Kelsey Merritt is one of those models whose Instagram feed is filled with double-tap worthy travel photos, selfies, and of course, skin-baring OOTDs and workout pics. But looking good is part of every model's job, and it's pretty obvious Kelsey takes it seriously by hitting the gym every week or working out at home, eating right 24/7, and sticking to a skincare routine that works.
If you're the type to follow models on Instagram, it's safe to say that some of their photos have unconsciously made you feel bad about yourself. And you've probably asked "Why isn't my waist that small?", "Why are my legs so short?", or "How come my abs don't look that good?" on one occasion or two. So how does a model fit into the entire body positivity movement if some of their images breed insecurity? Kelsey has some inspiring words.
In a presscon held by Viva Entertainment today, the Filipino-American model is now represented by the local talent agency for her modeling and endorsement work in the Philippines, Kelsey opens up about how looking "real" on social media helps curb people's negative perception of themselves. If you recall, the model posted a bikini photos years ago where she proudly showed off her stretch marks. The photo went viral and a lot of girls thanked her for posting an unedited pic.
The bikini post where Kelsey proudly showed off her tiger stripes with the caption, "Stretch marks are sexy. Say it with me."
In an interview with Preview, Kelsey explains why she wants her Instagram to be a safe and positive experience for all girls, "I feel like as a model and as a figure people look up to, I sort of have a responsibility to show people that I'm real. That I'm also human and that I have the same things they have—the stretch marks that they have are naturally occuring on the human body. It's not something to be looked down upon or not something you should try to get rid of, because everyone has it!"
Here, Kelsey dances to a popular TikTok dance craze in an unfiltered and unedited video.
The model also admits to not overly editing her pics to get picture-perfect abs, the best butt, or poreless skin. "It seems crazy to me to edit my photos to make me look perfect, because I'm not. And I feel like, I see that in other people, [how perfect-looking photos on social media make them feel bad], and I don't want other people to feel that way through my photos. So I try to be as authentic as I can, in any way that I can."
Well said, Kelsey!