Online swimwear company ASOS is breaking the mold for portraying picture-perfect models in their advertisements. How? They are not Photoshopping any of the visible stretch marks the women may have.
We have seen gorgeous models on the covers of women’s beauty and health magazines since the dinosaur ages. We are used to the kind of self-deprecating guilt we feel after walking past an ad of a taut, sun-kissed brunette lying on the beach looking flawless. We make a mental note to not skip the gym that weekend, and begin to regret the bag of nacho cheese Doritos in our cart.
Sometimes it’s hard for us normal people to remind ourselves that all models are Photoshopped in advertisements and magazines. Even if it’s just a quick touch-up of a blemish or imperfection, no photograph goes unedited, unless the editor purposefully wants that. In the case of ASOS, the publishers want to set the record straight. They believe in the raw beauty, not only of the women, but the beauty of just being honest about our appearance. It’s easy to forget that Photoshopped models don’t really look the same in the photos as they do in their everyday lives. We can’t hold up two photographs side by side, one edited and one not, and make a judgment. We only see perfection, all of the time. And so perfection is what we strive for, and fail to achieve, over and over again.
People have started to recognize and praise ASOS for their decision to not photoshop the stretch marks. Twitter user @amyrowlandsx posted, “So impressed with ASOS for not airbrushing the models stretch marks. She looks amazing!” Another Twitter user, @leahtudorx, wrote, “ASOS not editing out girl’s stretch marks on their swimwear photos is giving me so much life, look how beautiful they all are.” As you can see, these tall, attractive models are still tall, attractive models. Their stretch marks take nothing away from their beauty, nothing at all.
Stretch marks don’t just appear on people who have gained weight or given birth to babies. Stretch marks can be a result of a growth spurt, the use of corticosteroid creams, or having an adrenal gland disorder. Twitter user @Emilia_bean wrote, “Still goes to show that stretch marks are so natural, even on a smaller frame. EVERYONE HAS THEM, EVEN MODELS. I think it’s wonderful.”
There really is no reason for women or men to feel self-conscious about stretch marks. They are a natural result to the skin being tugged or pulled with a lack of elasticity. The sooner we accept this imperfection as being normal instead of being gross or unattractive, the more positivity will be generated towards body image.
Certain celebrities openly own up to their stretch marks, like model Chrissy Teigen. She posted this photograph on her Instagram with the caption, “Bruises from bumping kitchen door handles for a week. Stretchies say hi!”
She also took a Snapchat of the outside of her thigh when she was in a sitting position (this position often shows our cellulite, no matter what size we are and no matter how healthy we are).
We just have to admire women like this, and ASOS, for taking the taboo out of stretch marks. There is nothing disgusting about owning up to every beautiful little part of you.