R&B chanteuse Ciara would like to set the record straight about the photo spread she shot for the October issue of Vibe magazine: She was not nude, and yes, she’s very upset by the magazine’s depiction of her as such — but she is not planning any legal action against the urban glossy.
“I think, at this point, I’d rather just be quiet about things such as that but I definitely want to make it clear that I was going in to do something artistic, and I was upset that when I saw the photos, everything was gone,” the singer told MTV News last weekend, from the set of her forthcoming music video for “Go Girl,” which features a cameo from T-Pain. “It’s very, very upsetting and somewhat misleading.”
Online rumors have suggested that the singer was not nude during the photo shoot but instead wearing underwear, which the magazine allegedly airbrushed out. Vibe Editor in Chief Danyel Smith recently commented to New York’s KISS-FM radio station that not only was Ciara shot au natural, the entire idea behind the spread was the singer’s.
“I’m actually really sad,” Smith said. “Almost any photo you see on the cover of Vibe or any magazine is airbrushed [to some degree]. What I was thinking of doing, actually, was releasing the untouched photos [on Vibe’s] Web site, so people can see what the hullabaloo is all about. I have so much respect for Ciara, and Ciara was so happy when she pitched this idea to us, and the photos are actually striking and beautiful. It was pitched to me in a way that it was time [for her] to grow up and be beautiful and be free and be all the things she wanted to be.”
Ciara said she’s still hurt by the photos and was quite shocked when she finally got her hands on the October issue.
“I walked into the Vibe photo shoot very excited about making an artistic expression,” she said. “And when I saw the photos, I was a little bothered because the photos appear as if I was nude, and I wasn’t nude. I reached out to [Smith] — I sent her a letter — and I was a little upset, too, in the fact that she didn’t respond to me, and that happened prior to me reading her quote on the Internet. That definitely bothered me, just because of the fact that I wasn’t nude. I walked into the photo shoot to do an artistic photo shoot, so I was excited about that. I just didn’t like the fact that I saw the picture and now, stuff is gone.”
Ciara said the idea behind the entire shoot — at least on her end — was a celebration of the human form and that she’d walked away from the shoot thinking that everything had gone great. “When I saw the pictures, that wasn’t what was discussed or what we were going in to do, so that definitely bothered me,” she said. “I think the body is something beautiful, and I wanted to celebrate that. And unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly what it was in the photo shoot, and I’m looking forward to moving forward.”
No matter what Smith or anyone from Vibe says about the shoot, Ciara said she knows exactly what went down that day.
“I know what was there, I know what was taken, and I know what was done. And then to look at the book and go, ’It’s gone’ — it was just very upsetting to me,” she said.