I was perusing the Internet the other day when I came across the buzz around Lorde’s “Photoshop Tweet.” If you missed it, the 17-year-old pop sensation found that an image of herself had been Photoshopped and posted an unedited version taken the same day, right next to it.
I had a “Helllllllll yeahhhhhh!!!!” moment. I mean really, I think it’s so powerful to see a 17-year-old remind us that flaws are okay.
In my late teens and for all of my 20s, I was tormented by these images of perfection. Of all these women that men drooled over–that didn’t even really look that way in real life. (Men know this and still drool.) It made me crazy. Every flaw, bump, dimple and roll was cause for a freak out. I crash dieted, binge exercised, starved, deprived and obsessed. It was never enough and I was always miserable. When I’d get frustrated, I’d say “fuck it” and do what I wanted, which inevitably resulted in weight gain and more misery. It was a never-ending cycle.
I was always so harsh on myself. When I was given a compliment I’d quickly counter it, or analyze it. I never could just say thank you and mean it.
Luckily, as I got older I started to become more and more comfortable in my own skin as a woman. I started to work out for the purpose of both health and looking good. I didn’t mind my nose as much. When I get the occasional blemish, I don’t bat an eyelash and I don’t wear as much makeup as I used to.
Photoshop and the overuse of it in the media, distorts the reality of what women should look like. It creates a sea of female zombies striving for an unattainable goal, and even when we know we can’t possibly look that perfect in real life, we try anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Photoshop—but where and how do we draw the line of where it becomes too much?
I applaud Lorde for embracing her flaws and even more so for calling attention to them. I’m so hopeful that maybe the young girls who look up to her will get the message. Maybe more celebrities will start opting to show theirs and embrace who they really are. Maybe we’ll all start to relax a little and appreciate the beauty of our natural selves.
As a woman, you are many things to many people. At the end of the day you should be able to look in the mirror and like what you see, flaws and all.
Image credit: Shutterstock