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Aerie REAL model Iskra Lawrence took to Instagram last week to share heavily retouched photos of herself from early in her career that had us feeling all the feels. The model posted the pics to make a point about loving your body, and we’re so on board with her message.

From Instagram filters to Photoshop to that creepy Face App that transforms your mug using artificial intelligence, altering our physical appearance in photos has morphed into more than a fun way to pass the time — it’s now a daily practice. But as the line between real and unreal photos grows blurrier, so does our perception of self and the world around us, the consequences of which can devastate self-esteem, particularly in women and girls.

That’s why we love Iskra’s message so much.

Iskra posted a diptych of pics from a lingerie photo shoot she modeled for some seven years ago. But there was just one problem: The photos look nothing like her.

“You might be wondering who that random blonde girl is. Well, it’s me!,” wrote Iskra.

From airbrushed skin to hair extensions to a digitally slimmed waistline, legs, and arms, Iskra said the images capture nothing that makes her her.

And if you’re wondering, THIS is what Iskra usually looks like:

According to Iskra, though, her lack of resemblance to the retouched photos isn’t the worst part about them.”The worst thing about it… I WANTED TO LOOK LIKE THIS!!!,” wrote Iskra. “Yep I thought if I had ‘perfected’ images (like the ones I saw of other models) that I would book more jobs = would make me happy and successful.”

Unable to recognize herself in the photos, Iskra said the altered images instead exposed deep insecurities she had about her looks, and multiplied her body image issues.

But Iskra’s got a new look now: self-love. And she is wearing the hell out of it. In life, and as one of the most recognizable face of Aerie’s #aerieREAL ad campaign, which features non-airbrushed models wearing the clothing line’s lingerie.


And to everybody out there comparing themselves to picture-perfect images they see online, Iskra’s got some body-positive words of wisdom to share with you.

“Perfect does NOT exist so trying to achieve that is unrealistic and editing your pictures will not make you happy. What’s real is YOU, your imperfectly perfect self that’s what makes you magical, unique, and beautiful.”