Former Glee star Lea Michele is essentially the poster girl for loving the skin you’re in. Although her star has risen dramatically in the last few years, Michele has resisted the superficial pressures of fame and refuses to have any plastic surgery done. Naturally, this stance makes the actress the perfect partner for retailer Aerie, a brand that’s firmly against retouching in its ads, inspiring the #aerieREAL movement.
On Thursday in N.Y.C., Michele echoed Aerie’s sentiment while visiting the brand’s SoHo pop-up shop. “I think that Aerie is such an amazing brand for young girls to see campaigns where they see girls for what they really look like. It’s empowering and it’s really good for this generation,” Michele told People.
Today was so inspiring with @aerie — loved the LIFTED class and REAL Talk at their new SoHo Pop up! #AerieREAL #ad
The Broadway powerhouse is no stranger to the commercial demands of the industry, but she’s made a point to fight back.
“When people change my nose it’s very clear to me. I’m like ‘That’s not my nose!’ But they don’t do it that often with me—I mean, I’ve seen situations with other celebrities where it’s aggressive how much things get retouched or photoshopped,” Michele said, explaining, “What I think fans love to see about me is what I really look like and so magazines sometimes give people what they want with me. They’re like, ‘Ehh we’ll just leave her as she is.’”
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Back in 2010, Michele told GQ that she was one of the few girls in her New Jersey high school that didn’t get a nose job. “My mom always told me, growing up, ‘Barbra Streisand didn’t get a nose job. You’re not getting a nose job.’ And I didn’t,” Michele said.
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That sort of strength against the pressures of the superficial proves why Michele is such a powerful advocate for young girls. “I’m proud, to be a voice for girls and say, ‘You don’t need to look like everybody else. Love who you are.’”