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    22 Gen Z Celebs Who Challenged Hollywood’s "Traditional" Beauty Standards

    Emma Chamberlain has always been open with her fans about her acne journey. She said, "It's actually good to shed light on it, because as a kid, you'd see celebrities that you look up to and you'd be like, 'God, they have such perfect skin. How is that possible?' You don't realize that so many celebrities have been on Accutane."

    For decades, Hollywood has presented a beauty standard that's essentially thin, white, and Eurocentric. Any aspiring star who falls outside this strict ideal typically has a harder time "making it" in the industry, and many people who aren't in the entertainment business struggle with comparing themselves to it. However, for many, this "ideal" look is completely unattainable — even for those in Hollywood.

    However, there have always been celebs who actively work against these outdated beauty and body standards — especially from the up-and-coming generation.

    Here are 22 Gen Z celebs who called out or challenged Hollywood's "traditional" beauty standards:

    Warning: Mentions of eating disorders.

    1. Florence Pugh told Vogue, "I had a weird chapter at the beginning of my career, but that was because I wasn't complying. I think that was confusing to people, especially in Hollywood. Women in Hollywood, especially young women in Hollywood, are obviously putting themselves in all these ways in order to get whatever opportunity that they need to get because that's just the way that it's been. I think I definitely put my foot down in that aspect. I love food."

    In her full cover story, she added, "I'm never losing weight to look fantastic for a role. It’s more like, how would this character have lived? What would she be eating?"

    2. During Beautycon Festival 2018, Zendaya said, "As a Black woman, as a light-skinned Black woman, it's important that I'm using my privilege, my platform, to show you how much beauty there is in the African American community. I am Hollywood's, I guess you could say, 'acceptable version' of a Black girl, and that needs to change."

    She continued, "We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. What I'm saying, it's about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that's with anything — Hollywood, art, whatever."

    3. When a fan asked Lili Reinhart via Twitter if she thought Riverdale was "contributing to unrealistic body expectations," she replied, "Actually, not everyone on this show is perfectly chiseled. And even I feel intimidated by the physique of my surrounding cast mates sometimes when I have to do bra/underwear scenes. I've felt very insecure due to the expectation that people have for women on TV, what they should look like."

    In a thread, she continued, "But I have come to terms with my body and that I'm not the kind of person you would see walking on a runway during fashion week. I have bigger boobs, I have cellulite on my thighs/butt, and my stomach sticks out rather than curves in. This is still something I struggle with on a daily basis. And it doesn't help when I'm being compared to other women. I have gained weight due to depression the last two months and I've felt very insecure about it. But I did a recent bra and underwear scene and felt it was my obligation to be strong and show confidence in myself, looking as I do. And I want other young women to see my body on TV and feel comfort in the fact that I'm not a size 0. And I'm not a perfect hourglass shape. This industry struggles with accurate representation of female and male bodies. So I commend the women who have helped our industry take a step in the right ~and authentic~ direction."

    4. When Amandla Stenberg filmed The Hunger Games, "the styling team didn't know how to do Black hair — at all." In an essay for InStyle, she continued, "They also openly expressed frustration about how it was too challenging. I wasn't all that self-conscious, but I remember very clearly feeling that my hair wasn't acceptable, that something was wrong with it. At the time, I was an up-and-coming actress, so I didn’t feel I had the power to speak up. I just wanted to please everyone. I didn't want to create drama."

    They continued, "When I hit 16, though, I got my hair cut by someone who knew Black hair and Black curl patterns. That haircut changed the game for me. It brought out my curls in a beautiful way. I learned to appreciate my natural hair texture, and I realized that it was really special if I let it do its thing."

    5. Discussing how he defies beauty standards, Lil Nas X told Complex, "I'm always trying new things. Whichever outlet, whether I use music, visuals, fashion, or makeup, I completely dive in and indulge myself in it, to the point where I'm doing things that I haven't done before."

    He also said, "Building my brand is an ongoing process as I continue to try new things, but I'm all about having fun, standing out and making a statement, and creating great music. Everything I do is an extension of that, and I'm always looking for ways to break the mold."

    6. While filming her first few episodes of Euphoria, Barbie Ferreira had a breakout. However, she didn't do "anything specifically to get rid of pimples" because "[the cast members] were like, 'We're playing teenagers, teenagers break out, what's the big deal?'"

    She told Pop Sugar, "[The makeup artists] would actually add red to it to make it more textured because they wanted to really show it. For three episodes, I had my temples accentuated, with a little more red gooeyness to it, you know? We wanted it to be realistic even within this unrealistic space of a really cool teen fiction show. It was all grounded in so much reality."

    7. On Peace of Mind with Taraji, Chlöe Bailey said, "As I've gotten older, I have learned to really appreciate my curves. I love my stretch marks. Every time I have a photo shoot, I'm like, 'No, don't airbrush the stretch marks, 'cause I like them.'"

    She also said, "And at first I was really getting sad about [body-shaming comments]. But then I thought — why would I let that control my thoughts and feelings when I know it's a lie? So I kind of had to give it not so much power. I'm not doing anything crazy; I'm just loving and appreciating my body, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

    8. Bella Hadid expressed regret over getting a nose job at 14, telling Vogue, "I wish I had kept the nose of my [Palestinian] ancestors. I think I would have grown into it."

    She also said, "I was the uglier sister. I was the brunette. I wasn't as cool as Gigi, not as outgoing. That's really what people said about me. And unfortunately, when you get told things so many times, you do just believe it. I always ask myself, 'How did a girl with incredible insecurities, anxiety, depression, body-image issues, eating issues, who hates to be touched, who has intense social anxiety — what was I doing getting into this business?' But over the years, I became a good actress. I put on a very smiley face, or a very strong face. I always felt like I had something to prove."

    9. On Twitter, Simone Biles said, "In gymnastics, as in many other professions, there is a growing competition that has nothing to do with performance itself. I'm talking about beauty. I don't know why but others feel as though they can define your own beauty based on their standards...Today, I say I am done competing vs. beauty standards and the toxic culture of trolling when others feel as though their expectations are not met because nobody should tell you or I what beauty should or should not look like."

    She concluded, "Beauty is #NoCompetition."

    10. After The Kissing Booth premiered, Jacob Elordi was unsettled by all the attention on his body. He told Men's Health, "You learn quickly that what people take away from those movies is your stature and your figure. You have all sorts of aged people around the world only talking about what you look like."

    He also expressed concern about how the attention could negatively impact his self-image. He said, "It's a slippery slope to put all your value into the vanity of what your body looks like. Your body is going to deteriorate."

    11. Alana Thompson told Teen Vogue, "I feel like my generation is probably making [oppressive beauty standards] worse. Everybody's all about body positivity, body positivity, until they see a body they don't like."

    She continued, "I don't understand why people think this way. Just because I got a little bit of extra meat on my bones, you want to hate me? I'll never get body shaming. Like, I know I'm beautiful, and I know I got a banging body, so...I don't care."

    12. Olivia Rodrigo told the Guardian, "It's hard for anyone to grow up in this media where it feels like, if you don't have European features and blond hair and blue eyes, you're not traditionally pretty. I felt that a lot — since I don't look exactly like the girl next door in all these movies, I'm not attractive. That actually took me a while to shake off."

    "It’s something I’m still shaking off now," she said.

    13. Yara Shahidi grew out her unibrow to combat messaging she'd heard for years as a child actor. She told Allure, "When I was 14, Mommy had to take me through an undoing process of what had been built up in my head. Like being in the makeup trailer, and makeup artists would put my lashes on and say, 'There you are,' like I wasn't there before. I had been on HD cameras for so long, I felt I needed [makeup] to be pretty for the world. ... It took a year-plus for me to learn to feel comfortable in my skin."

    She continued, "When you add on the layers of my identity of being a woman of color, or being in the LGBTQ community, or being an immigrant, a first-generation, or whatever the intersection is, it only gets more complicated. The idea [for so long has been] that your equity relates to how fast you can conform to mainstream culture or how fast you can disappear. We've been told to work backward: 'Look conventionally pretty, and then you will feel confident.' So there’s something about just embracing your unique physical features that ends up meaning so much more than just, 'Oh, I like my face.' It means I like myself. And to like yourself can be a revolutionary act."

    14. Learning to challenge Eurocentric beauty standards at an early age helped Adut Akech find her passion for modeling. After moving to Australia, she was "bullied by the popular girls about [her] skin tone, [her] hair, and especially [her] gap [teeth]." However, she adopted "an 'I don't care' mindset," told herself she was beautiful, then walked in her auntie's fashion show at 12.

    She told Allure, "From the minute I stepped onto the runway, I was like, 'This is what I want to do.' ... Now I just sit back and smile. I love proving people wrong so much."

    15. After her beach trip was invaded by paparazzi, Camila Cabello called out the expectations for women to look a certain way in candid pictures. On Twitter, she said, "Today I got a new bikini, a whole fucking cute outfit, put lip gloss on, and didn't eat anything too heavy before going in the OCEAN 'cause I knew it was gonna be basically a whole photoshoot...I knew I looked 'good' in the pictures and thought I would feel accomplished, and yet I've never had a worse time at the beach."

    She continued, "We see pictures of women and praise them for looking good, for looking fit or 'healthy', but what is health if you are so fixated on what your body looks like that your mental health suffers and you can't enjoy your life?"

    16. When Gigi Hadid started modeling straight out of high school, she still had her "volleyball body," which she loved, but designers told her wasn't a "runway body."

    She told i-D magazine, "So for Jean Paul [Gaultier] to have me at his last ready-to-wear show in 2015 – not only to have me, but also to put me in an outfit that didn’t cover a lot…like, there were still stylists or designers at that time who were putting me in their shows, but putting me something that really covered my body. And so for him to make me feel like he wanted me to shine in that way, it really meant a lot to me as a young model. And I know that he has done that for a lot of people."

    17. Molly-Mae Hague decided to reverse her cosmetic procedures, such as dissolving her lip filler and removing the cosmetic bonding from her teeth, because she was concerned about her own self-image as well as the impact such things would have on her young audience.

    She told Cosmopolitan, "We need to stop normalizing filler, with things like 'Kylie Jenner [surgery] packages.' I was 17 when I first got my lips done, and it scares me to think that if I have a daughter in 10 years' time, what it might be like for her. I sometimes forget how young my followers are, too. I'm often surprised by the fact some of the girls in my DMs even have a phone."

    18. While on tour during her Whip My Hair era, Willow Smith impulsively shaved her own head because she was tired of being overworked. She told Glamour, "Shaving my head is maybe the most radical thing I've done in the name of beauty."

    "As a Black woman there were a lot of layers to my relationship with my hair and skin growing up; it was definitely a learning curve," she said." ... However I'm feeling, I like to do that [style-wise]. I don't really like to think about it too much. I love to be free with it. I think just being me sometimes is radical."

    19. Discussing her own experience with an eating disorder, Dove Cameron told StyleCaster, "I started to watch some people that I knew personally go so far down [the path of having an eating disorder]. Because that's such a thing in Hollywood. We never want to say it, but it's such a big thing." She also said that she decided to seek treatment after seeing her peers give poor diet advice online and in interviews.

    She said, "They were telling little girls that if they just watch what they eat and run that they will look like that, and that they should look like that, and that that's the picture of health. It made me so personally upset. That's a blatant lie. That's not OK. That's not a role model. I realized that if I was going to be a role model, then I needed to live like the girls that I needed when I was young."

    20. Emma Chamberlain has always been open with her fans about her acne journey. She told Pop Sugar, "It's actually good to shed light on it, because as a kid, you'd see celebrities that you look up to and you'd be like, 'God, they have such perfect skin. How is that possible?' You don't realize that so many celebrities have been on Accutane."

    She continued, "[I'm] sharing the truth, like, yes, I went on a medication for seven months to get the skin that I have. I was not born with this."

    21. On Twitter, Shannon Purser said, "They're not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star. There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren't allowed upward mobility."

    "We aren't allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces," she concluded.

    22. And finally, Marsai Martin told People, "Representation matters, and we have grown so much throughout the years. I think we still have a long way to go, but I love that every brand, every person in the entertainment industry is kind of noticing where beauty lies in everyone."

    "I'm very grateful just to be in a time where people are comfortable with theirselves and comfortable in their own skin. [And] I'm very grateful to see how the beauty industry and [other] industries have evolved throughout the years," she said.

    The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.