Today's social-media-obsessed society has resulted in countless apps created to help one achieve the ultimate image of perfection. Yet projecting an impossible standard of beauty can often have a negative impact on our community. Fortunately, stars like Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, and Emily Ratajkowski have used their platforms to spread much-needed PSAs regarding the downsides of photoshopping. As Lively pointed out in a recent interview with Hadid, in the May 2018 issue of Harper's Bazaar, retouched images are not "real life," and "that’s definitely not how we wake up looking every single day of our lives." Here, a survey of some of the stars who have come out against photoshopping—and how we can stay body positive.
Speaking out about her retouched images from a photo shoot for Modeliste magazine in 2015, the 21-year-old actress and singer Zendaya took to Instagram to share side-by-side images and a powerful message. "Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19-year-old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self-love."
The New Zealand singer Lorde shared retouched photos on Twitter back in 2014, and reminded everyone to "remember flaws are ok :-)."
After gracing the cover of ADWEEK in the spring of 2016, the actress Kerry Washington took to Instagram to broach the subject of image-retouching, saying, "Look, I'm no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters—who doesn't love a filter?!? And I don't always take these adjustments to task but I have had the opportunity to address the impact of my altered image in the past and I think it's a valuable conversation."
In a playfully sarcastic post on Instagram in December 2017, the actress Blake Lively shared a heavily retouched photo of herself with the caption "#aunaturale." Recently, the actress continued to speak on the topic with Harper's Bazaar May 2018 cover star, Gigi Hadid, sharing, "It’s so important for young people not to compare themselves with what they see online. It’s our job as actors and/or models to be in shape. We have access to gyms and trainers and healthy food. And then on top of that, 99.9 percent of the time the images are Photoshopped." The 30-year-old also noted, "It’s fun to try on the trends and enjoy the fantasy aspect of fashion and beauty. But my dream is for all images to have a little asterisk next to them with a caption that reads, 'This photo has been retouched.' Just so there’s a gentle reminder that, hey, this isn’t real life. Think of editorials or ads as a painting, an art form. I mean, that’s definitely not how we wake up looking every single day of our lives."
While accepting the award as one of Glamour’s 2013 Women of the Year, the singer Lady Gaga commented on her Glamour cover. The "Bad Romance" singer revealed, "I felt my skin looked too perfect. I felt my hair looked too soft. I do not look like this when I wake up in the morning...I don’t even look like this." She went on to state: "It is fair to write about the change in your magazines. But what I want to see is the change on your covers...When the covers change, that’s when culture changes.”
Addressing the retouches to her September 2017 Madame Figaro cover, the model Emily Ratajkowski shared with her 17 million followers how imperfections are what make us special. "Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own ways. We all have insecurities about the things that make us different from a typical ideal of beauty. I, like so many of us, try every day to work past those insecurities. I was extremely disappointed to see my lips and breasts altered in photoshop on this cover. I hope the fashion industry will finally learn to stop trying to stifle the things that make us unique and instead begin to celebrate individuality."
Speaking with Fashionista back in May 2013 about her makeup-free BLK DNM campaign, the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen said that the shoot was a refreshing one for the fashion industry. "I loved his approach because I feel like women should be really real and raw and it doesn't really happen anymore [in fashion photographs]. I love that feeling of, you know, we are women, we are so different, our imperfections are what make us unique and beautiful. [The photographer Johan Lindeberg] gets that. He's not trying to retouch you or put a pretty light on you. He's not like, 'You gotta look a certain way.' He's like, 'You are you' so now I'm gonna just be here with a camera, so express yourself how you like."
Regarding her February 2018 Cosmopolitan shoot, alongside Riverdale costar Camila Mendes, the images of which were altered in the Cosmopolitan Philippines March 2018 issue, the actress Lili Reinhart took to her Instagram story to voice her disapproval. "Camila and I worked incredibly hard to feel confident in the bodies we have. It's an everyday battle, sometimes. And to see our bodies become so distorted in an editing process is a perfect example of the obstacles we have yet to overcome," Reinhart wrote, adding, "We cannot stop fighting. Our battle has only just begun. We are f------ powerful, beautiful and strong…we aren't going to hide behind Photoshop to conform to beauty standards."
In response to distorted photos of her on a beach back in April 2017, the reality TV mogul Kim Kardashian quipped, "Oh and as for me you ask?...I'm just sitting here on the beach with my flawless body."
Speaking out against the pitfalls of social media with the actress Blake Lively in her Harper's Bazaar May 2018 interview, the supermodel Gigi Hadid admitted, "If I could choose, I would have my ass back and I would have the tits I had a few years ago. But, honestly, we can’t look back with regret. I loved my body then, and I love my body now. Whoever is reading this, I want you to realize that three years from now you will look back at a picture from this time period and be like: 'Wow, I was so hot. Why did I feel so bad about myself because of some stupid thing someone said?'”