While the spring breakers are out exploring the beaches of Cabo, you’re at home scrolling through your Explore page and probably feeling kind of sh*tty about yourself. But know you’re not alone. Seeing an endless stream of gorgeous, skinny girls in their teeny tiny swimsuits is enough to put a real damper on anyone’s self esteem.
But it’s reality check time—this isn’t reality. There are so many tricks, stratagems, ploys, devices, you name it that Instagrammers use to make themselves appear totally flawless on your feed. Here are a couple:
Phone apps like Facetune and Perfect365 are essentially Photoshop for dummies. Facetune, the worse of the two in my opinion, allows you to make yourself a model for the low price of $3.99. You can touch yourself up and thin yourself out with the mere swipe of a finger. In a CNN Tech article about the app, the writer says, “Now, there’s no excuse for not looking your best.” While we aren’t shaming people for wanting to look and feel beautiful, this mentality can be toxic, especially when tons of Instagram users are unaware apps like this even exist. So now you know, her complexion probably isn’t that clear and her arm not that skinny.
Ever heard of the Insta-sit? Let me break it down for you. You sit in your bikini with your legs half-crossed, one extended and the other folded underneath, arms held above your head, and back slumped to bring your stomach inward. According to this article praising the pose, it “lengthens limbs and shows off tans” and “you HAVE to try” it. You’d be shocked at the mass of step-by-step instructions there are online regarding how to look thin in photos. Reputable magazines like Elle and Harper’s Bazaar have even contributed to this blatantly problematic conversation. Thankfully there’s another social media trend of posting “posed” and “unposed” photos side-by-side to confront this phenomenon.
I once heard the saying, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” People only post their life’s highlights to social media, and I’m sure once you come to think of it, that’s what you do too. In her highly publicized rejection of the app, Australian Instagram model Essena O’Neill made it clear that what she had been posting was merely “contrived perfection.” So, I leave you with this quote from her: “If you find yourself looking at ‘Instagram girls’ and wishing your life was there’s [sic]…Realise you only see what they want.”
How do you squash the social media blues? Let us know in the comments!
(Featured image via @alexisren)