For as much as we talk about the unrealistic portrayal of women's bodies in advertising, you'd think we'd have stopped comparing ourselves to models by now. Who could forget the exposé Refinery29 released earlier this year, where an anonymous Victoria's Secret retoucher revealed that model bodies are not just tweaked, but constructed from head to toe in Photoshop, like Frankenstein's monster. But old insecurities die hard, and as heavily edited images continue to overwhelm us, it's hard to be rational about it.
We can't help but feel like those protruding clavicles, perfectly spherical derrières, and flawless skin are a realistic picture of beauty.
However, a just-released set of photos from a Victoria's Secret event is giving us one more reason to feel normal about our bodies. The photos are of VS Angel Jasmine Tookes, who was tapped to don the $3 million Fantasy Bra in this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. PopSugar reports that new photos from her Fantasy Bra fitting are gaining attention for having been released without Photoshop. In the images, the stretch marks on Tookes's thighs are visible, proving once again that stretch marks are a normal, beautiful part of many human bodies and that the images we see in advertisements don't tell the full story.
Keep scrolling to see the unedited images (and to learn more about stretch marks)!
It actually makes sense that Tookes has some stretch marks. According to Curology founder David Lortscher, stretch marks commonly occur after a growth spurt, when the thick layer of tissue below your skin stretches and tears. Considering Tookes's height, it's safe to assume she grew pretty fast as a teenager. "You don't get six feet tall during puberty without having stretch marks," Refinery29's anonymous photoshopper reminds us. Since stretch marks are actually scars, they tend to stick around for a while.
So really, Tookes's stretch marks are a perfectly natural, inevitable part of her body.
You don't get six feet tall during puberty without having stretch marks.
Tookes isn't the only VS Angel rocking stretch marks. Chrissy Teigen is well known for all the social media love she's shown her "stretchies." (Remember her Instagram from last year below?)
With each little step that brands and public figures take toward showing us real bodies, we're able to chip away at the anxiety-inducing standards set for women.
Next up, don't miss photoshopped images of the "ideal" body weight in 18 different countries.