Newsflash: I’m not airbrushed in person.

In News by Kelley Gunter37 Comments

Let me just dive into this topic, because I’m annoyed and a little pissed off.  We all know when those emotions flare up, my alter ego, the Homecoming Queen of Crazy Town, gets extremely riled up and demands to be let out of her chambers.  She desires to handle the situation and unleash her wrath and fury in an unforgettable display that is sure to be filled with high theatrics and drama. While entertaining, her irrational responses and behaviors leave even the residents of Crazy Town shaking their heads and exclaiming, “Oh my, the Queen was on one today.”  With these factors being taken into sincere consideration, I choose to handle things and allow the Queen to remain deep in the chambers of my soul.

A little bit ago, a woman posted on my page and accused me of being fake and presenting a picture of perfection to other women that is unobtainable.  She accused me of photoshopping all of my pictures and basically implied that I don’t look like my photos.  She stated that there are women who are vulnerable and that I was basically hurting them by presenting fake perfection.  She stated that she would no longer follow me until I was “real.”

I responded immediately and said that she clearly had not read my book, my blog, or watched any of my live videos because I constantly talk about and point out my many, MANY imperfections.  I explained that I am the last person to present an image of being “perfect” and that I believe we are all beautiful in our own amazing ways.  She responded, and before I could respond again, I was being inundated with messages from women who were outraged by her comment and rallying the troops to attack.

Women–beautiful, amazing women–were telling me of their scathing replies that they were ready to launch her way.   I had to chuckle as they were pointing out ALL of my imperfections—the ones that I discuss in my book, blog about, post about, and openly go live about.  I thought to myself, “wow…that’s a lot of imperfections,” and all of these people are aware of them.  But the beautiful thing was that they were ready to go to battle to defend their imperfect friend—me.  One Facebook friend said to me, “you did a Facebook live video with your face deformed and hanging sideways, (LOL—her words) and this woman is going to accuse you of presenting fake perfection ?!”

I was so touched by the wonderful people who were so ready to defend me and felt they had to reach out to me.  I truly appreciate the support and the love.  I have tried to be real and to share the truth of my story.  I have shared the horrors of my childhood which was filled with rape and sexual abuse.  I have shared the heartbreaks of my adult life, and the many mistakes I have made on my continued journey of trying to become my very best self. My book is filled with my imperfections.   Do I use filters on my photos?  Absolutely! Yes!  One hundred percent of the time I use filters on my photos, because I choose to and if I want to, it is my right to do so.  I never thought anyone ever believed for a second that I look like I’m airbrushed in person.

I can also say that most of the time when I meet people it’s remarkable how many times they say, “you are so much prettier in person.”  I have heard this so much that I have said to Lori many times that my pictures must look like booty, because people always tell me I look better in person.  I always choose to believe that people think I look better in person because I am live and my heart and soul can be seen in person.  It’s hard to pick up energy and love in a photo, but in person, you can’t hide your personality–the vibe of who you truly are is present and alive and people experience you in real time.

I can also say that I have never once thought that I should post on someone’s page and say that their photos are fake and that they are clearly photoshopped.  I would never do that.  Why?  Because I think it’s a mean girl thing to do and I have encountered so many mean girls in my life that I could literally vomit.  I choose to support women and rally for other women and lift them up.  I will never be that woman who chooses to write something negative on someone else’s page.  For starters, I am not the photoshop police or the social media police.  I get negative comments all the time on my page.  People post and say that I’m transgender– I’m not transgender, but if I was, I would let the whole damn world know.  Others post and say that I am a drag Queen.  I’m not a drag Queen, but if I was, I would openly rock that shit too.

The sad reality of it is that some people are just mean-spirited, unhappy, and they feel superior when they put someone else down.  If you have to put me down to feel better about you, I feel sorry for you.  I am not walking around this earth trying to tell other people how to live their lives.  I have enough battles to fight in my own life and I certainly don’t try to jump into everyone else’s world and tell them how to live.  I figure when I get to heaven I am going to have plenty of explaining to do to God about my behaviors while I inhabited this beautiful planet He created.   The very last thing I am going to try to explain to Him is why I tried to do His job and judge other people on this earth. Nope, not this kid–I leave the judging up to God.

My mission is to provide hope and faith to people who are hurting.  I have always told people to believe in themselves and to trust in God and that He would open the doors they need in their lives.  I have shared that I know how it feels to be alone, to be abandoned, to be betrayed, to feel trapped in the darkness and to be afraid that things will never get better.  I have been vulnerable and explained how, at times, I wondered why God would ever allow me to suffer through the horrors that I have lived through. I have also explained how at the end of the day, my faith in God is what has gotten me through and that I realized how He never left me–God was always there.

Each day I pray and ask God to please allow anyone who meets me to find Him. I have shared my truth and I have tried to spread love and kindness to all I encounter and have encouraged others to do the same.  I speak a message of love and compassion, yet I also implore everyone to discover their own self-worth and not allow anyone to ever treat them poorly.  We all deserve better.  Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, though, I am no one’s victim any longer and I do not tolerate disrespect or cruelty.  I will no longer give any energy to those types of comments on my page.  I will not respond to them ever again and will simply delete them and block the person who posted them.  Those types of people will never be members of my tribe.

I’m going to keep being unapologetically me and I implore you to do the same.  Don’t let the trolls of social media upset you.  Anyone who has to point out someone else’s flaws isn’t a person for me.  Now, if you are like me and you’re covered with scars, your path has been littered with mistakes, you’ve survived the monsters of life, and every day you’re simply trying to do your very best, you’re my kind of person. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to escape some of these afflictions in your lifetime, but you support the people who have suffered through these storms, you’re my kind of person as well.

It’s really not that hard to let people live.

One last time, for the record, I use filters on my photos. I promise you I’m not airbrushed in person.  If you follow me on snapchat, I don’t really have any animal ears, or a tail wagging behind me, six-inch eyelashes, a bunny nose, or a high-pitched squeaky voice.  If you come to an event where I speak or a book signing, I won’t have perfect lighting and you’ll see me from a regular angle, not the spectacular one that photographers are perfect at finding.   I don’t always say the right thing.  In fact, sometimes I make huge mistakes and say ridiculously funny things during interviews that my friends and I laugh hysterically about later.  Yes, I laugh at myself–all the time– and I am more critical of myself than anyone else will ever be.

One thing I will never do, though,  is be that person who sits back and watches someone bully someone else.  After having been bullied for many years of my life, I will certainly not ever suffer in silence again while someone bullies me.  So, to all you keyboard warriors out there…it’s okay if you don’t like me.

I’d think less of myself if you did.







  1. Misery loves company. I have been accused of having a perfect life because I was at goal. (My surgery was 17 years ago) Soooooo far from the truth. When I spoke at events I have been apologized to because they assumed things about me that weren’t true. There will always be those who are unfair, unhappy, and miserable. Having spent years people pleasing I am still wounded by comments like this. As hard as it is I try to concentrate on the beautiful souls who come into my life because the amazing community of support is what we need to focus on. Many people are in need because of poor aftercare and the denial in general of food addiction. Let these critics go who have nothing better to do than to criticize your looks. You and I have lived with that years before surgery, we lose the weight, and it still continues. It just reinforces to my low self esteem that I’m still NOT ENOUGH. My head is still fighting worthlessness, I work hard to volunteer and give back, and unfortunately when you put yourself out there you will have these types of comments. No amount of explaining will change these unhappy people because they don’t want to understand. One of my favorite quotes “Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you!”❤️

  2. Look at all these awesome comments and the ones on your page! YOU ARE SOOOOOOO very real and so very lovable and so very magnificent! And you ALWAYS cause me to LOL OUT LOUD when I read your writing! Stay so real, my beautiful friend. And teach me how to use those damn filters! XOXOXOXOOX

  3. Love this, Kelley!!! Keep on keeping on my friend, I am super proud to know you!

  4. Kelley,
    I am only 2 months sleeve post op. My friend told me about your story. Right away I bought your book and water bottle (to keep me on track!). You inspire me every morning and have already helped me dig deep to find my inner strength through some already tough battles in this journey. Reading your words is what gets me through. Not looking at your pictures. Your pictures only show that you are a real person who has gone down the road I am on!
    Much love and keep shining!

  5. As I have said many a time, you truly are a beautiful person inside & out!!! Keep up the inspirational motivation that you provide us!! Love ya girlie!!! ❤️

  6. Kelley ppl who judge other at just miserable ppl . I know how it was to be bullied as a Fat girlf growling up . Since my WLS. I am beginning to find myself for the first time in along time. I give you some of the credit by reading your book. Knowing that of courses your going to use filters on your photos. Duh.?? Who would not if they were done by a professional???. I love you Kelley Gunter and F**K them ppl! Rant over ??‍♀️

  7. Kelly, is so sad how judgmental people can be. Especially when they know nothing of your lifelong struggles and how you fought and clawed your way out of the dysfunction and abuse to get where you are now♥️♥️ Jealousy is all I can think of? You have busted your arss and you are proof and hope for ALL! Proof that the abuse can be overcome with hard work and dedication as well as hope because of your inner beauty that SHINES in your smile and radiates your entire being. I do not know you personally, yet have read your book and seen you do several LIVEs. The genuineness and sincerity in your words leaves no doubt in my mind or in my heart—YOU are not just a pretty face! Yes you are stunningly beautiful and have a body most women only dream of—-yet you have worked hard and deserve absolute respect for who you are and all you have achieved! No one-NO ONE has the right to criticize you— yet hurting people hurt people?. Keep on Adulting-rise above the hurt and shame others attempt to cast upon you. YOU ARE AN AMZING WOMAN KELLY!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much and I truly appreciate that you have read my book, my blogs, and watched my LIVES and feel that you know who I am. I try very hard to be “filterless” in real life and just present who I am…. I appreciate the love and I send it all right back to you, my friend. xoxo

  8. When you’re real, you don’t need an airbrush, because you’re perfectly who you’re supposed to be.
    An imperfection to one, might be the hearts desire to another.
    Don’t change a thing, you’re perfect in every way.
    ..but maybe I’m biased.

  9. Kelley
    U have always made me feel beautiful even when I didn’t feel it.. every time I saw you I was inspired in some way. Lmao I read this thinking it would be a huge compliment If I could apply my makeup so well to be accused of being drag. Those guys have done superior skills! Your makeup is always stunning. And NO we don’t need it but we like it lol
    Xoxoxo ?

    1. Author

      Awwww thank you honey. You should feel beautiful because you are so beautiful….both on the inside and the out. We have to keep on loving ourselves and each other. I miss you. xoxoxo

  10. When a plain ole caterpillar morphs into a beautiful butterfly in nature, people think nothing of it – that’s just “Mother Nature” doing her thing. However when humans make the sacrifice to do what it takes to achieve the same type results, certain people – without knowing the facts – will be disdainful of you. Just remember that some women will dislike because they cannot be you and some men will dislike you because they cannot be with you. These are the people who do not really like themselves and will transfer their own insecurities to you – makes it easier to live with themselves. Brush those people off just as you would lint on a shirt.

    1. Author

      Thank you for such a beautiful, well-thought comment. I think it is sad, but true, that some people just can’t be supportive and happy for other people. Instead of lifting each other up, angry, unhappy people go on the attack.

  11. This post truly touched me. I look up to you as a survivor. I have yet to read your book, but to know that you have been through major trauma only encourages me to push through. I am hoping to afford your book soon but am enjoying your blog and FB posts. Keep pressing on girl. You are beautiful.

  12. Such another wonderful blog! Thank you so much Kelley for these blogs, they really help me with my personal crap. You are such a wonderful and beautiful person, inside & out. Have a wonderful day. ?

  13. Bravo my friend! Well done!

    It would have been soooo easy to react in a different way! To scream, ” Oh yeah?! Well, you’re just (fill in the blank)”
    ….To fight with a full blown counter attack! But when have you done “what’s easy” ??!!

    Instead of tearing the person down, you use the situation as a learning opportunity in self acceptance and strength.

    You are a true Warrior for Self. For everyone’s Self. Self acceptance, happiness and love.

    Yes, I am damn proud of you, my “Never- do -anything -the- easy- way ” friend. Damn proud!

    I love you to the moon and back!

    1. Author

      I love you so much. We have weathered many storms together and I know we will continue to weather whatever life throws our way. I am so blessed and thankful to have had you as my friend almost my entire life. xoxoxo

  14. Why does it matter to anyone if you use filters or not? Does she watch TV or go to the movies? Does she really believe all those women in Hollywood never age? Newsflash.. the cameras they shoot with have filters on them. ? Your story and experiences and encouragement are the reasons people follow you, well except for me I follow you because your funnier that heck and keep a great sense or humor and are real
    about your imperfections! ( Okay I do draw strength from your story or what I know of it.. I have yet to read your book ?.) Some people were just not created with the intelligence to scroll on by when they feel that negative comment about to be vomited onto the comment box?

  15. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. People who leave comments like that are just plain mean and so unhappy within themselves they have to sprew their venomous hate on to someone else to make themselves feel better. You’re an amazing person who keeps its as real as its gets. Don’t change a thing ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  16. Awesome Kelley!! And that is exactly why I love you

  17. What a perfect blog!!!! Airbrushed? You are the complete opposite of that! You are everything you said and more!!! Your like a breath of fresh air and as down to earth as they come!!!!!!Glad you wrote this awesome blog❤️

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