So far, both Troian and Ashley have spoken out against the poster. Ash noted on her Instagram page: “Saw this floating around....hope it's not the poster,” she wrote. “Our faces in this were from 4 years ago.....and we all look ridiculous. Way too much photoshop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It's not attractive.”
Seeing Ash’s post, Troian soon Instagrammed her own response: “Wow @itsashbenzo I couldn't agree more. Very cool concept as always. But aren't we attractive enough women as we are? Why can't we just look like us. Once.” Pretty powerful words from the woman who are themselves featured in the poster.
The Liars have spoken out before about the importance of being positive role models to their fans, and it seems like they’re figuratively putting their money where their mouths are.
And, now, the moment of truth. Should the PLL Powers That Be (or, more accurately, the ABC Family promotions department) change the poster entirely? We think doing so would send a pretty amazing message to the PLL fans — many of whom are young girls and women themselves — that imperfections are a part of life. That the impossibly perfect beauty ideal promoted by the media doesn’t exist.
Sure, there is a disproportionate amount of ridiculously beautiful people who star on television (another issue altogether), but even these genetically blessed actors are made more beautiful by hair, makeup, and lighting. It is part of the artifice of the television industry. And this is without even taking into account heavily photoshopped images like this one that appear in promotional images and magazine photo spreads.
Troian and Ashley have taken a stand in speaking out against the kinds of impossible ideals images like this one present as possible and desirable. We think it would be a cool step on the part of ABC Family and the whole PLL team to back them up — especially, considering PLL is one of the all too rare examples of a television show that gives us depictions of young women who act as more than just sexual objects. The Liars are flawed female characters who drive their own stories, and we love them for it!
Do you think the poster should be changed? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 winter premiere on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.