“PLL had put up this poster and it was from our first season and it was completely crazy. Nobody looked like themselves,” Benson, 27, tells Stylecaster.
She says that the problem exists across the media industry. “Even for magazine covers, they’ll photoshop out a mole, make your boobs bigger or your waist four sizes smaller, and you’re like, ‘That’s not even me,’ “Benson says. “You never know how it’s going to turn out because you have no control and you’re not editing the photos, but it sucks when you’re like, ‘Wow. That’s a completely different person.’ ”
Frustrated with the misleading images, Benson now tells photographers not to photoshop her picture, other than small touch-ups. “I always make sure to tell people, with any s— that I do or anyone else does, that unless it’s announced that it’s not photoshopped, it’s photoshopped,” she says. “And don’t get down on yourself for not looking a certain way because it takes a lot of hair and makeup, a ton of good lighting, and after the shoot, it’s all this editing.”
Benson has called out Pretty Little Liars for photoshopping their image before, during the show’s fourth season in 2013.
“Saw this floating around….hope it’s not the poster,” she wrote on Instagram. “Our faces in this were from 4 years ago … and we all look ridiculous. Way too much photoshop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It’s not attractive.”
Costar Troian Bellisario backed up Benson, adding, “Aren’t we attractive enough women as we are? Why can’t we just look like us. Once.”
Benson wants to make sure that the girls looking up to her don’t try to model themselves on an unrealistic body type. She’s very aware of body image, as someone who, as a size 2, was previously told she was “too fat” for a role.
Benson thinks that Hollywood is starting to change, but she’s still bothered by the body shaming comments on social media. “I hate that people still make those comments,” she says. “I don’t think it should matter, the pressure of being a size zero, because everyone is talented. Everyone deserves a chance and the weight thing is too much pressure to put on anyone.”
With all the negative comments, Benson avoids social media these days.
“I feel like when you’re always on social media, you’re living in this fake life,” she says. “I’d rather just not look and enjoy my time.”