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It’s easy to flip through photos of your younger self and long for that fresh, dewy skin, thick head of hair and toned abs. If only your 21-year-old self knew how good they had it…

But model Iskra Lawrence (the same woman who revealed how models sit in photos in order to hide fat/skin rolls) actually feels quite the opposite. When she scans snaps from modeling gigs past, the British talent is horrified with how she used to look.

At first glance, Lawrence looks like the perfect porcelain life-sized doll in the photos. Too perfect. And for Lawrence, therein lies the problem. Really, she admits, that’s not how she looked IRL at all.

You might be wondering who that random blonde girl is👆 Well it’s me! About 6/7years ago. I might look different because I was a few dress sizes smaller but the main difference is… I’m HEAVILY retouched. That smooth a$$ skin? Not mine – a computer programme did that. The full thick hair – extensions. Push up bra Waist + legs + arms slimmed with a photoshop tool. No eye bags, well actually no nothing that makes me resemble the real me. And the WORST thing about it… I WANTED TO LOOK LIKE THIS!!! 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. When in reality seeing retouched images of myself gave me even more insecurities and body image issues because I couldn’t even look like or relate to the image of myself! So please NEVER EVER compare yourself to images you see, many aren’t real. 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. ▶️My self-care Sunday this week is all about retouching (link to watch in my bio)👆 So I go into way more detail about these images and my experiences. #everyBODYisbeautiful

A post shared by i s k r a (@iskra) on

“You might be wondering who that random blonde girl is,” she wrote on Instagram. “Well, it’s me!” The caption was uploaded alongside a photo of Lawrence looking impossibly toned and tanned, dressed in nothing more than white lingerie. The model says it was taken six or seven years ago.

Here’s an adorable video of Lawrence present day, looking much happier, confident and sure of herself than the woman in the photos above.

The 26-year-old goes on to reveal that everything in that old photo, from her “smooth a$ skin” to her waist, legs and arms were the work of an editing pro, “slimmed with a Photoshop tool.” Lawrence also points out that she was wearing a push-up bra to give her ample cleavage and that her thick blonde locks were in fact extensions woven into her real hair to add volume and sex appeal.

The worst thing about this, Lawrence writes, is that she remembers wanting to look like this computer-altered version of herself. And thanks to the power of media, much of the world can relate. Our wildly unrealistic ideas of what beauty actually looks like has become distorted by heavy-handed Photoshop work.

“Please never ever compare yourself to images you see, many aren’t real,” Lawrence wrote on Instagram. “Perfect does not exist so trying to achieve that is unrealistic and editing your pictures will not make you happy.”

And it’s true. Much of the Western world is obsessed with transforming every part of their body into a flawless work of art when really, everyone is born a unique sculpture themselves.

“What’s real is you, your imperfectly perfect self. That’s what makes you magical, unique and beautiful,” she writes.

Lawrence also went so as far as to upload a video where she speaks to problem with Photoshop and how damaging the effects of retouching were. This is very much a message worth receiving.