How Instagram Is Blurring Reality; The Danger Of Altering Our Body Image

How Instagram Is Blurring Reality; The Danger Of Altering Our Body Image

I love instagram. 

I love the creativity of it, the gorgeous photos that people put out, I’m a sucker for it all.

But, at the moment, I have found that I’m constantly having to remind myself that it’s not reality.

I mean, sure, I know that no one walks around with a warm light room preset constantly hanging over their face making them look fab and the poor trees look space grey; that’s not what I’m talking about.

See, I’ve always liked to draw a BIG line under what I am willing to edit and what I am not. I will edit and enhance photos so that they look pretty. I might tint them a different colour to fit my theme, turn the light up, spot heal some chewing gum on the floor. I’ve been known to photoshop my phone out of pictures too, because sometimes having a glaring iPhone next to my leg in an old fashioned cinema cafe doesn’t look as nice as it does without. But, that’s about it.

I’m not the best at editing but, even if I was better, I would still draw a line at that point.

However, I was faced with a dilemma not too long ago where I had a really visible blemish in a photo. It wasn’t large or anything, but whilst I was editing, it really bugged me. I took the healing brush, clicked once, and it disappeared. I didn’t think anything much more of it at the time, air dropped the image to my phone and got it ready to be posted on instagram.

Just before I posted it, I stopped myself. Why should I have to edit something like that out of a photo?

We all want to be seen as the most perfect version of ourselves, inevitably, but where does the line stop now? If I posted a photo of myself having edited my body in this way, my line would be crossed. 

So, I went back to edit, undid the heal and posted it.

I think I actually took a big deep breath before I posted it. I was worried that someone would point out the blemish and be mean about it.

What happened?

Absolutely nothing.

The earth kept turning, the comments were as lovely as usual, and my line hadn’t been crossed.

I know that this sounds like such a silly, trivial thing, but I genuinely did worry about how easy it would be. If I started out editing things like that that I perceived as ‘imperfections’, where would it end?

And then it dawned on me, that’s why instagram has been getting me down lately, because it all just looks too perfect.

I see fake diet results which I know are obviously enhanced, sure. But I fail to see that those images of a someone looking amazing, alone, in front of one of the greatest landmarks in the world may also be enhanced, and that’s my problem.

And even if I’m posting a photo that others may perceive to be ‘perfect’, I don’t see it that way because I’ve seen the imperfections before hand. Likewise, they don’t see it as anything other than perfect because they haven’t see those imperfections.

I love a creative, inspired, aspirational edit as much as the next girl, but I’ve also been enjoying more down to earth content recently.

Give me your every day gal in a coffee shop writing witty, chatty captions and not editing out her blemishes; that’s the kinda account I want to follow.

I do follow some fab accounts like this, already, and I’ve made sure to be actively engaging with this content so that I see more of it. But, if you know of any accounts that you think I’d love, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Love,

H x

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