Kate Upton Makes a Body-Positive Statement with Unretouched Photos: 'I Don't Let Criticism Get to Me'

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Kate Upton has taken a stand against airbrushed images.

The model, 27, did an unretouched photo shoot for the September cover of Health: “When you think about it, we have retouching everywhere now — and we don’t even know it,” Upton told the magazine. “People are staging Instagram shots and retouching those pictures. That’s the new norm. And then we believe that’s how people actually look, and think we should look that way too. So, for me, doing an unretouched shoot is a step toward embracing real life. The goal should be to be the best you can be — not try to look like someone else.”

Upton gave birth to her first child in November, and has found ways to stay active as a new mom by “finding good workouts, eating healthy, and putting myself first at some point during the day,” she said. “I find that if I am in a good mental space, I don’t let the bulls— and criticism get to me.”

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Upton said she has a stronger body image today than she did as a young model.

“When I first started modeling, everything was about your measurements and what you fit into,” she said. “It would be like, ‘Oh, you don’t fit into those jeans.’ You’re shamed. And that’s why it took me a longer time to get to a healthier place. That’s why it’s important for me to push out this different mindset.”

“I don’t want anyone to have to be in that negative space where they think, ‘Oh, no! I don’t fit into that size 2 dress,’ ” she added. “You know what, who cares? Buy another one!”

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Upton still works with trainer Ben Bruno who focuses on building muscle during their workouts.

“My favorite thing about Ben is his practical attitude towards fitness,” Upton told PEOPLE. “He doesn’t make workouts so hard that I can’t walk the next day or don’t have enough energy to make it through the day. But, they’re extremely effective and have amazing results! I think that’s key to keeping up a consistent workout routine.”

Upton and Bruno have since created Strong4Me, a program with a 12-week fitness plan with 30 minute workouts that people can do at home with minimal equipment.

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“The Strong4Me fitness program is geared towards busy women on-the-go of all ages,” Upton said. “It was important to me to share the exact program I’ve personally been using with Ben because it has been sustainable and helps me to feel strong, confident, and healthy!”

Last year, Upton partnered up with Urban Remedy and its founder, Neka Pasquale, to create an exclusive Kate-Upton-approved meal plan that promotes an organic diet.

“I always can tell when I’m eating clean because I sleep better, my skin clears up, and I have significantly more energy,” Upton told PEOPLE of her own experience with the service. “It truly makes a huge difference.”


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