Vikings Fan || Fan Valhallafor History's Show "Vikings"
       

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Welcome to Vikings Fan, a fansite for the History Channel's series "Vikings". The show is based on the tales of the legendary Vikings: Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha, Bjorn Ironside, Rollo, among others. Explore the site for the largest photo gallery on the web for the show and also our video gallery!

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Alyssa Sutherland Pulls Back the Curtain on the “Perfect” Selfie

ELLE Welcome to Talking Body, a series where we have honest conversations with women about their bodies. Up this week: Alyssa Sutherland, star of the History Channel’s Vikings. The 33-year-old started as a model when she was 15 and appeared in campaigns for Chanel, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Bvlgari. Recently, the Australian got a lot of buzz (and even a repost from Amanda Seyfried) after sharing an Instagram of a side-by-side selfie–one glammed up, one with no filter–hoping to show young women they shouldn’t let their body image be affected by the idealized images that many women post on social media. “The snaps you see them post are carefully chosen to project the beauty and lifestyle they want you to believe they have,” she wrote. Here, she discusses that photo and what struggles she faced growing up in the modeling world.

 

Hey. Thought I’d pull back the curtain for some of you young ladies out there. The thing is, we’re constantly bombarded with gorgeous images of the women around us, whether they’re celebrities or friends. The snaps you see them post are carefully chosen to project the beauty and lifestyle they want you to believe they have. People take multiple selfies to get a good one, use all kinds of filters and tinker with all kinds of settings (the pic of me on the left is 1 of 7 I took, and obviously filtered and tweaked). When I was a model, we’d shoot ALL DAY (in amazing light, with a team of professionals) for only 8-10 pictures. We would literally shoot hundreds of frames to choose just 1, which was then perfected through hours of retouching. Studies suggest looking at selfies on Facebook and other forms of social media can give females negative feelings about body image. I could have posted the pic on the left this morning (I mean, c’mon, this is the best selfie I’ve ever taken!), along with say, an inspirational quote or romantic poem I found online, making me look both HOT and profound. (Knowing me though the caption probably would have ended up a Yoda quote warning you of the “dark side” cause there’s a cool shadow in the pic and I’m a fucking nerd). And then I’d feel validated by likes and flattering comments. BUT, the reality is, today I’m tired. I woke up with a big pimple under my nose and I went to a “booty and abs” Pilates class this morning because I too am susceptible – I keep seeing images of girls with perfectly toned tummies and perky butts on here, and it makes me think I should be working harder, juicing more, eating more quinoa, eating less pizza, going to more parties, wearing cooler clothes (I have NEVER been “airport chic” and I NEVER will be. Seriously?? THAT’S what you wore on a plane?!), vacationing in exotic locales, and ugh, WINNING MORE GRAMMYS. Also, my eyebrows are never on fleek. Let’s be real. We’re all just fucking sitting here on Instagram in our sweats. ✌?️

A photo posted by Alyssa Sutherland (@therealalyssas) on

 

The thinking in my head [when I posted the photo] was, Oh my God, I’m so glad I’m not a teenager right now, because I remember just how difficult it was fitting in at school and wanting people to like you. I thought: How scary is it that your popularity is actually measured in numbers now, by likes on a picture or retweet? To actually have a numerical look at how many followers you have? I actually do the same thing–there are moments when I will see an image on social media and think, Oh my God, I must work out more. I think we’re all doing it. We’re all kind of sitting there and seeing these images and we end up feeling bad about ourselves. “Why don’t I have that?” These thoughts pass through your head and we compare ourselves to one another.

 

Social media to me is kind of a joke. I think as an older woman–I’m in my thirties–you see beyond it. I wondered if there were young girls out there that didn’t realize that sometimes what they’re looking at is someone’s brand. It’s what they want to present to the world and I just thought, Well, if I had something to say to young people, what would I say? Then I just kind of journaled that Instagram.

 

We’re perpetuating the myth of our own perfection [on social media] and it’s because we’re all susceptible. Show me one woman that doesn’t have moments of insecurity. I think it’s a very human thing to have insecurities, to have vulnerabilities and I frankly don’t really relate to people that don’t ever show that to me. I’ve always been susceptible. I’ve constantly been judged for my looks. There are people who tell me I shouldn’t have any problems, who invalidated my feelings because I was model. Being on a TV show now and being a female in the public eye, I have some really horrible things written about my looks. It sucks that a lot of the time, it’s women that are making the comments. I think women are still very much judged upon their looks and you don’t really hear those same things said about the men, you know? Women are really quite harshly judged in a different way and I think it’s good bringing attention to that.

 

?@collinstark ??@dereksyuen

A photo posted by Alyssa Sutherland (@therealalyssas) on

 

Before social media, women were comparing themselves by looking at magazines. As a model, I like to tell people just how many frames you take to get a perfect picture. You shoot all day. And of course, they’re retouched and you’re working with people who really know what they’re doing with hair and makeup and lighting. I could post a great picture of myself that’s been put through all kinds of filters. I know what light to sort of put myself in. It’s horrible. I shouldn’t know these things. It’s way too narcissistic. If I posted a “good” photo, no one would actually know that I’m a little bit sleep deprived, not feeling great, I’ve got a huge zit under my nose, like, this is what I actually look like.

 

#TrainLikeAnAngel Thanks, @basewoodfiredpizza ???

A photo posted by Alyssa Sutherland (@therealalyssas) on

 

I felt a lot of guilt being a model, knowing that I was in those images girls compared themselves to. As a model, you’re not really discouraged to have an opinion, but you’re encouraged to be very agreeable and go with the flow and not challenge people. I had been very quiet for a number of years, but when I was 23 or 24 I got into a very heated conversation with this photographer in London once because he looked through my book and he pointed at one of the pictures and said, “You shouldn’t have this picture in your book. You look out of proportion. Your legs look too heavy.” I think it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I looked at him and I’d just had enough. There are women that made comments to me going, “You’re perfect,” and there’s no way I think I’m perfect, but I’d see how that [photo of me] makes them feel. It’s a horrible feeling. I got really quite angered by him and I said, “I feel so guilty as it is having women look at these pictures and think this is what they have to look like without assholes like you telling me that I’m actually too fat.”

 

#FlashbackFriday ? #fbf

A photo posted by Alyssa Sutherland (@therealalyssas) on

 

I had been modeling for a while, but it took me some time to find my voice. It really did. And there aren’t that many people like [that photographer]. But, goodness, I’ve been told everything that’s wrong about me. I think it’s lovely that people are bringing attention to it now, like with the Dove beauty campaign. I love all that stuff. But I think the problem is we’re still frickin’ talking about it. For example, I hate that term “plus-size” model. It’s just “model.” We’re still putting labels on things. By putting a label on it we’re basically sort of saying they’re different. No, they’re just models. And they’re beautiful women. Why do we have to draw attention to the “plus”? It shouldn’t be mentioned. Put a beautiful woman on a magazine and then don’t say anything about her size. I think that’s when things will really change and I guess we sort of have to bring attention to it to start off.

 

I think we’ve made some strides, but I’m not sure about the whole social media thing. I’m not sure whether that’s helping or not. Now there’s this whole Facetune thing. The Facetune thing to me is kind of like what? I just did a shoot and the makeup artist or hair stylist took a picture and put it on their own Instagram. But, I think he Facetuned my face. I was like wait, the whites of my eyes don’t look like that and they certainly don’t look like that at like 9 on a Saturday morning. They’re not that white ever, but absolutely not on a Saturday morning. I was not going to repost that. I wish I could have the raw files from photo shoots and then the retouched image. If I did, I would post them and show people. I feel quite strongly about it. I don’t like being a part of feeling like your value is only in your looks.

 

An angst-y scowl for all your angst-y scowl needs. #SeriousActress

A photo posted by Alyssa Sutherland (@therealalyssas) on

 

Part of using humor on social media [alongside those glam shots of me] is to be almost apologetic. I know that I’m posting a picture that could be affecting people, so I’m going to try to say something that might be funny at the same time. Part of being an actress is having to be a businesswoman–it’s a big factor. And you kind of go, Okay, well I know that there are actresses out there who are booking roles because they have a huge social media following. I’m kind of at war against myself because I think, Am I shooting myself in the foot because the girls who are doing that could be taking the roles that I want? To be able to do what I love, I sort of think, Well, okay, should I build a social media following? Is this what I should be doing? And then watching what gets the most likes, what gets the most attention. Then there’s this real human part of me that’s just like, God, I’m just adding to all the rest of this shit. I would like to think that most of my followers are pretty hard-earned because I would like to make people giggle. Part of what I’ve sort of come to terms with with social media is thinking: What if this is another extension of me as an entertainer? I would like to write something funny because then, at least, there’s more effort put behind it. I’m not just like, “Here’s a pretty picture, here’s a pretty picture, here’s a pretty picture.” But hey, look, I might be able to make you giggle as an entertainer, that’s one of the things that I like to do.

 

Perhaps 2016 will be the year I finally get a tan. Happy New Year!

A photo posted by Alyssa Sutherland (@therealalyssas) on

 

I think confidence is what’s beautiful to me. When you meet somebody who’s like, “Actually, I really couldn’t care less what you think about me. I am who I am,” that’s really admirable to me. I think that’s really awesome and that’s what’s beautiful to me.

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