is a mindset. So as long as she feels good, she can say "I look so good tonight / God damn, God damn, God damn!" even without photoshop.
Here are a couple more of the photos in question:
Keep in mind, however, that it is possible that these photos are fakes. But either way, they can serve to remind us that beauty is not synonymous with perfection.