. and elaborate on their latest adventures. However, they’re lying to you. Their lives aren’t perfect. They only choose to share the good things.
Because of this, more social media users are participating in “Instagram vs. Reality” challenges, in which they feature photos that are “perfect” for Instagram and then how things are in “real life.” Blogger Sara Puhto shared side-by-side pictures revealing how influencers convince their followers to think their lives are perfect.
Choosing What You Want to Share
When you take a picture to post on Instagram, you have a choice on how you want to post it. Do you want to add a cool filter that accentuates a particular body feature? Do you want to clean your bedroom and create an attractive background for your photo? How you present yourself to the world on social media is entirely up to you and you alone.
No one is entirely themselves on Instagram. When we look at a photo on the social media platform, we are viewing what the influencer wants us to see. You might find a picture of a woman with her hair perfectly curled. That’s most likely not how her hair always looks, but she presented this idea for the world to see because that’s how she wants people to view her. She’s creating a persona, and this is never healthy.
Adding More Pressure
This persona could become exhausting and stressful. Influencers could feel like they always have to be perfect and look their best. They can never be “themselves.” They always have to be the person they created online.
It’s important to remember that what you post online doesn’t equate to who you really are. If you see a picture of someone who seems perfect and you don’t look like them, that doesn’t mean you are “failing.” Behind the scenes, the influencers are very much like yourself and just trying to get by in life.
Instagram vs. Reality
Because it’s stressful viewing these “perfect” pictures on Instagram, health blogger Sara Puhto started sharing side-by-side pictures revealing how even a certain angle can change your appearance in a photo. If you turn your head to the right, it could draw attention away from your neck or cheeks.
Puhto commented, “I’m sure we’ve all had that feeling where you’re feeling cute at the beach, but then you sit down and all of a sudden, you feel insecure and don’t know how to sit without…feeling…too exposed.” Thus, people only share pictures from when they feel or look their best.
Puhto’s side-by-side pictures have gone viral. Her Instagram page (@saggysara) is one of the primary sources for individuals who love the “Instagram vs. Reality” challenges. She promotes positive body confidence, kindness, and striving for progress, not perfection. Through each post, she’s telling the world where beauty starts: within each of us.
Other ‘Real-Life’ Social Media Users
Puhto isn’t the only social media user who shares how people actually look and behave in real life. Several Instagram users are honest with their followers — showing us the reality behind Instagram.
For example, Chessie King (@chessiekingg) demonstrates that while you might be glamorous sometimes, it’s not always like that. She “breaks up your perfect feed” by proudly posting pictures of herself from different angles that most people would be too embarrassed to share with the world.
In addition, Rianne Meijer (@rianne.meijer) posts outtakes alongside her “perfect” images. She wants to showcase that the pictures you see on Instagram aren’t real. She commented, “I feel like I’ve found my voice through this project, and I want to keep building a community around this that builds on the positive message.”
The next time you see gorgeous pictures on Instagram, don’t let it discourage you. It’s not reality. It’s not even close. They only show you the good things. But the realistic things — the way we actually live — that’s what we really want to see.
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