Natural Curls and Full-On Curves: The Oscars' Real Style Stars

From ditching wigs to refusing to wear Spanx, these Oscars ladies are giving natural beauty a red-carpet upgrade

There was no shortage of sexy gowns and bold beauty looks at last night’s Oscars, but it wasn’t Angelina Jolie’s slit-to-there dress or Michelle Williams’s perfect little pixie cut that caught our attention. This year’s real red-carpet stars were women with the confidence to be themselves.

In seasons past, Viola Davis has proven that she knows how work the red carpet in classically glam looks, and yesterday’s emerald Vera Wang gown was no exception. But there was one detail that stood out from the nominee’s tried-and-true signature look: a shorter, natural hairstyle. “My husband wanted me to take the wig off," the nominee explained to InStyle at a pre-Oscar dinner in Los Angeles. "He said, 'If you want to wear it for your career, that's fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!'" And there’s nothing sexier than that.

Davis’s The Help costar Octavia Spencer might have taken home the best supporting actress Oscar—but that wasn’t her only win. iVillage readers voted Spencer the night’s best-dressed star (95% and counting!), and proved that you don’t have to be a super-slender Gwyneth Paltrow or Emma Stone to steal the spotlight. Spencer's secret? She simply follows one of the prime rules of styling: Work with your assets. And work them she did, choosing a Tadashi Shoji gown that maximized her curves.

Silhouette-squeezing Spanx might be a red carpet staple, with even skinny-as-they-come stars like Keira Knightley admitting to letting them work their magic—but The Artist’s leading lady Berenice Bejo said there would be no smoke-and-mirrors for her Oscar appearance. Asked if the foundation wear would be helping her out on the big night, the silent-film star responded in the negative, saying she’d let her slinky dress stand on its own. And while Bejo is unquestionably slender, she showed off a figure that was feminine without looking sucked-in and hoisted-up.

Throughout the 2012 red carpet season we’ve seen natural beauty sneaking its way onto the red carpet—and we’re hoping that the trend marks a permanent shift. But we want to know how you feel about it: Are you inspired by women who show off their real beauty like Viola, Octavia and Berenice?

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