Ashley Benson is 1 to maintain it actual. Minutes into our cellphone dialog, Benson, on her technique to a exercise in New York City, pauses mid-story to apologize for an ambulance siren within the background, casually mentioning that there’s a fireplace. “Sorry—I’m walking to a workout and there’s a huge fire,” she says.
She’s not afraid to swear when describing eyewear, and when speaking about “Pretty Little Liars,” the Freeform teen-mystery she acted on for seven seasons, Benson has no qualms with airing her grievances, together with a Photoshopped promotional poster snafu and an emotionally draining social media marketing campaign.
When you’re all the time on social media, you’re residing on this pretend life.
Benson’s dedication to holding issues all the way down to earth is probably going why she partnered with Privé Reveaux, a line of $29 designer-like sun shades, with which she not too long ago launched her 2d collaboration, the Icon Collection. (Naturally, her favourite pair from the road are mirrored ’60s-esque shades named The Benz, aptly titled after her final identify.)
But past her affinity for low-cost sun shades, Benson’s relatability stretches to extra critical points too, corresponding to body-image pressures and the stress of wanting picture-perfect on social media.
Since ending her run on “PLL,” through which she performed Hanna Marin, a body-conscious excessive schooler affected by a number of serial stalkers, Benson’s relationship with social media has taken an entire 180. Once an avid Snapchat and Instagram person, the place she communicated with followers and promoted her present, Benson has taken a latest social media break to detox from the “fake life” that used to devour her.
“To be honest, I don’t use social media a lot anymore. I Instagram sometimes, but I don’t really go on it,” Benson says. “When I was on the show, we really had to be heavily into Instagram and Snapchat and whatever. I felt like it was taking up a lot of my time. I feel like when you’re always on social media, you’re living in this fake life. I’d rather just not look and enjoy my time.”
I don’t assume it ought to matter, the stress of being a measurement 0, as a result of everyone seems to be gifted.
Benson’s viewpoint on social media is why she urges her followers to take what they see on their cellphone screens with a serious grain of salt. She recalled a time throughout the first season of “PLL,” when she was shocked to tug up her Instagram to see a promotional poster of her and her castmates’ our bodies and faces drastically Photoshopped.
“‘PLL’ had put up this poster and it was from our first season and it was completely crazy. Nobody looked like themselves,” Benson says. “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.’ 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.’”
Given her expertise with Photoshop, Benson is cautious to remind photographers to not alter her physique. And although she admits she’s requested for small touch-ups prior to now, for essentially the most half, she doesn’t. And she’s refreshingly clear in regards to the rampant Photoshopping within the business, no matter her requests, and the way image-altering isn’t the one element that will current an unrealistic customary of magnificence.
“I always make sure to tell people, with any shit that I do or anyone else does, that unless it’s announced that it’s not Photoshopped, it’s Photoshopped,” Benson 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.”
For journal covers, they’ll make your boobs greater or your waist 4 sizes smaller, and also you’re like, ‘That’s not even me.’
Benson’s passionate stance on physique picture may be due to the shaming she skilled in her early profession. In a 2016 interview with Ocean Drive, Benson revealed that she cried for 30 minutes after she was instructed that she was “too fat” for a job, regardless of being a measurement 2. And although she admits she nonetheless sees body-shaming feedback on social media, she sees physique range in Hollywood steadily enhancing.
“I hate that people still make those comments,” Benson 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.”
Another challenge Benson takes with the leisure business is the dearth of numerous roles for ladies. As somebody who began appearing when she was 5, Benson has seen a whole lot of scripts come by, although she’s nonetheless haunted by the identical “pointless fillers for men.”
“Women don’t really have a lot of good lead roles. There’s always some weird storyline with them,” Benson says. “Half of the movie roles they bring me, I don’t even want to play this person. I don’t want to play a role like this because it’s not uplifting. It’s not positive. They’re just pointless fillers for men. I hope that it’s not always about a guy and it can be about a woman, but I mean, we’ll see.”
It’s an incredible time for ladies proper now the place we’re all coming collectively and standing up for each other.
However, with the record-breaking success of Patty Jenkins’s “Wonder Woman” and the palpable sense of neighborhood Benson feels with different actresses amid Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing sexual harassment scandal, Benson is assured that Hollywood’s therapy of ladies will change for the higher.
“I’m glad that people are now speaking up and being supported,” Benson says. “I think it’s a very important time and an amazing time for women right now where we’re all coming together and standing up for one another. Hopefully, with everything going on, we can try to change things.”