Ashley Benson: ‘When you’re always on social media, you’re living in this fake life’

The more I hear from the women who starred on the series Pretty Little Liars, which ended this summer after seven seasons, the more I like them. Both Lucy Hale and Troian Bellisario have opened up about their battle with eating disorders and body image, and Sasha Pieterse of PLL has talked about how hurtful it was when she was mocked after gaining weight from a medical condition. Troian has also stated that all the makeup they wore on the show creates false expectations for women, and she’s called for Photoshopped ads to have warning labels. Add Ashley Benson, 27, to the former Pretty Little Liars cast who believes that Photoshop is harmful. Ashley did a new interview with Stylecaster in which she talked about body image, Photoshopping, and social media. She had a lot of opinions I agreed with so I wanted to cover this.

She’s taking a break from social media now that she doesn’t have to promote PLL
“To be honest, I don’t use social media a lot anymore. I Instagram sometimes, but I don’t really go on it. When I was on the show, we really had to be heavily into Instagram and Snapchat and whatever. I felt like it was taking up a lot of my time. I feel like when you’re always on social media, you’re living in this fake life. I’d rather just not look and enjoy my time.”

On how Photoshop creates unrealistic images
“‘PLL’ had put up this poster and it was from our first season and it was completely crazy. Nobody looked like themselves. Even for magazine covers, they’ll Photoshop out a mole, make your boobs bigger or your waist four sizes smaller, and you’re like, ‘That’s not even me.’ You never know how it’s going to turn out because you have no control and you’re not editing the photos, but it sucks when you’re like, ‘Wow. That’s a completely different person.’”

She wants people to know her photos are edited, although she asks photographers not to change her body
“I always make sure to tell people, with any shit that I do or anyone else does, that unless it’s announced that it’s not Photoshopped, it’s Photoshopped. And don’t get down on yourself for not looking a certain way because A. It takes a lot of hair and makeup, a ton of good lighting, and after the shoot, it’s all this editing.”

She sees body diversity is improving but says body shaming is still a problem
“I hate that people still make those comments. I don’t think it should matter, the pressure of being a size zero, because everyone is talented. Everyone deserves a chance and the weight thing is too much pressure to put on anyone.”

A lot of the roles she sees for women are crap
“Women don’t really have a lot of good lead roles. There’s always some weird storyline with them. Half of the movie roles they bring me, I don’t even want to play this person. I don’t want to play a role like this because it’s not uplifting. It’s not positive. They’re just pointless fillers for men. I hope that it’s not always about a guy and it can be about a woman, but I mean, we’ll see.”

[From Stylecaster]

I like her! She had a lot of to-the-point things to say about sizeism, body image and social media. I also really like her perspective on the role of women in film especially. It’s a shame that women are secondary to men’s stories in Hollywood but it’s a fact. The system behind the stories that get mad is disgustingly corrupt and unequal as well, as we’ve seen in so much detail lately. Also, I agree with her about social media. I still use it but it’s a time suck and I try to be conscious of whether I’ll post a photo or activity to Facebook. (I’m old, I don’t use Instagram or Snapchat, all my friends are on Facebook.) I’ve given it up for months at a time but that’s where I get invited to parties and find events so it’s a key part of my social life. It becomes a kind of feedback loop in that you post about your parties and outings and look to see what your friends post. I should really find a way around that. Also, we all know that person who posts all their sh-t to Facebook/Instagram and makes their life seem wonderful. It’s entertaining in a way, but it can also be grating. Oh and of course even Facebook photos can be filtered and edited too, it’s so easy lately.

I checked Ashley’s Instagram and she does still post, especially paid content, but it’s usually only every handful of days which probably feels like a break for her. Someone commented on the post below that they thought Kevin Jonas was dead! We haven’t seen him in a while that’s true.


A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on


Finally got to meet Walters girlfriend @darla.griffon and @allisonplush for a puppy play date 😍😍❤️❤️

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

Event photos are from the amfAR Gala on 9-22-17 and an Launch Event on 7-26-17. Credit: WENN and Instagram/Ashley Benson

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

27 Responses to “Ashley Benson: ‘When you’re always on social media, you’re living in this fake life’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. littlemissnaughty says:

    I have to take breaks because it’s all so fake. I spend some time on IG and Pinterest and suddenly my life is an aesthetic wreck. My hair is crap, my makeup not perfect, my clothes suck and my apartment looks decrepit. None of that is true but you see these staged/photoshopped images all the time and suddenly real life seems less beautiful. I limit my time on these platforms.

    • Eliza says:

      When every day is “best day evahhh” you start to smell the fakeness. Just watch an IG girl pose and select a photo: 2 hours of hair/ makeup/ posing for 1 shot to be uploaded. It’s not natural, authentic or organic. It’s a choreographed performance for likes. Just keep some realness and know it’s as real as a magazine ad, or movie.

    • Neva_D says:

      “I spend some time on ig and Pinterest and suddenly my life is an aesthetic wreck” I completely agree!!! If I spend the day without going on Pinterest, i’m content with myself and my life. But when I spend a lot of time pinning things then take a look at my surroundings, I’m horrified because it’s not glamorous enough. I don’t factor in all the lighting and staging and prepping the perfect shot takes.

  2. Eliza says:

    Re: Facebook invites. Like you, I used to not use FB for months at a time and people would get mad I missed their party as I never saw invitation. Even though it was obvious I didn’t respond and hadn’t been online in a while, they still would blame me. Solution: deactivated account. Guess what? Now they text me and I actually get the invite. And I dont get yelled at.

    • ell says:

      i also deactivated my fb, and i’m far far happier with my social media presence now. if people want to contact me they need to have my number, and if they don’t i probably don’t want them to contact me anyway.

    • isabelle says:

      I rarely go on my FB and my friends are always complaining about it. When I do venture on I see how “exciting”their daily lives are with posting after posting. Just think to myself no ones life is really that exciting and I know your life isn’t that exciting. People need to stop deluding themselves in their fake reality. Instead of pills we are now as women will posting something to get that same gratification for one comment. Its big-time messed up and an addiction to affirmation.

    • Cranberry says:

      @Eliza, ell, isabelle

      Thank you all for your comments and the fb tips. Glad to know I’m not alone.

  3. kimbers says:

    Hulu is suppose to do The Throne of Glass series. I cannot wait! Ashley would be a contender for Celaena Sardothien.

  4. Electric Tuba says:

    Thought this was instagrammed Khloe Kardashijennaplois

  5. FHMom says:

    I like what she has to say. Everyone should be aware of all the photoshopping and all the effort that goes into a magazine photo shoot. Impossible standards are rough, especially on girls and young women.

  6. Radley says:

    I don’t post on personal social media. I have created accounts to creep on other people’s accounts, though. 😂

    It’s obvious to me that a lot of people end up trying to play to their “audience” and that’s where the fakery and staging comes in. Everybody’s living their best life every single day? Unrealistic. It also fuels narcissism, which I think is a real problem.

    I prefer to remain a little mysterious. You’ll only see me in an occasional photo on my family or friend’s accounts. That’s it.

    • Electric Tuba says:

      Girl… you making fake accounts to creep on other people’s accounts is contributing to the nope factor that makes people afraid to be on the internet in the first place.

      Why you creepin? Love yourself enough to not care about what you don’t know. That ish ain’t cool. Lol everybody go lock down your privacy settings cause creepin is alive and well in normalville

      • bluhare says:

        No it isnt. I have limited social media presence and read more than I participate. Twitter is pretty much where I post and there my account is private. Reason? Nutjobs I have encountered on blogs who I do not want following me.

      • Electric Tuba says:

        @bluhare. We aren’t talking about the same thing. Anonymous and fake aren’t the same words.

      • bluhare says:

        Still disagree. Nope factor comes into play when people are assholes, not just because they don’t want people to know who they are.

        If the OP meant she created accounts to harass other people then I’m with you.

      • Aurelia says:

        Unfairly creeping … Please, they want all the creeping they can get.

      • Electric Tuba says:


        So you’d be cool with someone creating a fake persona and getting on your private profile? I think that’s beyond creepy.
        You don’t need to make a “fake profile” to view PUBLIC accounts. View all the public accounts you want, that’s not private.
        Fake account implies sneaky behavior that you’d not get away with doing in public. Just because said behavior is on the internet does not mean it is acceptable. Know what I mean?

        If someone goes through the trouble of putting privacy settings in place then don’t pretend to be a person you are not just to gawk and gossip about them. That’s weird, red flag behavior that smacks of boundary issues. Harassment or not, if a person admitted to this kind of behavior they definitely could NOT party with me. That’s some NSA employee candidate mess and a person like that is not to be trusted ever.

        JMO, but adults doing this need more work on themselves, a hobby, or therapy. There a whole world out there man

  7. Isa says:

    I use my social media as a scrapbook of my life. It’s my highlight reel. I don’t mean to be fake, but im not gonna post my husband’s socks on the floor or the dirty dishes in my sink.
    I should really work on actual scrapbooks because my photos are on jump drives, FB, IG, and my phone.

    • lyla says:

      That’s exactly my attitude towards social media – especially Instagram. It’s a highlight reel. No one life is perfect. But then again we don’t often share details of our everyday life or it’s mundane problems, right? Also keep in mind that not all social media platforms are the same. I don’t post the same content to each one. I like to take and look at pretty pictures – and that’s perfect for instagram. my twitter is more about politics and social consciousness. snapchat is more about goofiness. i don’t do facebook or linkedin and i don’t update my tumblr anymore.

      but i agree that young children should be aware of the power of good lighting, hair, makeup, and photoshop.

      • Aurelia says:

        Where the hell do you get the time to be on all those social media platforms and curate highlight show reels of your life? Jezz, I’m a busy lady. Not for me.

      • lyla says:

        like i said, i’m only active on two platforms – instagram and twitter. it really doesn’t take that much time.

      • Isa says:

        I deactivated my FB and only spend time on Instagram and twitter as well.
        It truly doesn’t take much time. For instance, two of my last photos were from a weekend trip we took. I posted them on the ride back and it was over a week ago. It was a nice trip that I want to remember. It’s not that I’m trying to be fake, i just don’t particularly care to remember that I’m planning on spending this weekend shampooing my carpets.
        I think it’s important to remember that other people use their social media as highlight reels, too. You never truly know what’s going on behind close doors so don’t compare yourself to what they show to the world.

  8. Lucy says:

    Even though I stopped watching PLL after season 3/4, I remained very fond of all the girls, for several reasons each, since they’re all so different. I really like that she’s talking about this, considering the fact that struggles with body/social image and insecurities were a big part of her character’s storyline. I mean, the show was far from perfect, but it certainly did feature some interesting, complicated female characters, and I do think it deserves more credit for that.