In today’s beauty-ccentric world, heavily photo-edited posters and ads are something of a commonplace occurrence, with the level of Photoshop ranging from slight touch ups to full-on digital plastic surgery. ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars ran for a respectable seven years, but it unfortunately was one of many television productions that experienced extreme alterations within its various ad posters.
Ashley Benson is one such person who noticed this instantly — “PLL had put up this poster and it was from our first season and it was completely crazy. Nobody looked like themselves,” she said. The 27-year-old actress recognizes this as a recurring issue through the media/entertainment industry, whether in television or on magazine covers; an issue that stems from an over-reliance on beauty and physical appeal doing the advertising.
“….you’re like, ‘That’s not even me,’” she continues. “You never know how it’s going to turn out because you have no control and you’re not editing the photos, but it sucks when you’re like, ‘Wow. That’s a completely different person.’”
Fed up with this beauty standard, Benson now insists that all promotional pictures taken of her receive only touch ups, and nothing more. Her costar Troian Bellisario chimed in with her agreement: “Aren’t we attractive enough women as we are? Why can’t we just look like us. Once.”
One of the large reasons why Benson takes this matter to heart is that she doesn’t wish for young girls and women to look up to an unrealistic body image. Though she recognizes that the standards are beginning to shift in Hollywood, she’s been downright disheartened at the body shaming that’s been aimed at women for decades.
“I don’t think [weight] should matter, the pressure of being a size zero, because everyone is talented. Everyone deserves a chance and the weight thing is too much pressure to put on anyone.”