In an age where retouching and filtering photos is commonplace, it's nice to see some transparency on social media!
Which is why we were thrilled when Jessie Gurunathan, former model and TV presenter, Miss World New Zealand runner-up, lifestyle blogger and ex-girlfriend of Richie McCaw, took to Instagram to expose just how easy it is to retouch images.
Under a photo of herself at the beach, Jessie - whose current partner is former All Black Adam Thomson - shared some profound words, explaining why we shouldn't be fooled by flattering editing.
"SWIPE TO SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO BE FOOLED BY PHOTOSHOP," she started.
"Pic 1: This is Photoshopped & inspired by all the IG models you see with their teeny tiny waist, curvy hips and big boobs - I DON'T look like this & thanks to @celebface I've learnt that it's likely those IG Models don't actually look that way either!
"2: This is the real me, no Photoshop, no airbrushing, just good natural light, a little bronzer & a whole lot of self-love.
"Pic 3: This is a before & after that shows just how much sh*t can be Photoshopped from original to finished image. It's messed up and I had no idea that Adam could actually do all this on Photoshop!!"
If you look at the two photos and video below, you'll see the digital editing that has taken place.
And while at first it looks minimal, the end video shows some very sneaky editing.
The changes to Jessie's body become noticeable in the video; her breasts are perkier and her curvier hips flatter her now-teeny waist. The retouched image of Jessie looks like it's part of an advertising campaign, which is not the norm we want to expect of women - particularly, impressionable young girls.
On why she shared the before and after images, Jessie said: "I sat with him and after showing him the video images on @celebface I asked him if he could try doing something similar to me to show you guys.
"I watched as he showed me all the 'tricks' on Photoshop and as he started manipulating my proportions with ease I felt sick to my stomach. I thought I'd find it funny but instead I felt old insecurities come flooding back.
"It messed with my head because I actually had for the first time felt good when I'd initially looked at the original images but looking at the fake 'IG model' me with my cinched in waist, slimmer arms, curvier bum, flatter tummy & perfect airbrushed skin, I felt like I wasn't good enough. I wanted to be the lie I saw on the screen staring back at me. I hated that I felt all these things that I'd worked so hard to overcome.
"After a big chat with @adamjohnthomson about it later that evening & revisiting the original images I was able to remind myself why I was doing this. You know the saying 'the girl in the magazine doesn't even look like the girl in the magazine' - it's bloody true I tell ya!
"@celebface has been such an eye-opener for me & helped me to realise that nobody is perfect and even women like Kim Kardashian have insecurities."
Absolutely, Jessie, we completely agree! Who hasn't felt a pang of insecurity after seeing beautiful, toned women on social media? Or felt guilt as they scroll picture-perfect Instagram accounts with a slice of pizza in the other hand? Retouched images only reinforce impossible body standards, something women - and men - really don't need to feel pressured to conform to.
Jessie finished off her honest post on an optimistic note.
"It's still a work in progress but putting myself out there like this & practicing some of the self love I preach is definitely a step in the right direction."
We love Jessie's body positivity, and hope other celebrities can follow her lead!
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