It’s not every day that a social media star sounds off on the dangers of altering pictures. But Iskra Lawrence did just that when she shared these “heavily retouched” images on Instagram yesterday.
“You might be wondering who that random blonde girl is,” the model says in the caption to her post, which features two photos of her taken about six or seven years ago. Clad in lingerie, Lawrence has flawless skin, defined abs, and a head of voluminous curls—and none of that is real, she says.
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“That smooth a$$ skin? Not mine – a computer programme did that,” she wrote. The full, thick hair isn’t hers either. She’s wearing extensions. Her waist, legs, and arms were slimmed with Photoshop. “No eye bags, well actually no nothing that makes me resemble the real me.”
Lawrence—who’s now an ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association—says the worst part is that she wanted to look like that. “I thought if I had ‘perfected’ images (like the ones I saw of other models) that I would book more jobs = would make me happy and successful.”
But photos like these actually made her feel the opposite: “In reality seeing retouched images of myself gave me even more insecurities and body image issues because I couldn’t even look like or relate to the image of myself!”
This isn’t the first time the 26-year-old has tried to show her millions of Instagram followers that attempting to be flaw-free is futile. Last year, Lawrence shared two side-by-side images of herself, one unedited and the other tweaked using tools on her phone. “I can’t leave home everyday retouched & live in the ‘real world’ airbrushed so why would I want to pretend to be online?” she asked fans.
That same message punctuates Lawrence’s latest body-positive post, which asks us to pursue authenticity and practice self-love: “So please NEVER EVER compare yourself to images you see,” she writes. “Many aren’t real.”
What is real, according to Lawrence? You as you are. “Your imperfectly perfect self [is what] what makes you magical, unique and beautiful.”
These days Lawrence’s Instagram page is full of images like this one, that capture her just as she is.