Having been celebrated for her style in a sell out exhibition at the V&A, which later traveled to her home country, Australia, Kylie Minogue also recently claimed her place for the seventh time on the cover of Elle UK to mark her 25th year in the industry. As a childhood fan, and then later in my fashion career having been fortunate enough to work with the fashion icon, I was excited to see her on the cover and to read the accompanying article by Louise Gannon.

I eagerly flicked through the pages to read about a woman who has survived in a competitive industry, beating the image of a ‘one hit wonder’ to turn out hit after hit and reinvent her image almost as often as the changing fashion seasons, forging a show business career that competes with my own age.

The accompanying fashion shoot saw Kylie dressed in a range of London-based fashion designers, including Simone Rocha, Mary Katrantzou and All Walks Beyond the Catwalk ‘Snapped’ designer Antonio Beradi.

Throughout the feature Kylie speaks of age and about ageing, which is something new for the woman who has always been known as a ‘Pop Princess’. The recurring topic of age weaves through the whole feature, and I was surprised to see that the star even talks about the controversial subject of plastic surgery,  as she admits to creeping insecurities with gravity taking its toil on her 44 year old body.

Denying all rumours of having had plastic surgery herself, she does defend cosmetic surgery, saying that she is not against the idea.  She even equates the ordeals of grooming and beauty regimes such as plucking, tinting, wearing make-up and waxing to cosmetic surgery, comparing the effort it takes to alter one’s appearance.

The interview was brief and the images have a mixture of strong lighting and good airbrushing with a whole team to make the 44 year old look no different to how she was 25 years ago.

I started to think about what I had read and although I feel that Kylie does have a point about the alterations that we make to ourselves in pursuit of ‘ideal beauty’ – from make-up to surgery – I asked myself, is there any difference between these lengths that we go to and when does it go to far?

Then I started to think how a young teenager may feel reading this and the danger of blurring the boundaries between simplistic of beauty regimes and surgery. This blurring obscures the differences between something as mundane as putting make-up on, which can easy be taken off with a wipe, and something that is life altering, like going under the surgeons knife.

So the glorification of surgery starts to form in the younger mind, without thinking of the risks that are involved. And why would they think otherwise when a 44 year old is looking just as fresh faced now as she did 25 years ago?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to knock Kylie for her beliefs about plastic surgery, but I do think it should be considered how celebrities create an image for themselves, and how magazine editors could perhaps explain at the end of the article that the images shown have been airbrushed.

Every magazine we pick up and every advertising campaign Kylie and many other celebrities appear in have been highly altered by digital manipulation tools such as Photoshop.  This digital plastic surgery may negatively affect the judgement of readers who do not have an understanding that there is a whole crew that go into creating that image of perfection. If a celebrity claims to have had no plastic surgery and still looks this perfect, then the reader may feel pressure to go under the knife to achieve this unrealistic level of perfection.

I am proud that at All Walks Beyond the Catwalk we are trying to show people the amount of effort and manpower that goes in to creating these types of fashion images. My question is this:

Should the level of digital manipulation be stated in the credits of each shoot, like the names of the photographer and the stylist are?

Post by Michael Williamson, on Twitter @mwfrost
Editor Charlotte Gush, on Twitter @CavaCharlotte

Michael Williamson is a designer, stylist, blogger and a long-term member of the All Walks team, having been with us from the very beginning.Check out his blog, Safety-Pin Charm, to keep your finger on the pulse of all things fashion – especially London based.

Follow Michael on You Tube and on Twitter @mwfrost