Blake Lively wants her daughters to challenge today’s unrealistic beauty standards

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Kayleigh Dray
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It’s easy to look at women in the spotlight and focus on their physical appearance; when they step out onto the red carpet, their hair and make-up is pristine, their gowns are glamorous, and their jewellery expensive. Their Instagram accounts are filled with idyllic snapshots of them going about their day-to-day life – and the popular #IWokeUpLikeThis hashtag has fed into this myth of everyday ‘perfection’.

Blake Lively, however, is here to remind us all that there is no such thing as perfect.

Addressing the unfair beauty standards that society forces onto women everywhere, she told Refinery 29: “What you’re seeing on red carpets and in magazines takes a lot of effort and a lot of people.

“People don’t understand that it’s all very constructed, [and] what little girls are seeing isn’t what [celebrities] look like when they wake up in the morning – even though it’s no less beautiful.”

Lively admits that her own perception on the matter shifted when she became a mother; the actor has two daughters with her husband, Ryan Reynolds, and she doesn’t want two-year-old James or four-month-old Ines to grow up believing that they have to look a certain way.

“There's this awareness of what they’re going to be exposed to and what they grow up seeing,” she said.

“For me, it's important for my daughters to know that it's not real life. They’re seeing me dressed up in all this hair and makeup, but they also see me without that.

“I want them to see both sides, because there is never just one side.”

It’s not the first time that Lively has addressed the issue; last August, she hit out at those who obsess over how quickly a woman can shed her baby weight, describing the fascination as “so celebrated” and “so unfair”.

Speaking to Australian news outlet Sunrise, Lively said, “I think a woman’s body after having a baby is pretty amazing. You don’t have to have be Victoria’s Secret-ready right away.

"You’ve just done this incredible miracle that life has to offer.”

And, earlier this year, Lively took to Instagram to share the L’Oreal ‘Your Skin, Your Story’ campaign, which aims to celebrate people’s differences through the power of make-up.

Alongside the image, she wrote: “’Because I’m worth it’ is an iconic belief that resonates with so many, for good reason. Now more than ever that simple phrase is a powerful reminder to us all, as woman are coming together, rising up, and standing for their value.

“We are worth it. We are different shapes and sizes. We are different colours. We are beautiful inside and out. We are kind. We are brave. We are vulnerable. We are flawed. We are perfect. We are worth it. And we each have a story to tell.”

She added: “This is why I was so moved by the ‘Your Skin, Your Story’ campaign. It's a beautiful illustration that we are in this together. And we are listening to one another and celebrating each other for both our similarities, and our differences.

“Now THAT'S beautiful.”

Images: Instagram / Rex Pictures


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.