Riverdale star Lili Reinhart is proving that she's every bit as empowered as her character Betty Cooper, and that she's not afraid to call out body image malarkey when she sees it. In a series of Instagram Stories posts (which are compiled here), Reinhart posted before-and-after photoshopped images of herself and Riverdale costar Camila Mendes. Reinhart and Mendes both posed for double covers of Cosmopolitan's February issue.
But in the Philippines edition of the magazine, it seems, those pictures were digitally altered to create the appearance of slimmer waists on both women. In a message to Cosmo Philippines on her Instagram Stories, Reinhart wrote, "It's sad that you felt our bodies needed to be slimmed down. But Camila and I are fucking beautiful. As is. And you can't 'fix' us." Amen.
Acknowledging the pressure on women to fit a certain body standard, she continued, "Camila and I have worked incredibly hard to feel confident and comfortable in the bodies that we have. It's an everyday battle, sometimes. And to see our bodies become so distorted in an editing process is a perfect example of the obstacles we have yet to overcome." Promising to continue to fight to empower women, Reinhart, who has spoken openly about her struggles with anxiety, posted, "So we cannot stop fighting. Our battle has only just begun. We are fucking powerful, beautiful and strong...we aren't going to hide behind photoshop to conform to beauty standards."
(Now, before the Photoshop apologists slither out of the woodwork, can we all just agree that, looking at the pictures, it's not a case of fixing a flyaway or creating a special image? It's clearly about slimming these young women's waists. Not okay.)
On her own Instagram Stories, Mendes, who has spoken out in the past about her struggles with an eating disorder, posted a related message, writing, "happy international women's day! @lilireinhart and I feel disrespected & disturbed by the sight of our photoshopped bodies in @cosmopolitan_philippines. we want readers to know that those bodies are not ours; they have been distorted from their natural beauty. we prefer to see our bodies the way they actually are. i'm not interested in having a slimmer waist, i'm more than satisfied with the one that i already have. much love & self-respect, camila and lili."
The posts have been deleted from Cosmopolitan Philippines' Instagram account, per Refinery29.