We hear it all the time: Instagram isn’t reality, so don’t believe everything you see.
And it’s not just about the fake all-year-round happiness or the fake perfect life (I use the word “fake” because there are no such things): I understand the impulse of showing only what’s good and to spread those positive vibes. I do that, too! Although I always try to keep it real by sharing also my struggles and low moments, because they’re part of human nature and life in general, so we shouldn’t hide them!
As I was saying, it’s not just about this.
It’s also about how edited, airbrushed and reshaped those Ig pics are. Those perfectly happy babes living those perfect lives, sometimes even have perfect bodies.
How’s that possible?
It’s simple: it isn’t.
Again, I’m all about posing and showing you those good angles, but what you see on my feed is always ME. How would the perfect version of myself look like? How difficult is it to discover that? Well, it’s actually incredibly easy.
Now, I’ve never done this before and I’m not Photoshop-savvy, but this is the result of literally 5 minutes of editing. It’s a bit exaggerated and you can tell it’s fake, I know. Still, when I looked at it I was like “Wow! I look like all those girls on those trashy reality shows on tv, or those bombshells on the gram”.
Suddenly, looking at the original picture (that I chose because I liked it a lot), I felt like it was ugly. Like I wasn’t beautiful enough, my hair too lame, my nose too big. That Photoshop-created girl was better than me.
Wait, wait. Hold on a second. Was she? She doesn’t even exist!
I laughed at myself.
But this little experiment made me think a lot.
I have a strong character, personality and identity, and I learned to love myself and my own features for what they are, for their uniqueness and for the huge luck I have thanks to my fully functioning, healthy body.
Although now I could totally understand how something as easy to do as an altered pic can mess with your head. I almost fell for that, too! And out there there are girls who aren’t as confident as I am, or haven’t learned to love their bodies yet..
So not only those retouched bodies can make them feel inadequates, ugly, too much of something or not enough of something else. Those girls might even believe that they need extreme dieting, skinny teas and even real life plastic surgery to attain those results! Forgetting that what they are looking at isn’t even real!
And even if you lose those extra kg, workout every day, got under the scalpel.. Breaking News: you will never be perfect. I’m sorry to tell you this, but again: perfection doesn’t exist. You’d just have entered a circle of dissatisfaction, self doubt and hate, and you’d still think you haven’t done enough, going down even more.
So stop right there.
If you feel like what’s on your newsfeed makes you feel bad about yourself: unfollow.
If you feel like reshaping your picture to show the world your perfect self: stop right there, too. What good would that do? Wouldn’t you feel like a fraud? Wouldn’t you feel even worse if someone who doesn’t even exist was showing up in your pics, getting those likes instead of you? I know I would. And I know I would feel awful acknowledging that my fake perfection could make someone feel bad about themselves, too.
So please, people: forget perfection.
Let’s all take a step back.
Let’s follow people who are REAL, who inspire us to strive for improvement and self acceptance, balance and harmony, who normalize normal bodies and flaws, uniqueness and imperfections, who advocate for mental health and and inclusiveness.
And let’s be those real, inspiring, self loving people ourselves, too.