Models get real on Instagram.
You wouldn’t think of the selfie as a powerful tool for fighting our culture’s unattainable beauty standards, or, for that matter, professional models as the ones to lead the battle. But lately that is exactly what’s happening. More and more models are using Instagram, home of the perfectly rendered, Mayfair-filtered selfie, to depict themselves without makeup or Photoshop. Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue model Chrissy Teigen even displays her bruised legs (from bumping the cabinets) and stretch marks, and model and new mother Robyn Lawley presented her post-childbirth stretch marks.
Social media has been a dynamic platform for professional covergirls. Millennial supermodels like Cara Delevingne, Kate Upton, and Coco Rocha signed on early and have used platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Vine to create a voice for themselves. Models, who have always been required to be seen and not heard, have taken control of their own images by being honest about their anxieties, body issues, and emotional reactions to body shaming.
Recently, Business Insider released a video contrasting Sports Illustrated swimsuit models’ layouts with their more bare-faced selfies on Instagram. Of course, these are young models, and they still look good without makeup from the minute they open their eyes in the morning, but their hearts are in the right place as they acknowledge their responsibility to show the public behind-the-scenes footage in the creation of their own images.