By now, it’s pretty common knowledge that celebrities edit their photos on social media. We’ve become so used to scrolling through the perfection mindlessly, that sometimes it’s genuinely difficult to tell when a photo is authentic or not.
Although we’ve seen a huge amount of change in the last few years when it comes to celebrating diversity, body and sex positivity and female empowerment, there are still undeniably unrealistic beauty standards for women on social media.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have days where my thick thighs and cellulite didn’t make me feel just that little bit less worthy than an Instagram model whose photo I just liked.
Being a plus-sized model, it’s really important to me to be a body positivity advocate and create a space for people to feel comfortable in the skin they’re in. But we can’t pretend that projections of negative body image and body shaming don’t exist; it’s still very prevalent in our society and the pop culture we constantly consume.
It’s especially still prevalent in celebrity culture. I can’t imagine the amount of pressure that would be on female celebrities to look ‘perfect’. In a world of capitalism that has so heavily relied on selling sex to make money, having an ‘ideal’ body has defined the success of so many female celebrities and it would feel almost impossible to remove yourself from that identity.
TikTok user @bekahdayyy has been posting videos that compare the original photographer’s image from Getty Images to the edited one that ends up on the celebrities’ Instagram accounts.
The videos have gone viral which makes sense because TBH, the content is spicy. It shows celebrities like Bella Hadid and Rita Ora making their waists smaller, lifting their eyebrows and removing wrinkles — all of which is pretty upsetting to see given that they’re considered to be above the unrealistic standard of beauty already.
Something worth noting is that these celebrities themselves might not be the ones responsible for these editing jobs.
We know that most high profile celebs aren’t in control of their own Instagram accounts, which makes it very possible that members of their team are editing these photos before posting them.
I don’t know which is worse: a professional team editing photos of a celeb to make sure that they continue to sit above the unrealistic beauty standards, regardless of the harm it causes to millions of young people OR celebs looking at (almost perfect) photos of themselves and constantly seeing room for improvement.
Either way, the message this sends to me is that regardless of how beautiful you are deemed to be or how much money, time and people go into making you look a certain way, the beauty standards that have been set for us are completely unreachable.
Nobody is perfect, so how about we all stop trying?