Gigi Hadid And Blake Lively Get Real About The Dangers Of Retouched Images

"My dream is for all images to have a little asterisk next to them with a caption that reads, 'this photo has been retouched.'"

Celebrities are used to being scrutinized, but that doesn't mean they're unaffected by negative comments about their bodies. In an interview for the May 2018 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid discussed photoshopped images, body positivity, social media, and trolls. 

"Most of it is just nonsense. But it can still hurt," Hadid told Harper's Bazaar. "Nowadays, people are quick to say, 'I used to love Gigi's body, and now she just gave in.' But I'm not skinny because I gave in to the industry." 

Hadid had to change her lifestyle because she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. She had to eat healthy and exercise regularly to manage the autoimmune disease. "It was weird as a teenager, dealing with this when all of my friends could eat McDonald's and it wouldn't affect them," she said. 


"You've been on both sides of it. You were body-shamed for being 'too big' when you first started modeling," Lively said. "And now you're body-shamed for being 'too skinny.'"

Hadid admitted that she wishes she could have some of the curves she 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," Hadid said. "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?'"

"Or because you compared yourself with someone online," Lively added. 

Importantly, Hadid points out that the seemingly flawless images we see online are often retouched. "Those images are not real life," she said. 

Lively hopes people realize that people understand that celebrities are far from perfect — and they have all the beauty tools at their disposable. 

"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," Lively said. "I'm guilty myself of being at a photo shoot and saying, 'That looks terrible on me.' And they're like, 'We'll fix it.' And you're so relieved."

Lively would love to see more transparency about retouching online because of how dangerous it can be for young people to compare themselves to what they see. 

"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," Lively said. "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."

One in 5 women struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The disclaimer Lively mentioned is something CVS has recently put into place in its beauty section due to the connection between propagating unrealistic body images and negative health effects.

"By the way, you look beautiful without a retouch," Lively said. 

"So do you," Hadid replied. 

Please go forth and compliment the women in your life in the same way. 

Cover image via Ron Adar / Andrea Raffin / 


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