People are just living their best edited lives on Instagram.
It’s not news that many of the so-called “real” images you see on social media don’t embody people’s truths. Yet, that doesn’t stop us from comparing our bodies (size, skin, hair, you name it) and our lives to people on Instagram, which can send us down a pretty dark rabbit hole. Luckily, model and fitness influencer Iskra Lawrence is here to tell us that the real you is good enough.
Lawrence posted a side-by-side to Instagram of two photos of herself in a navy lace bralette. Although the images appear similar—same bra, same stance—there are noticeable differences. She writes that the picture on the left is “the REAL me,” while the one on the right is the FaceTuned version of herself after editing her skin tone, tummy, and face.
“For me social media is the most damaging place where images are made to look ‘real and candid’ but in reality 100 pics were taken and then they were Photoshopped or FaceTuned,” Lawrence captions the photo.
Scrolling through our feeds, we are only getting a glimpse—a very small, controlled window—into the lives of others. Chances are, the photo we are presented with may not be the reality of their situation. That fitness model’s abs look perfect in her selfie, but we don’t see a photo of her sitting down post-workout with natural stomach rolls (which we all have). That influencer posted a photo holding hands with their seemingly perfect S.O. or fiancé, and yet they could fight all the time. The photo of the social star smiling on vacation or enjoying a happy hour cocktail could be disguising a struggle with stress and anxiety that he or she feels every day, just like the rest of us. These perfectly posed, often edited images on Instagram can mask larger issues, like eating disorders, insecurities, and unhappiness.
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Instagram only shows us what the person wants us to see, and these false realties are, well, damaging. In our daily scroll, we tend to internally bully ourselves with thoughts like Why can’t I be thin like her? and Why can’t my pores be that small? The hardest question of all may be, Are we supposed to look like this? Lawrence’s response? “ABSOLUTELY NOT. THE REAL YOU IS GOOD ENOUGH,” she writes.
“We cannot compare ourselves to unrealistic images. We cannot compare our real selves to Photoshop or FaceTune. We cannot compare our real lives to the Instagram versions. We cannot compare ourselves to seemingly perfect relationships we see online. We cannot compare ourselves to each other full stop,” Lawrence writes in her post.
Ironically, it’s often easy to see the beauty in others but completely forget to acknowledge the beauty within ourselves. Being different and being you makes you special. Iskra Lawrence is not one to shy away from telling it like it is, and she’s once again reminding women to practice self-love and to honor their bodies—not to digitally manipulate them.
“The real you is good enough, so let’s start celebrating that and know that FaceTune or Photoshop will not make you happier or more confident. Finding the things you can be grateful for and love about yourself will.”