Over the years as an entertainment journalist, I’ve spent a lot of time perusing Hollywood gossip sites. Among the images and messages embedded in the countless headlines, I’m often hard pressed to find anything truly authentic.
The photos (even the insta-selfies) are usually filtered and Photoshopped to perfection; those candid paparazzi shots, premeditated; and your favorite celebrity Twitter feed likely managed by their agent. What’s left then is this false sense that everyone in Tinseltown is perfect, happy, glamorous, fun and confident; that they all “wake up like dis,” don’t take a bad photo, have never heard of cellulite and God forbid would ever take a “cheat day.” But every once in a while the cashmere curtain pulls away and Hollywood has an honest moment. A moment where the truth is revealed that no one is perfect, (not even Beyonce) and that imperfection is beautiful! And, though we’re still very early into the new year, 2015 is already shaping up to be more productive, body positive and inclusive than years past. Here are the standout moments, so far!
1. Demi’s thigh gap celebration
Demi Lovato has never been shy about her struggles with her self-confidence. After a public breakdown and a stint in rehab a few years ago, she’s since been open about her quest to find self-love. And, seems like she’s made some enviable progress! Though she’s been hitting the gym hard lately, Demi has made it clear she’s doing it for the right reasons. In late February she posted an Instagram pic sweat soaked and smiling on a spin bike, with the caption “Don’t train to be skinny, train to be a badass!”
Umm, hell yeah! A few days later, the singer posted another “fitspo” photo, this time bikini clad, showing off her strong bod. The caption? “Regardless of what society tells you these days… You don’t have to have a thigh gap to be beautiful.” #Fistpump! A dose of reality in a town drowning in manufactured and manipulated images. Thanks Demi, for showing us what real bodies look like, rejecting the unrealistic beauty standards and sharing your struggle to find self-acceptance! Here’s to more of this in 2015!
2. Cindy exposed
For the last three decades, Cindy Crawford has shown the world what it takes to be an “original supermodel”: those legendary legs, the face, the mole, the look! After two kids and just a few years away from 50, to say Cindy is aging gracefully is an understatement. You may have heard recently about the allegedly un-retouched image of the 48-year-old bombshell leaked back in February. The photo captures the supermodel dancing in lingerie, looking more fabulous and more real than ever! The image shows what women (yes, even supermodels) look like in motion… Guess what? No matter how svelte, fit and toned (and she is!), flesh and skin move! The reason why the leak caused such a stir is because we are all so used to the industry erasing all “realness” from the images we see in the media. As much as Cindy is a ridiculously gorgeous woman, she is still human, and it was more than refreshing for us all to see her humanity in all its glory!
3. Super-sized Sports Illustrated
The legendary Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has been hitting shelves for more than 50 years, featuring the hottest models in the world each and every year. But, among all of the skin-bearing babes who have posed for the coveted edition over the years, 2015 marks the first time the issue has featured a plus-sized body. Now, keep in mind, the modeling industry considers anything above a size eight “plus,” which is ridiculous and infuriating and obscenely unrealistic, especially considering the average woman in North America is a size 12/14.
So, in other words this is the first year SI features women with normal, average body sizes. Australian smoke show Robyn Lawley appears in the swimsuit spread itself, looking fit and sexy at a super-svelte size eight. And she’s not the only one! Curve-crusader Ashley Graham also appears in the issue featured in a campaign for “Swimsuits for All.” Graham shows off her ultra-sexy size-16 frame in a string bikini and instead of Photoshopping the image and smoothing out the lines on her body, the ad showcases her just as she is, a gorgeous, curvaceous bombshell with beautiful lumps, bumps and folds. As absurd as it is that we had to wait five decades to see a real woman’s body represented in Sports Illustrated, it is a plus-sized step in the right direction. Honest, real and damn sexy if you ask me!