We’ve all done it. We’re scrolling through Instagram and we see a person who just looks incredible, flawless even, and we wonder what the hell we must be doing wrong. “Why don’t I look like that? I work hard! I eat right! Who are these peopl who basically live on vacation?! Doesn’t he/she work?!” And the self doubt creeps in that we just aren’t good enough. Social media has a way of exacerbating the already serious problem of comparing oneself to others.
Firstly, I would like to say that you cannot compare your day to day life to someone else’s highlight reel. Who is posting themselves with food on their shirt washing the dishes and cooking food in the microwave? Not many people. And I don’t think that is people being dishonest–it’s just that household chores and dressing like a slob do not inspire many people to document and share the moment. When people feel inspired to take a photo or video and share it, it is because it is a moment the want to remember, and they are having fun. I am sure there are people who just post things to show off and/or get attention, but I like to give most people more credit than that. For every glamorous picture you see on IG, there are just as many crappy moments. We’re all human.
Secondly, how many people are going to post an unflattering picture of themselves? Not me. I am a very un-photogenic person–always have been, although it has gotten better because I finally learned how to smile without being (as) awkward. But I know that I am guilty of looking at a photo before I post it, and if I don’t like it, it doesn’t go up. Simple as that. I consider myself to be a pretty low maintenance gal so I don’t play around with filters and angles a whole lot. But let me tell you, that there are some Instagram pros out there. I have seen people with perfect top-down lighting and actual SELFIE MIRRORS, deliberately set up to take the best photos of themselves possible. Then, there are the angles, the posing, and the filters. Cell phone self photography has become something of an art form, and I have to say that I am often impressed because for the life of me, I could never put in that much work for a single photo of me in my bathroom. But some people do and more power to them. the key is to remember that these are perfectly staged photos, and not what most people look like when they are just walking around town.
“But dani, they can’t fake those bodies!”
Until recently, I thought the same thing. Someone would have to take a photo, put it on their computer, photoshop it, and upload it. That’s a lot of work to put on a front of a perfectly sculpted physique! However, this is not the case! There are actually photoshop type apps that you can download, for free, that allow you to photoshop a picture in seconds. I didn’t believe this could possibly be true, so I tried it myself. From clicking the “download app” button to the time of this picture being published was under 3 minutes. Now, it certainly isn’t perfect, but the actual editing took me about 30 seconds to make my waist smaller, and my butt, biceps and shoulders larger. Now if you’re looking, you can clearly see the wavy lines around me where I shopped it. But even though I posted this months ago with a clear caption explaining it, people to this day think it is a progress photo and tell me how good I look. You just have to laugh I guess…..
What’s my point? I guess my point is that you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Yes, there are absolutely stunning people out there, and there are completely gorgeous physiques, and there is no denying that. But there are also about a thousand tricks to make a picture better than it really is. Social media can be inspiring, but it can also be a slippery slope of self loathing. Consider the source and try not to get too hung up on the photos that you see.