On social media our teens are able to compare themselves to so-called “real” people, but those people are still working hard to take perfect photos, and altering the photos to present perfection to their followers. This goes way beyond what they see in traditional media, because social media feels *REAL*. It feels as if real people really look awesome and are having awesome lives all the time. But it’s a lie.
We love this Instagram post from the amazing Brittany Baxter about what it took to achieve the “perfect” look on the left. Talk to your teens about the fact that it’s not just the traditional media that make people look perfect – false perfection is everywhere on social media.
Okay, first things first – posing is hard work. I took multiple photos of myself posing as I am in the photo on the left. I lost balance a hundred times, my legs were shaking, my stomach hurt from sucking it in and bending over. The muscles in my face also really hurt from fake smiling and laughing! All in all, posing like that isn’t comfortable and it’s not reality.
I see this pose on social media so often and I get it, I mean – I look taller, thinner, longer and leaner. The photo of me on the left is more acceptable, more ideal and more visually pleasing – however it’s not reality. Day to day, I don’t look like that and to be honest there is no way in hell I’d be walking around in “fake heels” and sucking my stomach in just to appear longer, thinner, leaner and more visually acceptable
The photo of me on the right is simply me – just chilling, comfortable and this is what I look like day to day, with the exception of a fluctuating stomach. I’m showing you these two photos because I don’t want you to look at women who pose like I have in the picture on the left and compare yourself. I don’t want you to think that you have to look like that, it’s not natural, it’s not reality
I’m also showing you these two photos to demonstrate that most of the things we see on social media and the media isn’t reality, it’s an uncomfortable staged snapshot – it’s a highlight reel
Your body is so beautiful when it’s just naturally doing its thing, so don’t be ashamed of it and don’t hide it
Don’t ever compare your behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.