We’ve all received or sent the text to our savviest Instagram friend that reads, “edit this to make me look better please.” And while that’s all good and fine, we all have the right to show off our best selves on social media, what’s meant to help us feel more confident and beautiful, might actually be cultivating a culture of insecurity.
In December of 2018, Apple revealed the most downloaded apps of the year. Taking the top spot for the paid iPhone apps– Facetune, which costs $3.99. Ironically enough, the app trend of the year was self-care. Maybe after removing every last blemish from our faces, hiding the double chins and taking a little weight off our hips, we need to separate ourselves from our vanity and take a few deep breaths to release our inhibitions and acknowledge that maybe it’s time we cut ourselves some slack and chill out on the Facetune.
Twenty-eighteen was a big year of body positivity, with models like Ashley Graham choosing to not edit any of the photos she used for her swimsuit line campaign. While encouraging body positivity, maybe we should be promoting self-confidence in general and remind ourselves that the number of likes and comments we get, really doesn’t matter in the big picture– see what I did there?
To some users, the number of likes they get on a post is so important that they end up buying them. This isn’t a new fad, though, and Instagram’s been actively removing fake accounts since 2014. As of November 2018, Instagram’s cracked down releasing a statement that says, “Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity.”
But to me, that’s just it. What is genuine and authentic on social media anymore? And should we really be going to Instagram to have “real experiences” and looking for “genuine interactions.” My vote is probably not. While I think we can definitely tone it down on the editing and the filters, I don’t really think that’s what the problem here is. If editing your photos makes you happy and feel good, then by all means do it– I know I’m probably not stopping anytime soon. I think the real problem comes from the fact that so many of us turn to social media seeking something real, and then find ourselves disappointed when our reality doesn’t match with what we see on social media.
So, if you’re ever feeling inadequate after scrolling through your feed, maybe take a look at @celebface’s Instagram account as a reminder that the real story isn’t always what’s being depicted.