Why Iggy Azalea's Photoshopped Picture is a Good Thing

Yesterday, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea posted a photo of herself sitting on the edge of a pool.

She's in a bikini, facing away from the camera, legs dangling in the water. So far, so normal.

It should be a body positive shot. Azalea is curvy, beautiful. It should be a celebration of a woman's body that isn't Hollywood-thin.

But it's not.

Look at the photo.

A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

The first thing you notice is the size of her bottom. The second: the size of her waist in proportion to it. The third thing—and it might take you a moment—is the wonky shape of her arm.

None of it is normal. None of it is natural. None of it is celebrating Azalea's actual body.

It's important to say, that's okay. That's Azalea's prerogative. I've praised her before for being honest about her plastic surgeries and if she wants to come out and admit a botched photoshop job I'll praise her again.

A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

But the good thing about Azalea's photo isn't the shot itself, or even anything to do with Azalea. It's the reaction it sparked from some of her nine million followers. They don't want to be shown a photo of someone who doesn't look like them—not because that person is beautiful or famous, but because that photo is so clearly fake.

"I love me some Iggy but this pic is clearly modified. Ladies (Iggy included), LOVE YOUR BODIES HOW THEY ARE," one writes. "No need to photoshop a picture to make yourself beautiful."


A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

"I'm a huge promoter of positive body image and I don't want women feeling like they have to modify how they look to be attractive or receive compliments," another says.

And it continues. Three-and-a-half thousand comments, 172,000 likes. Women promoting their own bodies, speculating on what's real in the photo and what's not. They're not calling out not Azalea; they're calling out the fact that she uploaded a doctored pic.

She's beautiful. More importantly, she's incredibly successful, with a second album coming out this year. She's also been through some difficult personal struggles in the last few months, notably a very public cheating scandal with her fiancé, basketball player Nick Young.

Maybe the combination of a high pressure industry and an emotionally draining year made her feel she wasn't good enough without enhancement. Maybe she was just experimenting with photoshop.

A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

A photo posted by Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) on

Either way, this photo has become a tipping point for women to talk about what they do and don't want. We want role models who look like us. We don't want to hold ourselves up to unattainable standards anymore. We're embracing our own looks, and ideally, we want the people we admire and follow to do the same.