When we are scrolling through social media, we are taking in so much information. It can be an incredibly inspiring space where you can lose hours lusting over the things we see. What is important to keep in mind is we are pretty much all guilty of showing only the highlights of our lives. Tagging ourselves in cool spots, posting pretty pictures and writing witty statuses give our friends and followers a sneak peak into our lives. The problem is, we can create an image of ourself that isn’t totally truthful. In this post I want to discuss how imagery especially can be misleading. It’s now so uncommon to see a photo without editing. When you do post a photo without enhancements, the hashtag #nofilter is used to proudly let people know. For most people, the odd filter is as far as it goes, but it can also be taken to the extreme.
This perfected image can apply to clothes, makeup, skin, body shapes as they can all be shown in a certain way to showcase them at their best. Remember that social media platforms like instagram and facebook are now being widely used for marketing purposes. Social influencers are being utilised by brands to promote and advertise their products. It makes sense that when your looking through photos and spot a lovely picture and think ‘wow that’s a nice dress’, you are often being told where you can buy it. Hurrah we no longer have to trawl the high street hoping we will come across something similar, or have to post the dreaded ‘where’s this from hun?’ comment. I personally find it amazing that we have so much information at our fingertips and it does make shopping a lot easier! Bear in mind that some people are paid for posting that picture therefore put a lot of work into making that dress look amazing for that reason. It is hard to know what is a candid shot and what isn’t. I have seen a lot of influencers posting instagram vs reality side by side comparison pictures recently and I think it’s really positive for people to see that for example a fitness model that has lots of amazing ab selfies, can show that they don’t look like that 100% of the time.
As a model I know how the right lighting or angle can completely change how you appear in a photo, and because I have this knowledge I am able to take what I see online with a pinch of salt. I don’t want people to stop enjoying these platforms, I for one am a total instagram junkie! I do however think it is important to have an understanding that a lot of what we see online these days is not always a true reflection of reality. For example; I don’t walk around day to day looking exactly like my professional photos in my portfolio, because a lot of work goes into those images. There are people that are professionally trained helping me look good! There are hairstylists and makeup artists working to make me look like I rolled out of bed with perfect skin and sleek hair, alongside photographers creating flattering lighting set ups. We also will have taken a lot of photos to get that one perfect shot. And even then, the final image will most likely have been tweaked even further in photoshop. As a team, we want you to be inspired by the images that we create. What I don’t want is impressionable girls thinking they aren’t good enough if they don’t look like that on a day to day basis. The truth is even as a model, neither do I!
We can now so easily compare ourselves to the people we seen online. This can lead us to feel the need to keep up with the Joneses and imitate what we see on other pages. In reality we all have breakouts or bloated days that we don’t show. It can be all too easy when we are having a bad day to look at other girls and think ‘I wish I had her figure’ or ‘Why doesn’t my skin look like hers’. At the end of the day we are all different. We have to learn to celebrate that, and be able to appreciate others beauty without looking down on our own. If we were all the same, life would be pretty boring!
Growing up I always wished I was shorter and had more curves. It’s often a case that we want what we don’t have. I have and always will admire curvy body types, but I have learned to accept and love my slim figure too. I used to slouch over and never stood up super straight to my full height as I was really self conscious being taller than my friends. Like many things, you realise in hindsight that most people never would have cared about how tall I was or what dress size I wore, I was the one worrying about those things. Now I’m definitely not saying there is anything wrong with putting effort into your appearance, I for one won’t be trading in my makeup bag any day soon! But accepting yourself how you are is so important. I love getting glam as much as the next girl, but I am equally as happy in my own skin without all that too. It hasn’t happened overnight, but realising that my appearance doesn’t define me has been really empowering. In a world so based on imagery, let’s not forget that what’s inside counts too. Be nice, be kind, build the confidence of those around you, embrace what sets you apart and take what you see with a pinch of salt because what we look like doesn’t define who who we are.
Until next time,