Model Blasts the Company That Slimmed Her Body With Photoshop

Meaghan Kausman posted unretouched images to her Instagram account, writing, ‘My body is a size 8, not a size 4.’

(Photo: Instagram)

Aug 25, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Nowadays Photoshop is a standard tool of the fashion trade, with women’s faces and bodies smoothed and slimmed to fit a Barbie-like standard of beauty. But after Australian model Meaghan Kausman saw the significantly altered images from a fashion shoot she did for a swimwear company, she took action. Kausman posted the original, unretouched pictures on her Instagram account so that women and girls around the world would know what she really looks like.

“I recently did a photo shoot wearing Fella Swim, with an extremely passionate and talented underwater photographer, Pip,” wrote Kausman on the image’s caption. “Her photos are magical; they capture women in water and celebrate their beauty.” But the fairy-tale quality of the images didn’t keep Kausman’s body from being tucked and tightened. The model wrote that she was “extremely shocked” to see that the company had posted heavily Photoshopped versions of the photos on its Instagram page.

(Photo: Instagram)

“They had drastically altered my body, thinning out my stomach and thighs in an attempt to box me into the cultural ideal of beauty,” continued Kausman. “Above is their version, below is the real version. My body is a size 8, not a size 4. That’s my body!”

The irony of Kausman’s experience is that her father is physician Rick Kausman, one of Australia’s most outspoken advocates against dieting and body-shaming culture. Rick Kausman rallied behind his daughter, writing on his Facebook page that “taking someone’s photograph and altering without permission, then publishing it,” is a serious issue.

Moreover, wrote the outraged father, the situation calls attention to “the broader and the hugely problematic issue of Photoshopping images and the incredible harm this does to so many people, particularly young girls and boys, but so many others irrespective of their age, with respect to their body image and feelings of self-worth.”

Kausman is not the first public figure to counteract Photoshopping by sharing images on Instagram that aren’t digitally altered. Last spring, Pretty Little Liars actor Troian Bellisario, who has been outspoken about body image issues, posted pictures from a photo shoot of her completely normal body and face. “As long as we acknowledge how it was achieved so we know it’s not real,” Bellisario captioned the photos.

Kausman appears to share those sentiments. “I refuse to stand by and allow ANY company or person to perpetuate the belief that ‘thinner is better,’ ” she wrote. “All women are beautiful, and we come in different shapes and sizes! This industry is crazy!!!! It is NOT OKAY to alter a woman’s body to make it look thinner. EVER!”