Instagram Vs. Reality.

Hey you guys!

This blog idea came to me when I started seeing more adverts for apps like FaceTune on YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms. They essentially, from my understanding, are encouraging young users to edit away their ‘flaws’ and create a face that is no longer a true representation of their actual looks. This is apparent on accounts on Instagram, for example, that do a lot of make-up looks.
I always looked at their posts and wondered how they had such vibrant colour pay off, how their highlight looked brighter than the sun and why their face looked so smooth that it seemed they hadn’t aged since they had popped out of the womb. I genuinely feel like these photos that are not a true representation of  humans are actually extremely harmful. I have started to develop complexes about my own face, make-up skills and general looks due to this heavily edited life we now see all over social media. I feel like it upsets me more as this ‘norm’ of editing the hell out of photos has now become so well used that you kinda forget that the people in these photos have most likely used some form of editing software to make their skin, eyes, lips, teeth, and make-up look so painfully perfect that I feel like I can never achieve that (which I can’t) and it makes me feel shit about myself, to put it bluntly.

I wouldn’t say I pride myself on this, because I don’t, but I would say I appreciate the fact that the most I do to my photos on social media is add a colour overlay to fit in with my ‘theme’ of the moment (which in reality is no theme at all as I can’t organise my photos on Instagram to save my life). I have never smoothed my skin, removed any blemishes or spots, I have never hidden any fine lines or made my make-up look brighter or more airbrushed, as to me that is a false representation of what you have done and what you actually look like. To me, heavily editing photos, is creating a reality that doesn’t exist, both to the following you have and, more importantly, to yourself. There is only so much that studio lights and a good camera can do to make your photos look more crisp and clear, but you can easily see when some ‘influencers’ (literally hate that term) use apps, such as FaceTune, to edit their photos before posting.

I read recently that over half of young teens have feelings that they aren’t good enough, and just under half of those thought that social media played a part in making them feel that way. I am sure some would be shocked by this, but for me, someone who has grown up with social media for a long while, can easily see why that would take its toll. Edited photos, portraying what seems to be a perfect life with no hardships, no arguments, no bad skin days or mental health issues, all add up to people, including myself,  comparing their lives to a reality that doesn’t even exist. And that is impossible to fight with, as you cannot achieve that life. You can’t make your skin look so smooth and perfect like theirs, or make your make-up look so flawless that it looks like they have it tattooed to their face. I know some ‘influencers’ don’t heavily edit photos, but some do, and that edited reality isn’t attainable, and that’s what makes you feel even worse. It’s an endless loop of shit, if I’m honest, I can feel my brain getting more and more depressed the more I use social media, which is why I step away from it by not scrolling, I literally can’t take looking at ‘perfect’ lives and then hating myself for not being them. Like, soz to break it to you, Laura, but no you aren’t Kendall Jenner and you never will be, so wake up and stop comparing, it’s pointless!

I can see now who edits their photos heavily, and I can see that social media is people always putting their best face forward, but I am making a mini resolution with myself to share the hard times too. I want an accurate representation of life on my social media, not so I can gain or lose followers, but to actually keep myself sane.  I use my Instragram as an online scrapbook, I look back through photos and love to relive memories, so even if those memories aren’t that great, at least it is real life, and not a weird formation of happiness that isn’t my own reality. I need to see that life is amazing, and beautiful, and I have an amazing partner and cute kitties and wonderful friends. But mental health impacts my life more than I would ever let on, my skin isn’t great 90% of the time thanks to breakouts and I am starting to see fine lines on my face that I don’t appreciate or love right now, but I will learn how to. I want to see my own reality, rather than a well polished version, because if I’m gonna keep it real, I need to know that life is just as messy as it is pretty, and that’s okay, because everyone’s life is. It isn’t just my own. Sometimes on down days you need to remind yourself that you’ve been this low before, and even lower, and you came back with a smile on your face. If that isn’t a reason enough for me to be honest with myself then I don’t know what is.

Talk soon,

Laura xo

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