Posted on: August 9, 2017 at 10:07 am
Last updated: April 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Over the last few years, Instagram has made its way to the top of the social media pecking order. Users post pictures of food (#foodporn), vacations (#wanderlust), and their pets doing something cute (#dogsinpyjamas). No type of photo, however, is more frequently posted than the almighty selfie.

Whether it’s a gym selfie, a bikini selfie, or a snap of the person all dressed up for a night out, people love posting selfies and are almost intoxicated by the number of likes and comments that they receive.

The Problem with Instagram Selfies


While Instagram is a fun way to stay connected with others and share some of your favorite moments with your friends and followers, the fakeness of Instagram is becoming increasingly apparent. Users spend hours taking hundreds of photos, picking their best angles, agonizing over which one they like the most, editing and applying filters before finally posting their “insta”-gram for all to see.

As we scroll through our feeds, we compare what we see first thing in the morning (#wokeuplikethis) to everyone else’s makeup-ed and manicured highlight reels. To top it off, some companies have taken to posting fake “transformation” photos to sell products that claim you, too, will transform your body if only you purchase their product.

The 30-Second Body Transformation Selfies

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Some Instagram users who got tired of feeling bad about themselves after comparing themselves to other women’s pictures decided to take to the platform to spread a more body-positive, realistic message in the form of “The 30-Second Transformation”.

They have taken two photos of themselves 30-seconds apart: In one, they are posing in a flattering way, with good lighting, filters and all. The second, they sit or stand in a normal position without worry about what their “best angle” is. The result is a stunning look into how posed and far from reality the photos that get shared to Instagram really are.

Lessons of Self Love

These are just a few of the posts shared by the strong, amazing women who want you to know that you are beautiful from every angle and that no one’s body looks perfect or is perfect all the time. 

Even famous fitness professionals don’t look toned and fit from every angle or every minute of every day.


Me 1% of the time vs. 99% of the time. And I love both photos equally. Good or bad angles don’t change your worth ❤️ I recently came across an article talking about how one woman stated she refuses to accept her flaws, because she doesn’t see them as flaws at all. I LOVED that because it sends such a powerful message that our belly rolls, cellulite, stretch marks are nothing to apologize for, to be ashamed of, or to be obsessed with getting rid of! 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 (for 28 years so far :)) and a healthy life and body at that. How can I be mad at my body for perfectly normal “flaws”? This body is strong, can run miles, can lift and squat and push and pull weight around, and it’s happy not just because of how it looks, but because of how it feels. So when you approach your journey, I want you to remember these things: I will not punish my body I will fuel it I will challenge it AND I will love it If you’re following my page, you’re a part of helping me spread this message and creating this movement – thank you. #fbggirls #realstagram

A post shared by Anna Victoria (@annavictoria) on

Not only does posing certain ways help to make you look thinner or more jacked than you are, but most of what you see (even seemingly regular people’s Instagram feeds) has been altered in photo shop to make things look just the way they want.

‼️‼️ LOOKING FOR THE FLAT STOMACH YOU’VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?! Just try photoshop! Might as well post another #realvsfake #transformationtuesday #photoshop post. Left = real, right = fake. Honestly if you look at just my upper body, I almost think it’s real, but I know my body and I’ve seen the real photo so ‍♀️bigger boobs, bum, and smaller stomach and arms • Other people choose what you get to see, and if they edit a photo and don’t want you to see the original, you might never. Or, in this day and age, a lot of surgery is common as well. Which is whatever, I mean I won’t get butt implants, but other people have them. So don’t just assume that everything you see is genuine. Even if it isn’t photoshop, that doesn’t mean it’s real. And I’m not saying be a pessimist, but I don’t want people to feel badly over their own body bc of what someone else chooses to share. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s photos. Even if they don’t edit, their body is different. Their diet is different. Their training is probably different. Their starting point was different. The stress in their life is different. Their job is different (highly affects NEAT which in turn effects fitness and weight loss). DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. You are realistic. You are real. Your goals are tangible, and when you compare to yourself, they’re so much more attainable • If anyone just says this isn’t photoshop and that I’m just sucking in omg ‍♀️ also, If anyone feels SUPER smart and is like wow photoshop. Yes, that’s the damn point. You aren’t a detective. • #themoreyouknow #staywoke #photoshop #fake #edited #notatransformation

A post shared by Hailey Bettencourt (@haileybettencourtfitness) on

All of these are just a reminder that not everything you see on TV, Instagram, and the internet is telling the whole truth, and that everyone has stretch marks, has stomach folds when they sit down, and gets bloated from time to time. Just because you don’t have the thigh gap or the abs that the girls you follow on the ‘gram appear to, doesn’t mean you are less beautiful, worthy, or important as them.

Join us in spreading this message of reality and self-love and help us end the cycle of comparing our everyday selves to the manicured, altered, or downright fake images we see online by sharing this post with your friends and family. Let’s spread the #bodyconfidence and #selflove.

The Hearty Soul
Health Network
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