Model Meaghan Kausman Speaks Out Against Her Photoshopped Images
08/28/2014 AT 06:10 PM EDT
The 23-year-old Australian posted Instagram photos of how her body was Photoshopped for an ad campaign to expose how the fashion and media industries alter women's figures.
Kausman – whose father is prominent body-image expert, Dr. Rick Kausman – was surprised to see what had happened to her size-8 figure post-edit after posing for an underwater photo shoot wearing swimwear brand Fella Swim
"When I first saw the photo [on Fella Swim's Instagram], it took me a couple of seconds to notice that it was different. But once I did my jaw literally dropped," Kausman told PEOPLE.
"They had drastically altered my body, thinning out my stomach and thighs in an attempt to box me in to the cultural ideal of beauty," she posted on her Instagram alongside the photo. "Above is their version, below it the real version. My body is a size 8, not a size 4. That's my body!"
Photograper Pip Summerville took the now-famous photo. "I was shocked that they drastically altered my photo without asking for my permission," says Summerville. "As a photographer, I understand the importance of editing to bring out the best image, but the use of Photoshop to alter body image to portray a stereotype is all too common in this industry."
Fella Swim has removed the photo from its Instagram and expressed regret in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE: "After being contacted by Meaghan, we posted an apology to both her and Pip. We felt terrible – it was not our intention to offend, upset or disrespect them at all."
As for Kausman, she is just happy to be raising awareness, which is a reflection of her upbringing. "Thankfully, growing up with my dad as who he is, I have always had a positive body image," says Kausman. "I wasn't offended or upset that they didn't like my body in particular, I was upset for all the women out there that society has been telling are not good enough if they are not extremely thin."
For more original photos, visit Summerville's Instagram.