Just last week, Emma Roberts revealed a photo of herself from a top secret photo shoot, fueling speculation about what Emma’s latest project might entail. Now, only a short time later, Ms. Roberts has revealed that the new gig was a modeling stint for the AerieREAL Campaign, which showcases non-photoshopped models wearing the company’s line of lingerie.
While modeling lingerie can be revealing, Roberts was less concerned with so much exposure than she was with the idea of being seen without any retouching.
“I definitely have a complex about being pale because I’ve been made fun of my whole life, so I was nervous about that,” Ms. Roberts said in an interview with People.
Emma confesses that, as a teenager, she received her own fair amount of body-shaming from her peers.
“When I was a kid, everyone would be like, ‘Your legs are so pale! I can’t believe you’re wearing a dress!’ And I would get so embarrassed,” Roberts says, explaining her own personal insecurities. “I would get spray tans, and I look back at those photos now, and I just think: Oh my goodness, you’re orange. I would tell my younger self to stop spray-tanning so much. Just own it.”
As soon as Emma heard about Aerie’s campaign and the fresh approach of using models in un-retouched photographs, she knew she wanted to participate at the earliest opportunity.
“I just loved the messaging behind it. I thought the whole idea was so inspiring,” says Ms. Roberts. “Yes, I’m an actress, but I’m also a real girl. Seeing [Photoshopped] ads, you get kind of bummed. You’re like, ‘Ugh, do these people really look like that?'”
Ms. Roberts expresses hopes that seeing images that have not been enhanced will say something to teenagers about beauty and self-worth. Emma says society’s views need to change and that campaigns similar to Aerie’s can hopefully put an end to selling illusion as reality.
“I feel like whenever girls see the word ‘real,’ they automatically think ‘flaw,'” says Roberts. “I hope that with this campaign they start seeing ‘real’ as beautiful and just who you are, inside and out.”
Ms. Roberts also said that appearing in the photoshoot has helped her to get back into a good routine of physical fitness and maintaining a healthy diet.
“They gave me the date for the shoot, and it made me definitely work out more and be healthier and want to take care of myself more up until the shoot,” she adds. “And I think that change is gonna stick — it’s been good for me.”
As nervous as Emma was when the day of the shoot arrived, Ms. Roberts admits that there were enough people there to help her keep the mood light and focused her attention away from being too self-critical.
“I had my stylist, hair and makeup people there, and they all just started kind of dancing around and putting on my favorite songs and making me laugh and making me feel comfortable,” Ms. Roberts said.
[Featured image: Emma Roberts courtesy of Jemal Countess/Getty Images]