Unapologetically Herself-ie

It takes a lot of guts to post an unedited, makeup-free and filter-free selfie on social media. But yesterday, supermodel Tyra Banks took to Instagram to post what she called a “#RawAndReal” photo of herself.

Screenshot of Tyra Banks' Instagram (@tyrabanks).

Screenshot of Tyra Banks’ Instagram (@tyrabanks).

In the caption of the photo, Banks explains that she wanted to give her followers a real glimpse of herself, sans makeup, filters and photoshop, despite feeling uneasy about showcasing her “dark circles.” She goes on to say, “Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Whoa, she looks ROUGH.’ And if you are, great! You deserve to see the REAL me.”

For a world-famous supermodel to take to such a public forum and show the world that she is not perfect is incredibly brave. So often we consume ourselves with the looks of models, actresses and musicians, studying their perfect faces and perfect bodies as they grace the covers of magazines or walk down red carpets. But we fail to realize that we are only seeing a finished product; we are not seeing all the work it takes for these celebrities to look this way.

Social media has only begun to let onlookers to peek behind the veil of perfection, allowing for more transparency between celebrities and their fans. But as much as social media has helped to show fans the ‘human’ side of celebrities, we still see a lot perfected pictures and rarely see them as they truly are; there is still quite a bit of fog blurring our vision, perpetuating the existence of the idea of flawlessness.

But Banks’ photo did not just allow us to peek behind the veil of perfection that separates fans from celebrities; her photo tore away that veil, allowing her fans and the world to see her as she naturally is. And you know what? She is a lot like us. She was worried about showing her dark circles, a fear that many women share and work everyday to cover and conceal. But by sharing this one photo, Tyra Banks told the world that even supermodels aren’t perfect. And what’s more, she told us that imperfections are okay and that we should own our real, raw selves instead of hiding behind a false impression of perfection.

Bank’s photo teaches us that flawlessness does not exist. So instead of aspiring to have perfect faces and perfect bodies, Banks is telling us to own what we have, and be unapologetically ourselves. And that is an inspired way to live life.

Thank you, Tyra Banks.

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