Strong is Beautiful

BeautifulNow January 3, 2013

Page through most fashion magazines and you’re likely to find endless photos of the tall and thin. It’s almost as if our world is populated by a race of skinny clones that look like they’d topple over in a strong breeze. Until, that is, you land on M.A.C.’s new ad campaign featuring Serbian-American bodybuilder Jelena Abbou.

It’s an arresting photo. The 35-year-old fitness model’s intense gaze seems to stare down an off-camera opponent while she flexes her incredible, carved-from-steel arms. Her makeup is dark and dramatic. Her hair, artfully arranged to complement the futuristic, shining black dress. Jelena’s body, so different from the beauty ideal, is undeniably fantastic.

The photograph exemplifies the new attitudes towards strong women. Jelena is celebrated: a warrior, beautiful and strong, taking a moment to flex in the spotlight. She’s so sincerely regal that it’s almost as if a crowd of worshipers surrounds her feet just out of frame.

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