Model Kate Upton agreed to an unretouched photo shoot for the September cover of Health magazine, taking a stand against airbrushed images and reinforcing body positivity.
Upton spoke with the magazine about why she took this step.
“When you think about it, we have retouching everywhere now — and we don’t even know it,” Upton says.
She goes on to say that retouched photos in social media can often have a negative effect on people.
“People are staging Instagram shots and retouching those pictures. That’s the new norm. And then we believe that’s how people actually look, and think we should look that way too.”
Upton says taking part in a photo shoot that’s completely untouched could help others realize that they don’t need to Photoshop themselves to look good.
“For me, doing an unretouched shoot is a step toward embracing real life. The goal should be to be the best you can be — not try to look like someone else.”
Upton also says she’s trying to promote exercise, not as a weight-loss tool, but as a way to feel strong.
Through a collaboration with her trainer, Ben Bruno, Upton has created Strong4Me, a workout program geared toward women of any fitness level.
Upton’s making a point of emphasizing strength instead of just reading the scales:
“Instead of beating yourself up about the number on the scale, you notice when you get stronger. It’s a healthier mind-set, one that took me a while to get to. That’s really what I wanted to share with others.”