In today's world of influencers and tabloids, it can be hard to remember that most of the images out there are photoshopped. And it's no secret this content can mess with our heads and spread unrealistic expectations of how we "should" look. Luckily, some celebrities are out there keeping it real and showing us their genuine selves on social media - without any makeup or filters hiding their flaws. So sit back, relax, and get ready for their refreshing authenticity.
Sarah Hyland is a singer and actress who rose to fame in the hit sitcom Modern Family. On the show, she played a teen who could sometimes come off as spending a bit too much time on social media. However, in real life, Hyland has used her platform to shed light on her chronic kidney condition and the unrealistic expectations sometimes promoted by social media. For national selfie day, Hyland posted this image of herself, showing that it is okay to not always feel "cute," as she put it.
This is not the only time Hyland has stayed positive through difficult circumstances. The actress has shared that she often receives messages on social media from people telling her to eat some bread, trying to shame her for the way she looks. The actress said that she just laughs these off.
Nicole Byer is an actress and comedian who is no stranger to advocating for more realistic norms when it comes to a person's body. She can be seen here out on the beach dressed in a black bikini. However, this is certainly not the only image of the successful entertainer enjoying a day at the beach. Byer often uploads images to social media of her showing off her body. She has also worked to show others that no matter what you look like or think you look like, you should be proud of yourself and your body.
The comedian often appears as a guest on shows and in interviews on the news to talk about loving yourself. She even has a coffee table book that dives into the subject.
Keke Palmer is an actress, singer, and activist who caught some attention when she opened up about her acne. Palmer posted a photo of herself and even reached out to people who might think their acne is something to be ashamed of. She told her followers about her own struggles with breakouts and how she was always told to change her diet or drink more water when she asked doctors about it. It was not until she looked into her family history that she realized she actually had polycystic ovary syndrome, which in mild cases can cause acne.
Palmer urged her followers not to be dissuaded if they themselves were struggling with acne. She also detailed her own moments of being upset with herself just because of her breakouts, telling people that it is okay to have imperfections.
Stretch marks are extremely common. So, why do we not see people with stretch marks everywhere, such as in ads or on social media? Well, they are often photoshopped out of images after a photoshoot. But, Demi Lovato was not going to let this stop her from conducting her own little photoshoot during quarantine. The singer posted images of herself and her stretch marks on social media to show the world that stretch marks are perfectly normal.
Lovato has also talked candidly with the media about her own body image issues numerous times throughout her career. She also highlights how she still struggles with it on occasion.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that can result in scaly, patchy red marks. It can flare up for weeks at a time but usually subsides for long periods of time. So, when Kim Kardashian posted about her own struggle with the condition, it drew some attention. She said that after years of dealing with flare-ups, she has finally learned to live with it and now occasionally posts about it on social media.
Kardashian added that people with the condition, which is fairly common, should not let it get to them or bring them down. She added that you could do things to make sure you are comfortable but should not let it take over who you are.
Actress Lili Reinhart posted this image on her social media account, showing what often happens after a photoshoot. In the edited photo, you can clearly see what was digitally manipulated to conform to modern standards of beauty. The actress showed people that many of the images we see every day are actually totally unrealistic. She has also opened up on many occasions about her own mental health struggles associated with constantly being photographed and labeled.
Reinhart has even given a speech calling on other women to not accept unrealistic expectations about their bodies. She said that she often worries about what effects these standards might have on her own children one day and that everyone is "imperfectly beautiful."
When scrolling through social media, it can often be hard to find anything related to negative moments in time or in people's lives. This creates a false expectation that life is filled with nothing but beautiful moments, and if yours isn't, then you are not doing something right. So, when Jessica Simpson posted this photo of her swollen ankle, it was an honest moment in time, and fans quickly responded with remedies they thought might help.
Simpson has written about her own struggles with body shaming. In her memoir, she describes being heartbroken after an incident earlier in her career. However, it seems like now she has the courage to show people what her life is truly like.
When pointing out unrealistic expectations about women's bodies, people often focus on celebrities after they give birth. And for a good reason, as it is not uncommon to see new mothers walking the red carpet and looking just the same as they did before getting pregnant. However, singer Katy Perry was having none of it when she posted this photo of herself right after giving birth. The highly-successful singer reminded everyone that celebrities are no different from the rest of the world and that pregnancy changes the body.
Perry's photo even took it up a notch, playfully joking about being exhausted and sporting clothes tailored to new moms. The singer released her post during the MTV Video Music Awards when many were dressed up and walking the red-carpet event.
A model and daughter of successful singer Michael Jackson, Paris Jackson has often used her platform to take on contemporary stigmas and expectations. In this image posted on her Instagram account, Jackson can be seen showing off her armpit hair and promoting the fact that it is a perfectly natural thing to have hair. The celebrity has also talked about her own struggles with depression related to her father's death and her image of herself.
According to USA Today, Jackson said that she wants to be a part of a movement that tries to break down stereotypes. She said that while this is difficult, it is important to broaden our own understanding of what beauty actually means.
Model Ashley Graham is no stranger to promoting healthy and positive discourse about body image. The model posted this photo from the Phillippines, saying that she was perfectly okay with bumps, lumps, and cellulite. She added that everyone out there should be okay with it, too. Graham now promotes herself as a body image activist in the world of modeling, where it's no secret that unrealistic beauty standards abound.
In an interview with Glamour, Graham detailed how a fellow model once asked her if she was getting paid for modeling, which she remembered thinking was a not-so-veiled shot at her weight. She had also shared that she had a negative self-image when she was first trying to break into professional modeling. However, she said that she plans to keep pushing for change within the modeling industry no matter what.
As we have seen before, Lili Reinhart is no stranger to combatting harmful body image norms. In this post, she takes on one of the most common forms of teen anxiety, acne. But, she also reminds the world that for many people, acne does not simply stop becoming a thing after you grow out of your teens. Cystic acne can follow people throughout their lives, and it's good to be reminded that all kinds of people struggle with this.
In an interview with Byrdie, the actress talked about her reasoning behind the post. She said it was to show people that not everyone looks the same in real life as they do in a film. She compared those kinds of productions to smoke and mirrors and listed makeup as one of the main culprits.
Bachelor star Bekah Martinez was not mincing words when she posted this photo of herself on Instagram. She wrote advocating for the normalization of having a body that has been through pregnancy, which you would think would be the norm, considering how many people choose to have children. However, as we have seen, there are often unrealistic expectations attached to being a mother and being a celebrity. Martinez was not having any of it, though.
This was not the first time Martinez has waded into conversations about body positivity. She has also posted images of herself and unshaven leg hair, saying that she wants her daughters to know that it is natural for women to have body hair.
Rihanna is possibly one of the most accomplished singers of our time. So when she posted this photo of her and her leg hair, fans took notice and celebrated in the comments. Leg hair can be a pain to deal with, and many people have to shave nearly every day. While Rihanna's photo might not show leg hair to the extent of some of the other people on this list, displaying herself like this is an act of defiance to standards of hairless beauty.
It might come as a surprise to some, but Rihanna has experienced body-shaming during her career. She was the subject of an article at one point that focused on her body. The article drew criticism and was eventually deleted, but it shows that negativity can happen to just about anyone.
American singer Lizzo has been an outspoken proponent of healthy discussions around lifestyles and body image. In this photo posted on her Instagram, she unabashedly shows off during a day at the beach and makes reference to her weight, calling herself a "roll model" (pun intended). In recent years, Lizzo has also taken aim at the body positivity movement, saying that in some instances, it has become a tool for people to make money.
The singer said that she likes to think of herself as promoting body-normativity. Or in other words, promoting the fact that bodies like hers should be viewed as normal instead of something to be ashamed of. She said that she would continue working to make sure all women feel like they live in an inclusive society no matter what size they are.
Zendaya is an actress who has skyrocketed to fame in recent years. It's reassuring to see the next generation posting photos like the one she did on her Instagram. In the photo, she drew attention to the color correction and obviously photoshopped hips in the final image. She said that she had decided to take it upon herself to release the original picture and show some of the things that actively work to make women self-conscious.
Zendaya has often spoken out about how important it is to realize how unimportant modern concepts of beauty really are. In an interview with New You, she also brought up some age-old wisdom that people respond to others who are authentic and just being themselves.
Iskra Lawrence is another high-profile celebrity taking on negative body image standards. The British model posted a photo of herself at the beach and with cellulite. She said that she wished she had more positive images of women with cellulite when she was growing up and that it is a common thing nobody should be ashamed of. She ended her post with lighting and tiger emojis, representing stretch marks, another common trait often stigmatized in contemporary culture.
However, this was not the first time Lawrence has promoted healthy discourse. She is an ambassador for an organization that tries to combat eating disorders, and she has taken part in campaigns that do not touch up images after shoots. She also has a course teaching people how to be happy with their own bodies.
American actress Selena Gomez reminded everyone that what we see on TV or on the internet does not always reflect real life. In this photo she posted from behind the scenes of a shoot, people can see the difference post-production makes in the way people view celebrities. The star has also spoken with the media about her own weight and the effect social media can have on someone's mental health.
In multiple interviews, Gomez has talked about having lupus and the effect it has had on her fluctuating body. She added that after the fluctuations, she began to notice that she was being attacked for her weight. In addition, she has criticized social media and asked people to be more aware when viewing images that are often manipulated in one way or another.
Dua Lipa is a singer from the U.K. who has taken the music industry by storm. She also currently has over 80 million followers on Instagram, so when she posts, a lot of people take notice. In this image, Lipa can be seen drawing attention to her skin and acne cream, showing people that even successful singers have some of the same problems as others. The singer has also spoken with publications about the way she sees her own body and the importance of promoting healthy beauty standards to women and girls.
In an interview with Vogue, Lipa said that even though she was confident in her own body, there will always be something you do not quite like about yourself. She also said that instead of focusing on the negative, it is much more helpful to list a couple of things you like about yourself every day.
Aja Naomi King is an American actress who generously shared this photo of herself after giving birth. The image was candid and took aim at a society that is obsessed with weight loss after childbirth. King went in the opposite direction and instead told the world that childbirth and all of the things that come with it should be celebrated. In her post, she said that she was proud of herself and her body for being able to perform something as magical as childbirth.
King's images drew praise from people and the media, who noted the fact that we often only see celebrities after all of the workouts and diets that go into getting their bodies back to a similar pre-pregnancy stage.
It's no secret that the Kardashians have shared plenty of photoshopped images throughout their time in the limelight. From Instagram to the tabloids, they've been confronted for manipulating their photos on multiple occasions. So, when Kylie Jenner shared a photo of herself and her stretch marks, some people took notice. The young Kardashian has also talked with various publications about promoting healthy standards and her own experiences in feeling flawed.
For example, during a T.V. interview, Jenner recalled an experience she had where she left feeling insecure about her lips. She said this led to her interest in wearing makeup and how it made her feel as though she had "fixed" the imperfection.
As mentioned before, for many, acne just never goes away. For actress, writer, and comedian Mindy Kaling, that is perfectly normal. She posted a photo of herself on Instagram with a caption we're sure many out there can relate with. And unlike those that use social media to post flawless photos of themselves in Italy drinking wine or some other over-the-top image, Kaling often uses her social media to promote positive messages about body image.
Kaling will often share positive messages, urging others to not feel self-conscious in a bikini. She also points to other cultures around the world where beauty is different from what many perceive it to be.
Influencer Kandee Johnson made an appeal to all of her followers when she posted an image of herself and her stretch marks on social media. The influencer asked her followers not to be ashamed of their stretch marks and said that personally, she likes seeing them on other people. They show that someone has been through something or grown a lot. Johnson then went on to compare them to designer tattoos and lightning bolts.
The influencer has also used her platform to urge people to try and promote healthy discourse about beauty. On her Twitter, she asked people to put down the remote or phone because they perpetuate unhealthy expectations for women.
Let's face it, very few of us can wake up looking our best first thing in the morning. So, when accomplished actress Helen Mirren shared a photo of her still in bed, it went to show that many of the images we are inundated with daily are really just highly curated photos of people and places. Mirren has opened up in the past about today's twisted beauty standards and about growing up with some of those same standards and how they affected the way she perceived herself.
In an interview with Woman & Home magazine, Mirren criticized the expectations of beauty that people sometimes have. She said that she was fed up with seeing teenage girls being used as role models and that as she has grown older, she has come to realize more and more how wrong this is. She added that she never actually considered herself beautiful.
Freckles can be another source of anxiety. And even though these are perfectly natural marks on our skin and not actually blemishes, many people can feel self-conscious about them. Actress Gabrielle Union posted this photo of herself, showing off her freckles. She has also been candid about the way social media can negatively affect people's perceptions of themselves, especially Black women. She has promoted living a healthy lifestyle and not adhering to what society thinks of as beautiful.
In an interview done on The View, Union said that social media is designed to affect the human brain and, in doing so, can isolate people. She also addressed how society can sometimes promote a specific kind of beauty that might not be healthy for everyone.
Salma Hayek is one of the most iconic actresses of our age. She has also been around long enough to see the change that social media has made in people's perception of themselves worldwide. So, it should come as no surprise that the actress posted this image of herself without makeup, drawing attention to some of her own grey hairs. Her post highlighted these points, and she wrote, "The white hair of wisdom" underneath the image.
However, this was not the first time Hayek opened up about her own body. She told Harper's Bazaar in 2016 that the way women look can often play a role in finding work in Hollywood. She also said that she was confident in her own appearance but that there were a number of things about herself that did not fit with some people's perceptions of beauty.
Successful actress Rachel Bloom has been called a body image hero by People magazine. And for a good reason. Bloom posted this image to share how work-related stress can sometimes cause her hormones to act crazy, resulting in acne. She also asked her followers to spot her fatigue and bloat, reminding everyone that celebrities deal with some of the same life pressures as the rest of us. However, this was only one of many posts where she details some societal pressures affecting women today.
The award-winning actress will sometimes post videos poking fun at the things people put themselves through to attain the kind of beauty we see on social media. And frankly, they are hilarious.
American model and actress Barbie Ferreira posted this photo on her Instagram, showing off her stretch marks. Despite her young age, Ferreira has often been featured as a poster child for the body positivity movement. She began modeling when the industry was beginning to open up to different ideas of beauty, and she has often spoken about the importance of normalizing those views. However, like Lizzo, Ferreira has said that there are things that need to be addressed in the current positivity movement.
In an interview with Vogue, she said that she would much rather people focus on normalizing different body types instead shaming others into conforming to one or the other. She has also spoken about how she works quietly to promote such views.
Actress Hillary Duff took some time from a vacation with her family to call out media and people who choose to body shame women. In a post of her at the beach, Duff said that she was proud of her imperfections, and she called on other women to be proud of who they were. She added that overthinking about how you look is not worth the time it might take up in a day.
In an interview with Byrdie, Duff talked about her struggles with her image when she was younger. She said that she would often be disappointed in herself because she did not always conform to a certain weight to look. However, she added that she is much happier with her image of herself today.
Jameela Jamil is an English actress who has built an entire brand out of being body positive. This post from her Instagram shows her drawing attention to her stretch marks and telling women to be proud of them. She also hits back against whitening products that are popular in many places around the world, calling them inherently racist. The actress has famously refused to take part in any photoshoot that involved airbrushing or post-production work.
Jamil has also gone after other influencers and celebrities for promoting products that claim you can lose weight or detox. The actress has said that these types of things show just how influential culture is on the way we think about ourselves.
As stated before, Lizzo is no stranger to advocating for better beauty standards. In this post, the singer is seen rocking a bikini around the house. There are many such photos on Lizzo's Instagram, and with the artist's stated goal of shifting the beauty narrative, there are sure to be plenty more. The singer even jokes that she forgot to facetune her photo. Facetune is an app that allows you to add flattering filters to your images.
Despite her outward confidence, Lizzo makes it a point to talk about the times when she feels like body shamers might be right. She said that even she gets negative thoughts sometimes, which is perfectly fine and okay. However, you have to keep telling yourself that it is okay to be who you are and look how you look.
Sarah Hyland has already been mentioned on this list for sharing a selfie of herself during an acne breakout. However, she also drew praise when she posted this photo of herself performing during the Teen Choice Awards without Spanx. She attributed the decision to a boost in confidence and, in doing so, encouraged others to not worry about what people may think of them. According to People, she had previously spoken about having to wear Spanx due to having two kidney transplants.
Hyland said that her fiance had been a large part of her boost in confidence, showing the importance of surrounding yourself with positive energy and people who support you through challenges.
You would think a highly-successful model like Ruby Rose would be at the bottom of a body shamer's list of people to harass. However, it just goes to show that people sometimes just want to find something to complain about. Rose showed off a photo of herself suffering from a breakout after travel and interviews, declaring that everyone is human and imperfections are natural. The model has also told the media that she has no patience for body shamers.
This occurred after people had called her names online. She shot back that she works out, eats healthy, and does not drink alcohol before going into some of the health problems she ran into when she had more weight. Rose went on to say that nobody should be judged just because of the way they look.
Priyanka Chopra posted this photo on her Instagram, showing off her armpits and showing people that even megastars do not have perfectly smooth armpits. However, this was not the first time the actress has spoken out about the importance of not tying your confidence to your looks. She has told the media that even she has to sometimes block out negative thoughts about the way she looks in order to feel fine.
Chopra also highlighted how society, in general, tends to place too much importance on the way people look. She said that it is much more important to tie your happiness and confidence to things like work and making sure you are fulfilled in life.
We have already looked at another Selena Gomez post, where she stressed the importance of being honest about the way people look. In this post, she sheds light on a kidney surgery that she underwent and the scar it left. She said that after the surgery, she felt self-conscious and would try to cover the scar up with clothing. However, she now wears the scar as a badge of honor.
The actress waded into controversy after a couple of shows made jokes in light of Gomez's transplant. She quickly hit back that the jokes were tasteless and that health is something that should not be laughed about.
Lorde is an amazingly accomplished singer and one who has actively spoken about her struggle with acne. In this post, she hits out at people offering unsolicited advice about how they dealt with their own acne. Sometimes it's important to remember that just because something works for one person does not mean it will work for someone else. Everyone's bodies are inherently different, and that is okay. People who struggle with acne into adulthood have often tried just about every remedy out there.
Lorde has said that she worked hard as a teenager to lay the groundwork so that the way she looks would not play into her narrative as an adult. She would often wear suits because that is what she felt confident in, she has said.