“You might be wondering who that random blonde girl is. Well, it’s me! About six or seven years ago,” the 26-year-old captioned a split-screened Instagram photo on Sunday. The image featured Lawrence wearing lingerie and looking significantly slimmer than her size 14 shape.
“I might look different because I was a few dress sizes smaller, but the main difference is … I’m heavily retouched,” Lawrence wrote. “That smooth a$$ skin? Not mine — a computer program did that. The full thick hair — extensions. Push-up bra. Waist + legs + arms slimmed with a Photoshop tool. No eye bags, well, actually no, nothing that makes me resemble the real me.”
The beauty, who’s modeled for American Eagle Outfitters lingerie line Aerie in an unretouched series, also disclosed the “worst” thing about the photos: “I wanted to look like this!” she wrote. “Yep, I thought if I had ‘perfected’ images (like the ones I saw of other models) that I would book more jobs — would make me happy and successful. When in reality seeing retouched images of myself gave me even more insecurities and body image issues because I couldn’t even look like or relate to the image of myself!”
“So please never ever compare yourself to images you see, many aren’t real,” she wrote. “Perfect does not exist so trying to achieve that is unrealistic and editing your pictures will not make you happy. What’s real is you, your imperfectly perfect self. That’s what makes you magical, unique and beautiful.”
The empowering post, which Lawrence hashtagged “EveryBODYIsBeautiful,” earned more than 67,000 likes.
Lawrence’s body-positive attitude wasn’t always intuitive. As a teen, she became “obsessed” with her weight when modeling agencies asked her to shed pounds in order to land work, and she began a pattern of disordered eating. “At one point, all I ate was ham for two weeks,” Lawrence told Self in December. “I lost 2 inches around my waist, exercising like crazy. I would fall asleep in school. I felt agitated.”
Still, Lawrence couldn’t nab conventional jobs, so she pursued plus-size modeling, only to be told she was too small. After taking a break to regroup and focus on fitness and nutrition, she convinced a plus agency to hire her. It was then that her career — and body-positive activism — skyrocketed.
In November, the model stripped down to her bra and underwear on the New York City subway to protest body shaming, telling the crowded car, “I want to make myself vulnerable today, so you can see truly the journey I’ve come on with my own body and how I feel about myself today.” And in April 2016, Lawrence took a stand against the “thigh gap” social media trend in a video for Glamour.
Lawrence has a no-retouching policy on her own Instagram photos (often hashtagging posts #NOretouching), which also extends to professional photography.
“I remember I took an editorial and I was so excited. I got the pictures back and I looked in the magazine, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ My arms were half their size and I had a thigh gap magically and all these crazy things,” Lawrence told Seventeen in October. “My family went out and tried to find my pictures in the magazines, but no one could recognize me.”
In May, Lawrence scolded a lingerie company for using her image and retouching it. “Thank u @janicetx for telling me that a lingerie company has used my images and retouched them like crazy to put their bras on me!” Iskra wrote on Instagram. “Not ok, if u see this online do not trust or buy anything.”
“Hey girlies I’m very confused I don’t retouch or Photoshop any of my pics,” Lawrence responded on Instagram. “Even though I don’t say it one every pic (ppl started saying, ‘we know so stop saying it all the time’) I will lighten pics that are too dark to post, but that’s it.”
You got that?
Read more on Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Melania Trump Slips Into an LBD After Rocking White Suit and Candy-Cane Heels In Israel
- Plus-Size Teen Ballerina Takes Featured Spot In New Ad Campaign
- 20 Standout Plus-Size Swimsuits for Every Budget