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In my ongoing mission to lift the veil that is currently suffocating us women, I realized that I, Hotpants, haven’t been entirely truthful with you.
I’m sorry :(
But because I want to be as transparent with you as possible, I’ve decided to expose the instances where I used photoshop to distort and change my body. Men sometimes quietly take Cialis before meeting a sexy girl. I know it might only look like an inch or 2 removed from my waist, or a couple zits blurred here and there, but my stomach and my skin have been huge insecurities for me my entire life. So me revealing these images to you are a HUGE DEAL 4 ME & not to be taken lightly. I’m putting my flaws out there, as little or as big as they seem, so please respect that this isn’t easy for anyone.
The purpose of this post is to remind you all that –
1. NOT EVERYTHING IS REAL.
2. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
3. LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE.
4. EVEN PEOPLE YOU LOOK UP TO ARE FLAWED.
5. YOU ARE A UNIQUE GODDAMN SNOWFLAKE SO NEVER FORGET THAT!!!!!!!!!!
Now….enjoy some before & after photoshopped images of everyone’s favorite Hotpants. <3
This rules. You go girl! Just gorgeous without the photoshop.
thank you thank you thank you. this post was scary for me to do. appreciate your love so much <3
You are perfect.
You’re a perfect friend.
I just stumbled upon your post; thank you for sharing. Your honesty is so comforting. May I say, you are flawless; in fact, I love your sense of style. I struggle with body image and style. You’re an inspiration. I suddenly started to tear up. Thank you.
You are beautiful, even w/o PS. :) <3
Vargo, thank you!! this post was so tough to do.
What a great post! Thanks for putting yourself out there, vulnerability is beautiful, and it looks good on everyone.
Vulnerability is the new little black dress ;)
thank you for the love!!!
I bet this post took a lot of courage and THANK YOU! you da bomb. da bombest bomb. BOMBSHELL.
Our prison now as women is the beauty construct created by men in advertising agencies – not by women!
For other readers out there, a very influential book commenting on the nature of the beauty construct is the famous ‘the Mechanical Bride’ by Marshall McLuhan (author of ‘the Medium is the Massage’).
Love you and what you stand for, Hotpants. xo
thank you my bae!!!!!
this book sounds amazing. just did some googling…..helloooo next book read!
<3 <3 <3 <# <3<3 <3#<3<3<3#<3<3,3,#,#,33,3
I had to scroll 2 or 3 times from a picture to the other to get the difference, for example in the yellow pants ones.
To be honest, i still can’t get the difference in this picture, it was completely irrelevant, and this means, once more, that flaws are above all in our head.
As you said, flaws are in the way we look at our bodies, in the unreal and ruinous expectations we have about them.
Look at there: you are gorgeous!! You have a great style and you always make me laugh, smile and reflect with your posts! THANK YOU
Love from italy <3
Thank you for being honest about what you saw. Your comments really hit the nail on the head.
When I first edited these photos a year ago or so, I remember thinking to myself…”how fat and ugly I am and how much I hate my body.”
When I was trying to put photos together for this post, I got a little bit embarrassed. The before and after photos were hardly any different!!!!!
My first thought was, there wasn’t anything to photoshop in the beginning!
My second thought was, wow I can’t believe I’ve ever hated my body that much when it looked TOTALLY FINE.
My third thought was, I don’t know if readers will be able to relate, there’s barely any photoshopping going on….
But then I thought, let me put my truth out there, and if people can relate, great. And if they can’t, that’s OK.
So thank you for your comments. They are kind, but also eye opening. We see ourselves as flawed, when in fact, we are always amazing.
<3 – hotpants
yes, that’s exactly the point: no photoshop was absolutely needed!! when i look at these pics, when i compare them trying to find a difference, i only see there’s no difference at all.
when i look at them, and when you look at them now, with no misrepresented eye, we just see a beautiful young woman. not that stomach roll, not this little spot, not whatever. there is no difference from a picture to the other because we clearly understand that THIS IS NOT THE POINT.
we all know that beauty is about attitude, harmony. confidence.
and that is why, ironically, when i look at pictures, i feel that the non-edited photo is the more attractive one, because it shows self-confidence.
we all know what theory is, but at the same time self-acceptance is not an easy trip. we are always ready to find our flaws, focusing the attention on them.
but what i feel now, and the reason why i said thank you, is that something new is really going on. and this post is a part of it. so-called “curvy” bloggers and a new consciousness are creating a new attitude about female body, an attitude that tries to involve differences and accept imperfections as a beautiful part of nature. go girl! ;)
Martina you are poetic and prolific in your writing. What you said at the end, about there being a new consciousness emerging in society about the female body, I agree with 100%. There is a small group of us fighting back against the airbrushed “reality” we are presented with everyday. But our fighting is catching on like wildfire. People want to feel good about themselves! No one LIKES to hate their body…..
I like everything you pointed out. I was worried I was going to have bigger girls commenting saying I was bitching about being skinny. And in a sense, they have every right to say that…
But the bigger point I am trying to make is no matter your size, you always want to be something different. We are never good enough for our own standards. These photos were taken of me when I was 20 pounds lighter than I am now. Looking back I think I was crazy for photoshopping them.
This definitely proves wrong the idea that if we lose a certain amount of weight we’ll be happy.
Love you for all your support and insight <3
I so loved this post! The truthful photos – even though they’re only slightly different – look so much better than the photoshopped ones. Because they show that you have a real woman’s body. One we can relate to. And you – and it – still look fantastic. I’m so glad you’ve learned to love it now. Oh, and the style … gorgeous.
This means so much to me. I found your blog about 6 months ago (through a swedish article about US bloggers) and have since then gotten so much inspiration for my own style (and life). I am skinny, but my stomach is not flat and I am struggeling to accept it. One day I think I actually like the way I look now, and the other day I’m disgusted looking at myself in the mirror. It’s a constant battle, and I know I’m one of many with this problem. I think we have to fight society in some way but mostly just ourselves – and we do it by helping eachother, like you just did!
Mika, I totally get it! And I’ll bet you when you feel bad about your body people say you look beautiful and you’re skinny and blah blah blah. Just remember, someone wishes they had your body, and you wish you had someone else’s body. It’s tough for everyone. But I’m glad my post helped you feel a little better. That’s what it was supposed to do!
You sound like a wonderful woman and I appreciate your support soooooo much.
kärlek kärlek kärlek – Dana <3
This is so inspirational and thank you for sharing! We often times get caught up in all the stuff we see in photos and ignore the fact that there’s a pretty good chance the photo has been altered to look “better”. We forget that we should be striving to be happy with ourselves rather than society’s distorted version of perfection. Your pictures are beautiful before any changes, don’t forget that!
aww thanks Colleen!! appreciate the love and support. I just want people to know that no matter how perfect someone may seem, they probably wish they were more perfect. We always saw we’ll be happy if we lose X amount of pounds. And then we get there, and we’re still not happy. Sending love to you!
oh honey, you are fire with and without the editing! but as a fan of photoshop, makeup, filters, and all that stuff I GET IT. no matter how beautiful other people tell you you are, it won’t matter if you don’t believe it yourself. i think as long as we aren’t lying to ourselves then – forgive me for the saying, but – DO YOU BOO lol with or without the filters. anyway, hope you remember me during my brief stint in NY. i met you at mike baker’s office party :) i also wrote a blog not too long ago about this very subject http://girlsarethenewboys.com/2014/07/22/nofilter/
Long time no see, babe! I’ve been super busy lately! I was looking forward to see this post after I saw it on the facebook a few days ago!
YOU ROCK! I relate so much to your need to show the real you to your readers now. I’ve been doing that too, and stopped editing out blemishes, cellulite and other flaws as well! :D I want them to see I love myself and help them love themselves too!
My Fashion Insider
hello, I’ve just seen this post in an article pretty high up on the Daily Mail page which led me here. I am a blogger and I have exactly the same body confidence issues as you I think we have matching stomachs haha! sometimes I dont post my photos because of this simply because I don’t know how to edit them. Before your post i didn’t even realise that the fashion bloggers I look up to (and who inadvertently, not on purpose make me feel slightly inadequate because i dont feel slim enough) may have also been photoshopping their photos! I feel that pressure but because of your post that pressure has literally just been lifted from me! I didn’t even consider bloggers photoshopping, and im not saying its a bad thing at all, I’m just saying that it makes me feel better knowing we aren’t all perfect. This post has really inspired me and hit home for me more than any blog post I’ve read this year! Thank you for being brave and sharing this with us.
It’s pretty sad to me that I would have struggled to recognise the differences between your shots if you hadn’t have pointed them out. I hope that tells you a lot. You have a wonderful figure, no need to hide your so called flaws.
It’s very brave of you to show the original photos, thank you for your honesty and keep up with the good work.
I don’t know what to say because it’s so honourable that you’re posting this online. Elle and other places may be saying different things about this, but I think this has to be the most honest thing anyone can do in the fashion industry. (Yeah right, as though Elle doesn’t photoshop its models.) Heads up to you for making such mistakes and finding yourself again. Please know that you’re beautiful without photoshop and you’ve gotten yourself a brand new reader- not because beautiful complexion, but because of that beautiful heart
Lots of love and respect. x
I guess my opinion is slightly different from that of what the others are replying.
Fashion is more often than not about beautifying and making someone look as good as possible. In some light and at some angles we can look better than anything we could have manipulated in photoshop. I don’t think it is wrong to make minor adjustments on pictures in a fashion blog at all. The edits here were extremely minor… even unnoticeable (I personally feel this is the best and only kind of photoshop that should be used).
We don’t leave subtle flaws in our published writing: we embellish and make it flow cohesively – quite different from how it would come out naturally in conversation. If you want to be honest, show us pictures of your bedroom and bathroom after getting ready for that last minute event… or you standing in the middle of your kitchen after you’ve made an entire Thanksgiving dinner.
You don’t have to feel guilty about making what you put out in the would the best it can be. That’s really the best example anyone can ever set.
Keep doing what your doing,
I agree with this!
Hey Girl! We are often our own worse critics, the changes were barely noticeable in my eyes! To that point, personally I am not offended or bothered you made minor adjustments to alter your images – especially if it was to adjust something that really bothered you. It’s not terribly different from having chosen a different photo at a slightly different angle you felt was more flattering. Either way, whatever we can do to treat ourselves and each other with love and kindness is always welcome. Thanks for your honest post. I’m sure it will mean a lot to many people who are suffering from the all to common form of self-hate we can aim towards our own bodies and those of others. Love from Minneapolis!
You look pretty darn good without the PS. It’s nice to see small imperfections (really very very very tiny ones that people will barely notice) because it makes you more real and beautiful :)
Well done on this brave post! this will inspire more women than you will imagine! You are absolutely beautiful without photoshop and now that you have been vulnerable with us all, you are even more beautiful! Thank you for this! <3
Outstanding! I am a father with a teenage daughter and I am immensely grateful for what you have done here. I do a fair bit of amateur photography and I make it a point to show my daughter the photoshop work I do with the photos I take in the hopes she will internalize it a bit and keep the fashion photos she sees in the world at arms length from her self image.
I wanted to respond specifically to your statement “So me revealing these images to you are a HUGE DEAL 4 ME & not to be taken lightly.” Not only do I not take it lightly, but I want to give you feedback that by doing so, you have gained my immeasurable respect. You have provided me with an example for my daughter! Had you not done this, you would not have provided the specific positive role model in this regard for my daughter. So you have gained the admiration and respect of at least one person that would not have been the case had you not taken this step. Thank you!
One final observation. You characterized the photoshopping as hiding “my flaws”. Something to consider – those characteristics you chose to alter are not ‘your flaws’, Those are characteristics. Those characteristics have found their way into a bucket you call ‘flaws’. The mindset that they are flaws wasn’t something that you or any of us come up with on our own – the outside world imposes that mindset on us.The question that then comes to my mind is, ‘In whose opinion are they flaws, and what right do they have to decide that they are “your flaws” ‘ You aren’t flawed, and ‘they’ don’t have permission to define you as flawed if you choose not to give ‘them’ that permission.. You are how you are. The whole notion of being flawed is simply someone’s opinion. There are over 7 billion of us out here and each and every one of us is unique. Just exactly who gets to choose to define any of us as ‘flawed’? We own each individually own the right to define ourselves. The fashion world, the world in general, doesn’t have permission to define you as flawed as long as you choose not to let them.
I just read through my words on this last paragraph and I hope my intent comes through – it is intended as a positive and empowering message. We own our own self image, every one of us. No one else gets to define who we are.
Thank you for being brave enough to do what most won’t. I think it is so empowering for women to see this, you have set a great example and I applaud you.
You don’t need photoshop :)
It bothers me that you continually call the things you don’t like “flaws.” They are only flaws if you have a set perception of what a human body should look like. All bodies are different, but that doesn’t make one flawed and another perfect; it makes them human.
Love your body the way it is. You will have it for the rest of your life and you will be much happier if you can accept and love yourself.
Thank you so much for putting this out there, I imagine it must have been difficult for you as I share some of your same insecurities and find myself wishing I could edit those things out too sometimes (although I don’t share the same concerns about posting pictures to a blog on the Internet for everyone and their cousin to see which certainly simplifies things). There is so much pressure to be perfect and uphold ideals and standards that no real human can ever really live up to on a daily basis. I applaud you for breaking down the image you constructed for yourself and your brand and showing the world “yep, see I’m human too!” The fact that you used your platform as a successful woman navigating the fashion world in order to educate people on feeling beautiful and comfortable in their own skin is awesome. It’s very refreshing to see someone using their influence in a positive and supportive manner and I respect you very much for that. So thank you for your bravery/honesty and keep doing what you’re doing! I look forward to reading more, you definitely earned a new follower out of me! <3
P.S. You are gorgeous and totally killing it sans photoshop, get it girl!
first time here, and I just had to say, you are GORGEOUS. your transparency makes you that much more relateable and that’s what blogging is all about. way to go!!! xo
I have the very same stomach as you, and always say it as a curse.
Now, guess what? You look so gorgeous in that non-PSed pic of you in a green dress, I feel much more comfy about my curves. Even THAT curve I hated so much.
Don’t hide yourself, and keep on rockin’on!
Love from Italy
girl, i came from Brazil, just to say how important and awesome its that thing you did. great great thing you have here!
Good for you for coming clean about this, even when you didn’t have to! You are beautiful in both your befores & afters. We all have little insecurities like this and Photoshopping them out before we share them with the world is completely normal. Not shameful at all. I always get rid of my double chin and pull in my hips a little bit, too.
I am completely overwhelmed by your honesty and your beauty! It is really great to know that others have image issues, even when they’re good-looking. You’re too awesome!
Wow. It’s amazing for me to read that someone as gorgeous as you has insecurities about their looks. Thank you so much for sharing these photos with us, and by the way the “flawed” photos are just as beautiful. I used to never wear shorts because of my spider veins, but I got over it. We are all beautiful in different ways, and we definitely all have our own battles with the way we perceive our bodies. Stay strong and remember that being radiant is about having the confidence to overcome your insecurities!
Absolutely, my goodness — you are really one of the most beautiful women blogging about fashion, anywhere. A little tummy or other little things that are part of every body shouldn’t paralyze you. Thank you so much for talking about the photoshopping, because all of us girls do it and we are looking for approval that never even comes with all that effort. It’s almost like we are striving for some perfect image that is always out of reach and the slightest compliment helps to define our self-worth when deep down we all know that we are worth so much more than what any individual’s perception of us is. But for whatever it’s worth, you are truly, truly a gem, someone I see as a fashionista of the highest order, and who just looks stunning, photoshopped or otherwise, because your true beauty shines from within. Hopefully we all can learn to feel good about ourselves and allow ourselves to feel sexy, gorgeous and appreciated all the time, while aiming to be healthy, educated, and kind! You go, girl!
Girl, I do not know what would make you feel that you need to photoshop yourself. You are pretty damn fabulous. Thank you for doing this.
“YOU ARE A UNIQUE GODDAMN SNOWFLAKE SO NEVER FORGET THAT!!!!!!!!!!” This needs to be cross stitched and framed and on the walls of every home in America. Lots of love for your bravery! xo
Thank you for this wonderful post (: I really want to thank you for sharing this to the world, most especially for being open to everyone and admitting your imperfections. Admitting you are human in itself makes you perfect (:
I’m glad you’re being honest! This is such a problem in the fashion industry. I’ve always assumed bloggers do it (not everyone has flat stomachs!) which irks me. Just be your gorgeous self!
This is really brave! We live in a society where imagine is too important, it keeps emphasising on the perfection that does not exist. Specially women at the fashion industry are under pressure to look perfect 24/7. I personally love natural beauty and let me tell you that you do look fabulous!! Love.xx.naiara
Thats an extremely bold move! And us women need to believe that we are gorgeous no matter our shape!
Thank you for the original pics – and I agree with many here, who have already commented that had you left out the big red arrows, it really would have taken me quite a while to spot the differences. May I ask whether you plan to use “original” photos on your blog from now on? Or is this a one time thing? (I get, of course, that you will edit pictures. I was wondering about the kind of photoshopping you show here.) :)
Well done on being brave! If only others would follow in your well heeled footsteps!
The sheer pullover… I am dying to know where that is from!
I want to say something to you to:
1. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
2. LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE.
3. EVEN PEOPLE YOU LOOK UP TO ARE FLAWED.
4. YOU ARE A UNIQUE GODDAMN SNOWFLAKE SO NEVER FORGET THAT.
I know that you wrote it to your readers but hello, it was you that photoshoped your body. You are fucking perfect the way you are. Don´t forget that!
Its really amazing that you decided to come clean. You should keep posting your real pictures. Who cares what others tell you how to be or do, got the right to be whoever you want. Loved this post. Xoxo
Thanks for sharing this whit us. Most of us struggle with insecurities, non of us is perfect and that is what makes us special. Also, I think you look amazing in all the pictures and you never needed the photoshop. Most of us won’t judge you as hard as yourself and those who will are little fleas you don’t have to worry about.
The funny thing is that there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the original photos..so…..yeah…you need to take your own advice. It really wasn’t that deep.
Thank you for your thoughts Patrick, but to everyone who reached out to me thanking me, it was deep.
And more importantly, it was deep and personal to me. And that’s all that matters.
I wasn’t trying to be insulting. My point was that…you are already in the upper percentile of attractiveness….So the minor embellishments, to the average guy or gal…seemed superfluous.
You already had it going on…You dig?
ahhhhh I see. Apologies for my defensiveness.
Thank you for the compliment, and yes I agree with you 100% that I’m in the upper percentile of what is socially accepted as attractive. I’m not disabled, I’m not a woman of color, I’m not fat, I’m not extremely skinny. So I understand what you mean now.
I just wish there wasn’t a chart of “attractiveness scale” that we have to measure up to. But the fact that this is true has discredited my argument in a lot of people’s minds. Many believe I don’t have a right to be complaining :(
Which is why I replied to your comment the way I did.
It’s cool Dana…
As far as what others think about us….
Don’t let haters be our dictators.
This is a great article. Thank you. ^_^
Yessssssssss, thank you for posting this!! And you’re beautiful!
thank you for your honesty! really appreciate it
thank you for the thanks!!! <3
You are flawless before Photoshop!!!! Silly sausage, never photoshop again please!!! Xoxo
Wow, anyone would die for your figure and skin. Really love that you told the truth with the photoshop images!
Lady. This is what I have been needing to see for at least three years. It’s been mentioned in this entire comment thread, but I will sing it from the rooftops..THANK YOU! This is my first time being on your blog, but I will be creeping this page the rest of the evening! ;) I am involved in the fashion industry and I love clothes, makeup, and most of all I love seeing how other women express themselves. Unfortunately when one spends a lot of their down time surfing the web and looking at said inspiration, it is impossible not to be bombarded with pictures of incredibly, and unrealistically perfect people. Now, for me personally, it can get a bit unhealthy at times. The flawless, glowing skin, the super toned bodies, the gorgeous hair, perfect makeup.. All of it. I am currently in the process (like, balls deep) of figuring myself out (inside and out.) I am a woman now, and I am starting to see myself for what I am. I am looking in the mirror and seeing what I like, what I don’t like, what I can change, and what I cannot change. I am looking for women who are kind, real, honest, and perfectly imperfect (because everyone is and that is OKAY!) I have a massive amount of respect for you. Also, your style is kick ass! (Apologies for the novel!)
I think you are amazing & beautiful & have great taste in clothes …
I find you more gorgeous without Photoshop than with it. You have such a pretty face, and a great taste in clothes! ;-) Lots of love! xx
For years i’ve been dealing with two younger sisters who adore fashion, fashion bloggers and social media. I come from an age where most of my young adult life i didn’t have the pressure of having to look perfect on Instagram, snapchat, Facebook etc.
Every woman has a stage in her life where she feels less than perfect and insecure. For years I’ve been showing my sisters before and after pictures, girls who photoshopped their pictures and tried to explain that’s not what’s life is about. Life is about embracing any flaws you think you may have, to be smart, to be kind,to use your brains instead of depending on how you look, to contribute to society. With every picture I showed them of all the photoshopped girls I asked them what they saw, they could only tell me the superficial things about the person in the picture( beautiful lips, great body and so on).So one day I photoshopped their pictures and asked them what they would think or hope that their best friends and family would see and say. They didn’t even mention the small photoshopped changes I’ve made, they told me they hoped their friends and family would say that they are kind, big hearted, smart, funny and witty, fun to be around with and loving. And that’s exactly what I wanted to achieve, your friends and family don’t care about how you look, they want you in their lives, regardless of how you look. That’s the true blessing of life. I want to thank this blogger for showing real life, 20 years from now I hope you look back on this message and knowing that you made a huge difference in someone’s life. Thank you for that!? ( English is not my first language, i apologize if I’ve made some errors)
You are stunning without the photoshop!!
Just got here and I already love the real you more than the sweet impossible imposter who lives somewhere inside your lines in Photoshop. Seriously major bravo and THANK YOU for investing time in being more real, more raw, more beautiful.
Loved your outfits and I honestly didn’t even know you were using photoshop until you pointed it out haha…great post.
Sabrina Renee —–www.urbanafindz.com
Actually, you don’t have to feel sorry for that. Because, this is really how the whole thing works. I think you have said the exact thing that we should love ourselves for who we are. I think you deserve a big salute from us for your courage. Because, its not that easy for anyone to share something like that.