Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes fire back at magazine for photoshopping their bodies
Societal conceptions of what is considered beautiful continually need challenging. While the old cliche informs us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's evident that Western society prizes some modes of "attractiveness" above others. Just take a scroll through your social media feeds and you'll be greeted by perfectly retouched and filtered models - all of whom sport long lithe limbs, tanned skin and all of the other signifiers of occidental beauty.
And with the endless amount of perfect beings we see on a daily basis, it's easy to feel as if we fall short. And evidently we do: Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes- two beautiful stars from Netflix's Riverdale - were photoshopped to unrecognisable dimensions in a recent editorial.
21-year-old Lili Reinhard and 23-year-old Camila Mendes were both featured in February's issue of Cosmopolitan US. The original editorial featured the two with their proportions intact, and the accompanying interview saw Mendes speak to female empowerment, saying "If I could go back to before I started Riverdale, I would tell myself to speak up when I felt like something wasn't right. To use my voice and know that it's worth hearing."
And it appears that they both took this sentiment to heart. After Cosmopolitan Philippines shared some heavily photoshopped images of the pair, both Reinhard and Mendes took to social media to call out the publication.
While Mendes said that the original photos "included our natural silhouettes, and we're relieved that they didn't see our waistlines as something that needed tweaking," she spoke on behalf of Reinhart when denouncing the actions of Cosmopolitan Philippines. "[We] feel disrespected and disturbed by the sight of our photoshopped bodies," she asserted. "those bodies are not ours; they have been distorted from their natural beauty. We prefer to see our bodies the way they actually are. I'm not interested in having a slimmer waist, I'm more than satisfied with the one that I already have".
Mendes then directed her fans to Reinhart's story which featured side-by-side images of the photographs, as well as an impassioned speech by the actress about how difficult it is to be body positive in the entertainment industry. After recognising International Women's Day, the 21-year-old wrote, "We still have a long way to go. Our fight is not over."
Speaking to societal pressures in Hollywood and beyond, Reinhart continued "Camila and I have worked incredibly hard to feel confident in the bodies that we have. It's an every day battle, sometimes. And to see our bodies become so distorted in an editing process is a perfect example of the obstacles we have yet to overcome."
"So we cannot stop fighting. Our battle has only just begun. We are fucking powerful, beautiful and strong... we aren't going to hide behind photoshop to conform to beauty standards.
That's why I'm calling out @cosmopolitan_philippines. It's sad that you felt our bodies needed to be slimmed down. But Camila and I are f***ing beautiful. As is. And you can't "fix" us. So, like every other day, women....go kick some ass. You are being heard. You are strong and sensational."
Reinhart, who has previously been open about her struggle with depression, then implored celebrities and public figures to put an end to photoshopping. "It's only encouraging an unrealistic body image," she declared. "It's adding to the problem."