We’re all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds and comparing our lives to the friends and strangers we see. FOMO is real when you see someone having a spiritual experience at an outdoor music festival (not shown: it’s 101 degrees and water bottles cost $8), or when someone else documents their amazing relationship with the person of their dreams (not shown: he doesn’t pick up his dirty socks and it really causes a lot of tension).
Social media can take its toll on our self-esteem, especially when we’re regularly subjected to people who look absolutely flawless.
Stacey Lee, a 28-year-old psychologist and influencer, recently pointed out — not for the first time — just how easy it is for people on Instagram to fake a perfect body and the perfect life. To make her point, Lee posted the following side-by-side photos.
DONT COMPARE YOUR BLOOPERS TO SOMEONE ELSES HIGHLIGHT REEL ▪️I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again ▫️Instagram is a place where we see people’s BEST selves ▪️It’s basically a never ending first date and job interview rolled into one ▫️People don’t like to freely share the parts of themselves that don’t ‘measure up’ to societies standards of beauty and acceptability and we like to put up a front which shows us in the light we choose ▪️I’m well aware that I am of a smaller build, and have what some people label the ‘acceptable’ body and I have been shamed for trying to promote body positivity and confidence ▫️People have told me I should stop talking about such things as I couldn’t possibly understand what feeling insecure about my appearance feels like… ▪️What people don’t understand is that thoughts, fears, insecurities and negative self evaluations do not discriminate against body composition, size and shape. They can affect everyone ▫️My bloopers which I compare to others are my own, and it’s taken a long time for me to combat the fears which come along with them, they are not up for debate or discussion with people who have not lived a day in my shoes ▪️I do not minimize anyone’s feelings, because no one deserves that kind of treatment and lack of tolerance and understanding ▫️This is the body I own, it’s the body I have worked for, it’s the body that has helped me through every difficult day, it’s the body that has survived all of my mistreatment ▪️And regardless of if I am making it look like the left, or letting it hang free on the right, it’s mine. Bloopers and all ▫️Stop comparing yourself to others ▪️Start learning to accept yourself ▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️ #edrecovery #bodypositivity #mentalhealth #exercise #strongwomen #healthylifestyle #selflove #active #bbg #psychology #bodypositive #bodybuilding
A post shared by Stace (@psychandsquats) on Jul 16, 2018 at 2:04pm PDT
Lee appears in both images, but one thing is different: She pulled down her high-waisted leggings to show her stomach.
“Don’t compare your bloopers to someone [else’s] highlight reel,” she writes. Her point is that nobody is perfect, and people only put their best face forward on social media.
Lee frequently posts original photos and ones she has Photoshopped side by side, to show her 40K followers that you should always take all those flawless Instagram models with a grain of salt.
OH NO WHERE DID MY CELLULITE AND RIBS AND ARM GO?? ▪️Told ya I was back 😜 ▫️Teens today aged 13-19 years old suffer from self esteem and self confidence issues more than any other generation in history ▪️Why? Well that age group have been born into a world of constant social media presence and have never known life without the internet in their pocket ▫️Young impressionable teens are subjected to hundreds of manipulated, doctored and photoshopped images on a daily basis ▪️Their snapchats and insta feeds are filled with celebrities, Kardashian’s butts, cardi b boobs, and defying the laws of physics and rib cages waists ▫️These standards of beauty are not only unrealistic, unachievable, and downright lies in some cases, but they set people up for failure ▪️Girls grow up believing cellulite is abnormal…sorry babes hate to break it to ya. But cellulite is part of life and it’s beautiful! The dimples of our skin are nothing to be ashamed of ▫️Girls believe that boobs which are less than bountiful and perky and not up to scratch and should be squished and squeezed and prodded and padded to the shithouse to be deemed desirable ▪️Girls think that arms should look like twigs to maintain their femininity and fragile persona because that’s apparently more attractive…pfffffffttttt ▫️Girls think that their ribs should be removed to ensure their booty looks like it pops some more, I mean, who needs ribs right when you can have booty gains 🤦🏻♀️ ▪️Girls are subjected to these altered realities, as women, it is our job to show them truth ▫️It is our job to remind them what the beauty of reality really looks like (and to help them spot super dodgy photoshop jobs like the one on my arm 😂 check the warping!) ▪️So to any girls out there. Please know you’re beautiful just the way you are ▫️And to any women reading this, what will you do today to show the real reality to someone who needs to see it? ▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️▪️▫️ #keepingitreal #wellness #transformation #dedicated #bodypositivity #bodypositive #strongnotskinny #bbg #bodygoals #fitness #inspo #progressnotperfection #muscle #training #edrecovery
A post shared by Stace (@psychandsquats) on Jun 4, 2018 at 2:11pm PDT
“This is the body I own, it’s the body I have worked for, it’s the body that has helped me through every difficult day, it’s the body that has survived all of my mistreatment,” she wrote in her recent post. “And regardless of if I am making it look like the left, or letting it hang free on the right, it’s mine. Bloopers and all.”
Next time you catch yourself using the Explore tab on Instagram and comparing yourself to all the beautiful people with perfect lives, Lee hopes that you remember that these are just their highlights.
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