Social media has evolved to become much more than a way to connect with friends and family. Instead of sharing accurate depictions of our lives, many people strive to promote an unrealistically perfect lifestyle to their followers. Through an endless array of filters and carefully staged photos, social networking has ended up causing more harm and separation than its original intent of bringing people closer together.
To lift the veil on how manipulative social media can be, there has been a growing trend of people contrasting their visually orchestrated photos with natural, unedited ones. The purpose of these comparative pictures is to disillusion one’s followers to the notion that not everything posted online represents reality.
Here are 24 women who have let their followers in on their secrets to prove that no one is perfect despite what some networks can lead you to believe.
1. Instagram influencer, Sara Puhto, uploaded these side-by-side pictures, writing, “Nobody’s body looks the same from all angles. Don’t eat less or miss out on your favorite meals/drinks or over exercise to ‘look good for a holiday’ or to ‘look good in bikini photos’ because there will always be angles that are ‘unflattering’ that might make you feel bad when you see them.”
2. Every time you look at a seemingly perfect picture on Instagram, just know that there is a camera roll full of outtakes that didn’t make the cut. Chessie King uploaded this photo and stated, “I was going through my recently deleted folder ready to ‘delete all’ but saw the right photo and recovered it. I felt this sense of guilt that I’d deleted it and posted the left one.”
3. Lizzie Anderson promotes not only a healthy lifestyle on her Instagram, but a healthy view on people’s bodies. “Am I fat? No, but I get major rolls when I slouch,” the 24-year-old wrote. “You know why? Because rolls are natural! We all have them so I’m just gonna roll with it. People only post their best selves on Instagram at times so remember you all are beautiful.”
4. Personal trainer Mikaela West posted this comparative picture, writing, “Don’t let someone else’s carefully cultivated selfie, taken in the most flattering pose, in the best lighting, at their best angle determine how you feel about yourself. It’s called ‘insta’gram for a reason — it’s a single instant in time in which most people choose to show only the best of themselves.”
5. Milly Smith works hard to promote loving yourself on her popular Instagram page Self Love Club. “Same girl, same day, same time,” Smith captioned the photo. “We are so blinded to what a real unposed body looks like and blinded to what beauty is that people would find me less attractive within a 5 second switch! How insanely ridiculous is that?”
6. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best for a picture, but it’s important to be aware that there are a number of things going on behind-the-scenes that attribute to that. Caitlin posted this picture, writing, “A photo can be deceiving. I always talk about how lighting and poses make a huge difference when it comes to how a photo turns out.”
7. If you’ve made the decision to post a selfie, it’s probably a pretty good picture of yourself. However, anyone who has ever unintentionally opened their camera on selfie-mode knows that the picture on the left more accurately depicts how we look on a regular basis. Angles can make all the difference.
8. “If I’m going to show you the posted, put together, professional sides of me, I’m gonna make damn sure you see the not so flattering sides too,” Foodie Girl Fitness wrote to her 200,000 followers on Facebook. “Contrary to what society has taught us to think, our worth isn’t measured by how many belly rolls we have, or how many dimples on our booty, or how much jiggle hangs out on our arms.”
9. How many people do you really see just casually hanging out with an arched back tousling their hair while lounging in the sun? Probably none. However, on Instagram, this seems to be the only way people know how to move while in a bikini. Mila Pova posted this picture to prove that standing normally doesn’t create the same effect as this overused pose.
10. “A few click. That’s all this took,” Megan Jayne Crabble wrote on this quickly Photoshopped picture of herself. “5 minutes on a ‘Perfect Body’ app to make myself the size I always wanted to be, the size that fills out TV screens and magazines, the size people die for.”
11. “Spot the difference,” Fitness guru Bryon Gill instructed her followers. “It’s easy to get wrapped up into thinking no one else has tummy rolls, cellulite, bads under their eyes or a small bum, but gals and guys, these things are what makes you you. If you take anything away from this post it’s to take most pics on Instagram with a pinch of salt.”
12. It’s not surprising that many girls only post incredibly flattering photos of themselves. Many attractive women have amassed thousands of followers and achieved influencer status for their looks. However, Maria Lykova decided to share a much more candid photo of herself to deter people from thinking that she’s perfect all the time.
13. It didn’t take long for Snapchat filters to start invading Social media. The filters are specifically designed to make the user look glamorous and hide any flaws in real time. This has saved many people the need to edit their pictures after their taking them. Scarlett Moffatt posted a side-by-side photo to show just how misleading these filters can be.
14. “Isn’t this how it compares most of the time? We show our perfected, most beautiful moments to be the world that is cheered on by likes and followers, but we have to deal with the not-so-glamorous-ones all by ourselves – when there is no one to cheer you on when you are feeling depressed, lonely, and like a complete failure,” Macial Hopkins wrote on Instagram.
15. “I look at the picture on the right and I can point out a thousand flaws: I hate my arms, my belly is flabby, I look stumpy,” Chloe Bletsoe wrote on Instagram. “Yet the picture on the left I am happy with. It’s crazy when you consider they are taken seconds apart. Posture and pose is everything.”
16. Anyone with an Instagram account has scrolled through their feed to find a pair of legs lounging by the water in the vein of some sort of vacation pamphlet. Imre Çeçen decided to share a picture of how most people’s legs actually look when lounging by the pool versus what people post.
17. Instagram users showing themselves in a not-so-perfect light has been working as a chain reaction and more people are becoming less self conscious with their posts. When it comes down to it, you can look however you want on social media, but there are no filters in real life.
18. “We all need to learn that we are beautiful no matter what,” Imre Çeçen wrote to inspire body positivity to her thousands of followers. “A year ago I would have instantly deleted that picture on the right. And now? Do you see that giant smile? It’s me smiling at myself in the mirror. I could see every roll, fold or whatever, and thought: ‘You know what girl? You’re beautiful.”
19. Sudsy bath pictures are no stranger to social media. If it’s not a pair of legs posed in a bubble bath, it’s some try hard seductive selfie. However, no one truly enjoying a bath is photo ready. Aida Levi showed a posed picture alongside what we all really look like while soaking in the tub.
20. “Me 1% of the time vs. 99% of the time,” personal trainer Anna Victoria shared with her million followers on Instagram. “As I’m getting older, I have cellulite and stretch marks that aren’t going away, and I welcome them. They represent a life fully lived and a healthy life and body at that.”
21. “Because every day we are bombarded with ‘perfect’ images on social media and in magazines, and because I’m slightly terrified of the world my two girls are growing up into, here is a perfectly normal but not so perfect image,” Fitness guru Melinda shared with her thousands of followers.
22. “We all post and spend 30 minutes trying to take that perfect selfie. That perfect pose,” Kamilah Powell captioned her Instagram post. “But we need to remember Instagram is not real life. Nobody on here is perfect. They only create a perfect story on their Instagram feed. We need to remember not to hold ourselves to those super high standards.”
23. “This is your reminder to stop comparing yourself to people on the Internet,” Jayme Chick expressed to her followers on her health and wellness page. “Most people want to show themselves in the best light and at the best angle, I mean who wouldn’t? But it is important to remember that that’s what it is!”
24. “Posed v. Just standing around. Just wanted to remind you all that what you see on social media isn’t always a direct representation of reality. Posing can make a decent difference in how one looks through a picture. Keep that in mind as you’re scrolling through your feed,” Zoe explained to her followers.