beauty

If anyone understands how Rumer Willis is feeling about being photoshopped, it's Chelsea Bonner.

Earlier this week, musician, actress and model Rumer Willis took to Instagram to speak out about a case of blatant Photoshopping that had been applied to her face without consent.

“I find it really offensive for anyone to try and change the way you look so drastically. I love the way I look and I won’t support anyone who would feel a need to change the way I look to make me beautiful,” Willis wrote at the time.

If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to have an unattainable standard of beauty held up to them, it’s former model and agency director Chelsea Bonner.

As the daughter of an Australian actor and a model, Bonner has spent the better part of her life being physically sized up and slated by strangers. Despite years of insecurity and self-hate, Bonner eventually decided to make a change, opening one of the world’s first plus size modelling agencies, Bella Management.

Here, Bonner writes to Willis about why continuing the fight is more important than ever.

Dear Rumer,

I want you to know that I truly feel you girl.

It’s hard enough trying to keep up with the stringent and uniform idea of what is considered  beautiful without having to also be compared to famous parents.

For me, the constant comparison to my parents looks were so hurtful that I spent man years trying everything to fit into that unrealistic and scarily narrow ideal.

I abused diet pills and starved myself to no avail. I hid in the dark shadows, abusing alcohol and covering myself with a mask of baggy clothing and lots of makeup.

I spent years  trying to find my people, trying to find my place. But the comparisons continued whenever I popped my head out of my self-imposed seclusion.

Chelsea Bonner. Source: Facebook.

I’m not sure if people can really understand the depth of loss that is felt in a person's soul when it's constantly reinforced that you are not good enough, that you are not what they expected to see.

That it is somehow your fault that you didn’t get the right mix of genetics in the womb and were born with the ‘bad/ugly’ genes.

That you're in some way a betrayer to your "beautiful" parents.

That because of that you are somehow deserving of mocking and glares from strangers.

That every time someone knowingly looks at you as if to say, "poor you," your entire body swells with an irrational humiliation that shouldn't even exist to begin with.

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Chelsea Bonner with model and client, Robyn Lawley. Source: Australian Story / ABC.

After more days than I could possibly count, I finally said stuff you! And I am so, so proud to see that like me, you have decided to do the same.

After all, most of the haters calling us out for our unique and diverse looks are for the most part hardly on pedestals of great beauty themselves, inside or out. They're not your friends and they're definitely not your family.

Through years of searching, I found a sense of worth that is not dependant on what other people think, and to see you doing the same thing in such a public way gives me so much hope for this new generation of women who are standing up and also breaking those outdated moulds.

You have the power to influence thousands of women who will hopefully join the small but growing movement of people like us who believe in the diversity of beauty, who believe that it truly is the supposed flaws we have as humans should be celebrated, not photoshopped!

Upon meeting Lawley, Bonner told her not to change anything. Source: Instagram.

Thank you for drawing attention to what has become this generations most ludicrous ‘art form’ - Photoshop.

While the use of photographic manipulation and artistic license has been around since the beginning of photography itself, for so long artists were limited to their own imaginations and had to rely on their skill and ability to think outside of convention. They collaborated with a team of likeminded artists to produce imagery that was so beautiful you couldn’t help but marvel at them.

Now anyone with a computer program can ‘fix’ their photographic shortcomings with a computer program or pop down the road and have everything rearranged with surgery.

"You have the power to influence thousands of women." Source: Instagram.

By calling attention to this insanity Rumer, you're indirectly saving millions of people - young and old - from feeling like crap. From letting the pressure of trying to live up to these unrealistic computer generated humans get to them.

So thank you, once again. You have given me and many thousands of others hope for more diverse and realistic role models who are unique, diverse and refuse to be bullied into submission!

Love,

Chelsea.

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