By Amanda Weston
The appearances of model Iskra Lawrence and actresses Busy Phillips and Jameela Jamil have all been dramatically altered by retouching in photographs. And all three have joined forces with American Eagle's Aerie line for a campaign to show women that reality is a beautiful thing.
"I've been made to look like a white woman with a different nose that is more of a European nose than a South Asian nose," Jamil told Cheddar.
"And I have been thinned out when I didn't ask to, and my stretch marks, that I have no problem with, get removed. I have them above my breasts, and people used to airbrush them out as if they were doing me a favor, as if I should be ashamed of them," "The Good Place" actress said. "So that really hurt my body image and sense of self, seeing that in other people but also massively seeing it in myself. So now for the last year, no one has been allowed to ever photo touch or filter me."
"If you look at like early pictures of me from when I was in my teens and 20s starting out as an actor, there are no moles on my face, my neck, my chest," Philipps told Cheddar. "They would just take them out. I don't even look like myself."
This year's #AerieREAL campaign is an extension of the lingerie and swimwear brand's decision in 2014 to stop retouching the women in its ad campaigns. Two years later, body positivity champion Lawrence became the first #AerieREAL Role Model.
"It's so special because it was a campaign focused around no retouching and female empowerment," Lawrence told Cheddar Thursday. "It's just turned into a movement, and to see it grow and have women like this involved in the campaign is exactly why I want to stay a part of it, to keep growing the message. It's so important."
#AerieREAL challenges unrealistic standards of beauty and promotes inclusivity. Philipps, an actress and host of "Busy Tonight," and Jamil, an actress and activist, are just two among several celebrities taking part in the campaign. Jamil is particularly active on social media, where she launched her I Weigh movement and Instagram account, a compilation of unvarnished images of women baring their bodies ー flaws and all.
Lawrence said she knows the campaign is making a difference, and Jamil echoed that sentiment.
"I've never seen such a diverse campaign, and there's always a way to go and there's more people to include and we're definitely aware of that, but thus far I've never seen a gay woman and a black woman and a South Asian woman and a woman with a disability and a blind woman and activists and sexual assault survivors all together and a curvy lingerie model, like all together and put in one campaign that is so empowering," Jamil said.
"It's all about our power. We're not victims of anything. We're survivors and we're together and it's all about females."
For full interview click here.