19-year-old singer and actress Zendaya Coleman has paved her way as a new fashion icon. From slaying her daily street-style to displaying class and couture at The Golden Globes, this former Disney Channel star has evolved into a role model for many young girls.
On October 21, Zendaya slammed Modeliste Magazine for re-touching or “photoshopping” her photos for an editorial spread. She posted photos from the shoot, one un-touched and one re-touched, side-by-side. Zendaya’s fans were outraged and supported the actress’ stance on the issue of unrealistic perceptions of beauty that the media demands.
On her Instagram she quotes, “Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my [sic] 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated.” In response, the magazine apologized for editing her photos too much. The editor-in-chief, Amy McCabe, thanked Zendaya “for raising an important issue,” and pulled down the images in order to “have the images restored to their original, natural state which will reflect the true beauty and radiance of Zendaya.”
In Zendaya’s photos, Modeliste removed the baby hairs on her forehead, rounded her butt, slimmed her legs and waist, and illuminated her skin. Zendaya also quotes on her Instagram post that, “These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have.”
With her comments about this photo-shoot, Zendaya has increased awareness of the media’s unrealistic goals for beauty. In doing so, she has (hopefully) encouraged other models, as well as actresses or actors, to stand against the distortions of their bodies and encourage people to embrace their natural beauty.
Cosmopolitan also shed light on the horrors of photoshop, and yes, Zendaya’s shoot did make the list. From Gigi Hadid losing a toenail for a Guess advertisement to Calvin Klein enhancing Justin Bieber’s hands, abs, biceps and bulge for a campaign—photoshop everywhere. Cosmo used humor and satire to speak up against re-touching celebrities and models.
Anna Wintour also spoke up about photoshoping models. At a convention at Havard Bussiness School, the editor-in-chief of Vogue claimed the magazine does not photoshop girls to make them look smaller, but will fix mediocre imperfections. She also stated the Vogue’s editors have “made a commitment to feature a wider variety of body types,” and ask designers to stop the “tyranny of [sample] clothes that just barely fit a 13-year-old girl on the edge of puberty.”
Ashely Benson of “Pretty Little Liars,” like Zendaya, posted a picture of a promotional poster for her show on her Instagram in 2013, stating “Way too much photo shop [set]. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It’s not attractive.” She went on to say, “Remember you are ALL beautiful. Please don’t ever try and look like the people you see in magazines or posters because it’s fake. It only causes an unhealthy mind about how you see yourself. You are perfect the way you are.”
Lady Gaga also stood against her airbrushed cover photo with Glamour in 2013. When Gaga was honored at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, she decided it was the best time to criticize the magazine stating, “I felt my skin looked too perfect. I felt my hair looked too soft.” She also claimed this was damaging to her readers and asked them to fight back against the forces that make them feel like they’re not beautiful because “once the covers [of magazines] change, that’s when culture changes.”
From Disney Channel star to a young woman who advocates for “honest and pure love,” Zendaya, as well as many other celebrities, are raising awareness of the dangers re-touching has towards society. As many influential people in the fashion world begin to fight against media’s unrealistic expectations for beauty, more covers will change and encourage natural beauty.
We want to know what you think. Are celebrity’s truly changing the media game? What else is there to improve? Let us know in the comments!
Photo by: Jaida Brinkley