Look at the two photos of pop sensation Lorde performing at last weekend’s Lollapalooza music festival in Santiago, Chile.
You might assume that in typical starry fashion, the top photo was the one the artist sanctioned, and the bottom image one that she tried to stop being published.
You’d be wrong. Lorde herself tweeted both photos to her 1.3 million Twitter fans with the caption: “I find this curious – two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. Remember flaws are OK,” followed by a smiley emoticon.
In a world filled with women airbrushed to perfection with no pimples and cellulite in sight, isn’t it refreshing that Lorde is embracing what might be considered “flaws,” but in reality are normal for a vast majority of teens — namely acne. So instead of every fan gazing up at a vision of utter perfection and wondering why their skin isn’t as smooth and blemish-free, they look up and see she’s just like them. What is even more remarkable is that Lorde is only 17. I don’t know about you, but at 17 I was riddled with insecurities: my chest being too big, my legs too thin, my spotty forehead, my gappy teeth that no amount of braces seemed to fix. But here is a girl, wildly more mature than her years, who is highlighting her pimply skin to the world; showing her distaste for airbrushing and the false image it propagates.
She isn’t the first celeb to shame airbrushing: Kate Winslet complained in 2003 when GQ elongated her legs and photoshopped her figure on its cover. She said, “The retouching is excessive. I do not look like that and more importantly I don’t desire to look like that.” Cue collective cheering from women across the globe.
My question is, why do we accept air brushing and let ourselves be fooled by the ridiculousness of it all? We see the pics of all these amazing glamazons and think “I don’t look like that.” Hand on heart, tell me you always feel better about yourself after reading a woman’s magazine? No, me neither. I always think of how my skin looks older and tired, how my body isn’t like that model’s, or how come all the celebs are SO thin. I never think, “Oh, but it’s just Photoshop,” even though in most cases it is. I still accept this as a rule of beauty.
So I applaud Lorde for being so outspoken, honest, and brave; for saying it’s OK to have flaws because each and every one of us do. If only all the celebrities had the lack of vanity of this remarkable 17-year-old, women would feel less competitive and more accepting of each other. Isn’t it time we all refused to buy into airbrushing and said “no” to magazines and all their trickery? Because simply, the joke is on us.
Photo credit: Twitter