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Julia Michaels has a message about the current state of beauty standards.
The “Anxiety” singer took to Instagram on Aug. 20 to share a photo of herself on the cover of You magazine sporting a pink strapless dress that revealed her armpit hair.
If you haven’t heard of You, that’s because Michaels — an artist who is also behind pop hits like Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me” and Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” — created the cover herself as a way to remind her followers that they’re beautiful, no matter what beauty rules they’re breaking.
“I dont know about you, but I’m pretty fed up with beauty standards and societal norms for a while now,” she began her Instagram post. “Tired of people telling me how I should have a f*****g body. What I should wear on it. How I should act with it. What I should f*****g shave off of it.”
She continued, “Because of this I’m creating YOU, a monthly digital cover to show how amazing I think YOU are and because the only beauty standard you should need is YOU. And to celebrate you, I want your face on my magazine cover. It starts with me, but it ends with you. Show me all the things you hate, so I and we can prove you wrong. Send me your pics and each month and I’ll post one of you, on YOU.”
Fans applauded the project in the comment section. One wrote, "I’ve never been prouder to be a fan! This is so badass." Another added, "LOVE THIS. Live and look the way YOU want to."
Michaels, who has long been open about her battle with mental health issues, has also put her journey towards body acceptance into her music. In 2019, she released the track “Body,” which detailed how she wanted to find a way to love herself.
The singer told Teen Vogue of the song, “This narrative of the past few years is self-love and self-acceptance, but it’s not so easy for some people. Everyone’s insecurities are completely different, but a lot of people have this inner monologue: You shouldn’t hate on yourself. You should love yourself. You should respect yourself. I should tell myself, ‘Hey, you’re f*cking cool.’ And, ‘Hey, you’re good at things.’ All these strong affirmations, but they get drowned out by the negative ones.”
Now, Michaels is giving her fans the space to love themselves and shut down all negative talk.