Pick up your phone and open Instagram.
Within minutes, there’s one thing you’ll notice.
From celebrities and influencers to colleagues and friends, there’s one thing in common about almost every single post. Our social media feeds are filled to the brim with people showcasing the very best parts of themselves.
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Take a closer look at your feed.
Not only are images carefully crafted and photographed. Completely normal parts of us – like cellulite, acne scars, body hair and stretch marks – are edited away.
Waists are shrunk. Cellulite is faded. Post-pregnancy stretch marks are hidden. Pores are blurred. Acne is removed. Teeth are whitened in editing apps. Scars are hidden. Bloating is covered up.
As we all know, unrealistic beauty standards in the form of photoshopped celebrities and influencers is nothing new. From magazine covers to billboard advertisements, we’ve seen it for decades.
On social media, however, with the help of careful posing and countless editing apps, it’s a whole other ball game. And as a result, we now have a completely warped view of what constitutes a ‘normal’ body.
In research released by the Butterfly Foundation in late 2019, 58 per cent of the 5,000 respondents admitted that they compare themselves to people on social media, while 50 per cent admitted that they wished they would look like people on social media.
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Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule when it comes to sharing ‘real’ bodies on social media. Over the years, more and more women have been going against the grain and sharing ‘real’ photos of their bodies in all their glory.