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Women’s bodies, unfiltered


kiera knightley, photography, body shapes It really doesn’t matter what shape you are.

Keira Knightley recently took a stand against the constant photoshopping of women’s bodies in a completely un-airbrushed, unenhanced topless photo-shoot for Interview Magazine.

Talking to Time magazine about her reasons for doing the shoot, she said: “I’ve had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it’s paparazzi photographers or for film posters.

“That [shoot] was one of the ones where I said: ‘OK, I’m fine doing the topless shot so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch’.

“Because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.”

With women in the public eye constantly under scrutiny, and in the wake of the leaking of images of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, it is heartening to see a woman taking back control of her body and being allowed the opportunity to present it as it really is, rather than the way the mass media wants us to believe we all should look.

This portrait is particularly striking not because of the nudity but because male gaze is non-existent – Knightley is staring down the lens, she appears confident and she is the active subject of the image, not just another sexualised object.

The shoot is important because it perfectly highlights how often we are told by the media that we should strive to unobtainable ideals when it comes to the shape and size of our bodies when in reality, celebrities are just as varied and imperfect as our own.

It reminds us that there is no real norm when it comes to breast size.

This is something that Keira argued in her Time interview, saying: “I think women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame.

“Our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape.”

She is also sending an invaluable lesson to young women and girls that they deserve the right to complete control of their bodies, not only in having a healthy, positive self-image but also through who they decide to share images of themselves with.

‘Sexting’ has become a growing concern among young people in recent years –maybe the way to prevent them from sending explicit images they may later regret is to give young women a reason to believe their body is something to value and respect, something in which only they can have the final say.

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