The singer had three rules for her impromptu Vanity Fair shoot: "no makeup, no clothes, no retouching"

By Kylie Gilbert
October 05, 2015
Vanity Fair

Celebrities and photographers seem to be embracing "less is more" as photos sans clothing (à la Kim Kardashian) or sans photoshop (Julia Roberts for Givenchy, anyone?) have become common fixtures in glossy magazines and Instagram feeds. But combining no clothes, no makeup, and no retouching for one shoot? Well, that's still pretty groundbreaking (not to mention brave!).

That's exactly what Demi Lovato did this week when she posed for a spontaneous Vanity Fair photoshoot. The singer is already a big proponent of #NoMakeupMonday and one of our favorite #fitspirations for body positivity, but this shoot was prompted by something much more personal: the devastating loss of Lovato's great-grandfather just the day before. As the VF photographer Patrick Ecclesine explained, the idea for the shoot was a product of her grief. (Lovato has also been vocal about coping with mental health issues.)

"If there's one thing I've learned in the past day, it's that life is too short," she said. "I'm about to launch an album that finally represents who I truly am. How do I embrace this new chapter in my life? How do I really walk the walk? What does it mean to be confident? It means letting go, being authentic, saying I don't give a fuck and this is who I am. I want to show the side of me that's real, that's liberated, that's free."

"What if we do a photo shoot where it's totally raw? Super sexy, but no makeup, no fancy lighting, no retouching, and no clothing. Let's do it here, let's do it now," she told Ecclesine. In fact, the shoot was so here-and-now that Ecclesine and Lovato didn't even start shooting until the wee hours of the night (from 12:30 to 3 a.m.) and used the hotel room the singer was already staying in.

And thus, these stunning and empowering photos came to be. A glimpse of the portraits, below.