Iskra Lawrence calls out 'damaging' photo retouching apps: 'We literally have a society that does everything to make us hate the way we look'

·2-min read

Iskra Lawrence is sick and tired of retouching. 

The model and body acceptance advocate took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a before and after video of herself after it was put through an instant photo editing app. Lawrence's face was brightened in the retouched photo, and looked noticeably different from her original — yet the work was subtle enough not to show any obvious signs of manipulation.

That, Lawrence says, is where things get tricky. She declared in her video that these apps should come with "warnings" and a "minimum age limit."

The NEDA ambassador, who recently spoke out about finding confidence after gaining weight, captioned the post, "How is anyone meant to accept themselves when apps like this are readily available and can instantly airbrush and change the way we look? We literally have a society that does everything to make us hate the way we look and compare ourselves, not just one another, but unrealistic photoshopped versions too."

Lawrence, who said she was inspired to make the video by podcaster Kenzie Brenna, encouraged her followers to share the post with "anyone struggling with body image" and "young people" who "may not realize the images they’re consuming aren't real."

"Apps like these will not disappear, so we need to educate ourselves and one another to not let what we see online impact how we feel about ourselves in real life,” she said. "In case you need reminding you’re good enough just as you are."

Many people in her comments section praised Lawrence for calling out the apps, with one writing, "We don't need to add to the unrealistic expectations already thrust upon us by a society that believes if you are not a twig with boobs you have somehow failed at life - that you are worth less. It is sad to me that society's messaging has literally brainwashed the entire world so effectively."

Another added, "I feel this way as well, 100%! Young people should not be exposed to the unrealistic expectations online. It affects adults so much, imagine the impact that it has on children."

Lawrence isn't alone in her concern over these apps. Image retouching on social media has become a hot-button issue, as many people believe seeing edited photos can distort our ideas of what our body should look like. In fact, influencers in Norway will now have to disclose which of their photos have been retouched in an effort for the country to address body pressure.

Some social media users, like Lawrence, are now taking it on themselves to show how the photos we see online aren’t realistic. 

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