2014 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals

Last week, the Pretty Little Liars cast filled their Instagram feeds with images from a sexy new spread in GQ, which featured the actresses wearing bikinis, smiles, and extremely Photoshopped legs. Since Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, and Ashley Benson have spoken up in the past about their own struggles with eating disorders and body insecurities, we were a little disappointed to see them promoting images that seemed to go against what they stand for.

pretty-little-liars-in-gq1Thankfully, Troian stepped up and posted a really thoughtful response to the controversy, explaining that it can be fun to use Photoshop to enhance photos, but it’s important not to let the pictures in magazines influence how you feel about your real-life body. Right on time, Lucy Hale is joining the conversation– and making us fall even deeper in love with the PLL ladies. When asked about the situation, she told E!,

[Photoshop] is pretty common. I think it’s good that people know that that is normal. People meet me in person, they know what I look like. As long as people know that that’s not real– I think those pictures were just an image that they were going for. It’s GQ. We don’t look that pin-uppy.

Totally. These particular photos were meant to be a fantasy. It’s definitely important that their primarily teen fanbase understand that these photos represent an unattainable ideal, but it’s still okay to put a sexy, manipulated glamour shot in a magazine. It’s apparent that Lucy, Troian, and the other Pretty Little Liars actresses are devoted to making sure their fans understand the difference between fantasy and reality when it comes to body image, and because of that, I’ll always support them. It’s really great that they’re willing to accept the responsibility of being role models, and it’s really great that they can talk so candidly about these things. It’s easy to love these women. Like really, really easy.

Via E! / Photos: Getty Images, GQ