Keira Knightley is an actress that largely divides opinion. Personally, I have so much love for her as an actress, woman and role-model. Not only do I respect her for not paying herself an obscene salary (and supporting organisations such as UNESCO, Women’s Aid and Amnesty International), but also because she is a strong and successful woman in her own right.
In September, Keira posed topless for Interview magazine. Instead of the unrealistic body image forced upon women every day of their lives, her image was un-retouched. Where Keira has formerly been criticized for being ‘too skinny’ and a poor role model for women, I’d have to completely disagree. As a girl with a boyish frame (who constantly wishes to be more curvy and womanly) I found the image of Keira so positive and reassuring. She looks powerful, confident and completely secure in her own body.
Keira argues: “You need tremendous skill to be able get a woman’s shape and make it look like it does in life, which is always beautiful. But our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape.”
It is a shame that there is such a narrow representation of the female form in the media. It presents a completely warped and idealistic view of what is ‘normal’. There should be greater responsibility in the message that they disseminate. They should not be permitted to heavily retouch a photograph without explicitly saying so (and even then, why do it?)
As Keira states, the natural female form is “always beautiful” no matter what your size is. I can only hope that more celebrities realise their responsibility as role models and put their foot down when it comes to photo retouching. Hopefully one day we will live in a society where everyone can feel comfortable in their own skin.