Lili Reinhart & Camila Mendes Call For Body Positivity | Clozette

Riverdale stars Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes called out a Filipino magazine for digitally manipulating their waists to appear slimmer in photos. In her Instagram stories, Reinhart pointed out the difference between the original photos used for their spread of a U.S.-based magazine where the photo was previously featured and the one posted on the local magazine's Instagram feed.

Coinciding with the celebration of International Women's Day, Reinhart's stories emphasised the fact that "we've seen an unprecedented movement for women's rights", but "we still have a long way to go." The fight is not over, indeed. She shared that "seeing [their] bodies become so distorted in an editing process is a perfect example of the obstacles we have yet to overcome." 

Mendes also expressed her sentiments about the issue. "We want their readers to know that those bodies are not ours; they have been distorted from their natural beauty," she said. "We prefer to see our bodies the way they actually are." 

It's not the first time the publishing industry was called out for digitally manipulating photos of models and cover girls. Countless celebrities have also spoken against image alteration. Keira Knightley famously protested against editing her body by doing a topless photoshoot with Interview Magazine. Back in 2004, a promotional poster for King Arthur enhanced her breasts to make them appear bigger. It then became known as one of the most (in)famous edited images of all time. 

Another celebrity who has been a victim of editing is Kerry Washington. On multiple instances, Washington spoke about not recognising herself when looking at the magazine spreads that she's in, particularly the one from AdWeek's April 2016 issue where her skin was noticeably lightened. 

Even Zendaya, someone you'd think would need no editing, was shocked when she saw Modeliste Magazine slim down her waist and torso back in 2015. She explained that "these are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have." She then went on to thank the publication for taking the image down. 

Many institutions have launched body positivity campaigns and programs to promote embracing our bodies as they are. Dove launched their "Self-Esteem Project" to provide teachers, mentors and parents resources that they can use as a guide to talk to the youth about body confidence. In the Philippines, sisters Danah and Stacy Gutierrez of Plump Pinays kickstarted the body positivity movement in the country. Little by little, we're taking these steps towards achieving permanent change. 

It's no secret that women are under a lot of pressure to look their best all the time. Society expects us to adhere to a certain standard. And when we fall short, we're ridiculed, shamed and, in the case of many celebrities, our images are altered. What's more disheartening is when we start succumbing to the pressure of living up to these standards. Just look at the popularity of apps that offer skin lightening, height altering, nose enhancement, slimming and breast enlargement options. Why do we do these to ourselves? 


In truth, the blatant editing is just the tip of the iceberg. The much deeper problem is that we put too much value on the physical attractiveness of women. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but if a woman is deemed to be conventionally beautiful, her value in society will be automatically higher than the average-looking gal. Pretty privilege is very real.

But now more than ever, with influential celebrities like Reinhart and Mendes speaking out against distorting their natural beauty, there's hope that things will change for the better. As Reinhart said, "You can't 'fix' us" — because there is never a need to.

(Cover photo from: @thecwriverdale)

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