Social media and its consuming influence over us isn't necessarily something new. You are always encouraged to 'love yourself' and 'be yourself,' however, we're all constantly being fed ideas of what 'real' beauty is. Instagram Blogger Rianne Meijer indulged in a meaningful project to give her followers a little reality check.
Rainne posted a picture on her Instagram with the caption: "So while waiting here at the airport in Berlin I figured no better way to spend my time than to keep it real."
"But just a little small reminder that every pic you see on my account is one in a hundred (or sometimes four hundred) and it was all about the right angle, right lighting and of course the right filter Nothing perfect about me and nothing perfect about my life."
The Right Angle
One of the biggest insecurities some people struggle with is their weight. And it certainly doesn't help when almost every picture you see features a 'perfect' jawline or collarbone. However, it's got a lot more to do with the right angle than you think, and no one is perfect.
You ever Facetime a friend, and as you open your front-camera, you're confronted with two double chins? Don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us. Even the flawless Rianne has her bad angles, and she's not afraid to show it. Next time you find yourself drooling over someone's jawline on your newsfeed, remember, it's all about the angles baby.
Most of the pictures you see on Instagram look so effortlessly perfect. Some people just seem to always be in the right place at the right time, but, as you can see, Rianne's real form of natural is a far stretch from her posed one. Striking the perfect pose can be just as deceiving as a photoshop app.
Bloggers are experts when it comes to finding the angle that compliments them best. Between 'the hip-raise' or 'the leg-stretch,' you can fake curves on just about anybody. Unfortunately, we tend to forget this little fact when we're scrolling through our feeds, and we end up setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves.
There's only one thing worse than being on a diet; when somebody with your target weight can eat whatever they want without gaining a single pound. However, every person's metabolism is different, and while staying healthy is essential, it won't do you any good to compare your body to others.
It ain't easy to look graceful while downing a hotdog, but Rianne seems to be pulling it off rather well. There are just some dishes out there that weren't made to be flattering. For example, eating spaghetti and looking fabulous are two things that can't be done at the same time, even with all the photoshopping in the world.
Seeing people looking perfect at the beach is a straight-up lie. With all that sand and humidity, it's almost impossible to not look like a washed-up jellyfish. In the picture on the right, you can see her real posture and the hairs on her arm, something we've been made to believe models know nothing about.
You can only imagine how Rianne's followers were reacting to these posts. After only seeing her looking picture-perfect for so long, many of her fans appreciated that she would show such a raw and authentic side to herself. Is it just me, or does she actually look better in the picture on the right? Nothing like a bit of vitamin D.
Be Like Her
“People are comparing their appearance to people in Instagram images, or whatever platform they're on, and they often judge themselves to be worse off,” said Jasmine Fardouly to the BBC, a postdoctoral researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
Comparing ourselves to others is certainly one of the dumbest things we can do to our self-esteem. If you think about it, this is one of the only games in life where you're guaranteed to lose. You can waste all the time in the world trying to be somebody else, but it'll never be better than the best version of yourself.
The Perfect Style
How many times have you seen those expectations vs. reality pictures of short haircuts? You always convince yourself that you would look great with a bob until it's too late. It takes a particular type of person and a talented hairstylist to pull off the perfect short-hair do.
In most of Rianne's pictures, her hair looks absolutely perfect. Every strand in place, come rain or shine. It kind of makes you want to try the short hair-do too, but don't be fooled, my friends. Like everybody else, when the wind blows, her hairstyle doesn't look nearly as classy as it did the moment she left the house.
A New Perspective
A strange yet obvious discovery was made by Jasmine Fardouly, "In a survey of 227 female university students, women reported that they tend to compare their own appearance negatively with their peer group and with celebrities, but not with family members while browsing Facebook..."
"... The comparison group that had the strongest link to body image concerns was distant peers or acquaintances," she said. Could it be because once we're close to someone, we see more than just their appearance? And other people are sometimes seen as our 'competition'? Another person's beauty certainly doesn't take away from your own.
Getting an animal to pose perfectly with you is something that will MAYBE happen after about a thousand tries unless you got a treat to bribe with. The rest of the images are most likely to come out looking like Rianne on the Right. However, that's not the sneaky trick she used here, look carefully...
That's right, both pictures are in entirely different color-schemes, and it goes far beyond just picking the perfect filter. Rianne has definitely played around with her saturation to make the contour on her face stand out; she's also made the image brighter, which instantly makes it more appealing.
I don't think we'll ever be able to quench the thirst we have to get all the best clothes and shoes this world has to offer. What makes it even harder is that there's something new on the shelves almost every week. If you follow any bloggers on your Instagram, then you've probably noticed they always seem to have all the latest stuff.
Even if it's subconsciously, seeing all that drip on social media ultimately makes you want it too. However, when it comes to clothes or shoes, will we ever be truly fulfilled? They make newer and better versions of everything every day, so you might as well try being happy with what you have.
Rianne looks like two totally different people in these pictures. We may think someone looks perfect, but we haven't stopped to consider the filter, saturation, and contrast that has been manipulated. Even the colors in her hair look more detailed in the left-image.
You can choose how you look at the profile of a public figure. Of course, you can melt over that individual's expensive things, or you can use it as an inspiration for your own style. For example, if you look at the outfit Rianne is wearing here, you can recreate this exact look for a fraction of the price.
We have a terrible tendency to strive for perfection, and we'll do anything to cover up the things that make us 'imperfect.' Heaven forbid someone should know we are only human! However, if it wasn't for our imperfections, wouldn't that make us all photocopies of each other?
Life would be pretty dull, wouldn't it? The only thing you can do is embrace your imperfections and make them work for you. Being a genuine person is entirely more attractive than being a fake. For example, in the right-image, Rianne looks more like a person you could relate to than the perfect model on the left.
The Money Shot
When it comes to sunset pictures, you expect that golden glaze with the wind blowing in your hair. Sort of like something out of The Lion King, maybe? However, more often than not, your face is darkened by the overpowering light behind you, just like Rianne on the right.
So, how did she achieve the image on the left? It's most likely a mixture of enhancing the brightness, saturation, and of course, striking the perfect pose. Models often use the trick of pulling their shoulders back to make their bust seem more prominent, and their necks seem longer. Don't be fooled folks, we all have our flaws.
Another challenging insecurity that so many of us struggle with is the endless quest for perfect skin. When you see an image of someone's flawless complexion, you can't help but wonder why you keep getting blackheads or pimples, even if you do stick to a healthy skin-care routine.
The truth is, even the most gorgeous models in the world wake up with a pimple on their chins from time to time. However, in their pictures, you're only exposed to the final product, which involved loads of makeup and photoshop. You'd be surprised to see the blemishes hiding under their concealer.
I Want That Too
Without her cute pose, even the outfit doesn't look as appealing. We are genuinely being fed very manipulated versions of reality, and as a result, we've made the most unrealistic goals or expectations for ourselves. Thankfully, Rianne's experiment gave her fans a little wake-up call.
After she posted these pictures, instead of her fans commenting on the clothes she was wearing, they were thanking her for being so genuine. "How incredibly brave of you to show unflattering pics of yourself," wrote a follower. "Thank you for doing this," another commented.
Show Those Pearly Whites
The most ironic part about this photo comparison is that Rianne actually looks so much more beautiful when she is genuinely smiling. I know it's fashion-forward to look as though you are angry with your coffee, but her natural state is undeniably better.
Put away your poker-faces folks because smiling is making a major comeback this 2020. With all the makeup and expensive clothing this world can offer, there is nothing more attractive than a genuine smile. Next time you're feeling cute, show us those pearly whites!
In the photo on the left, Rianne seems like she is as healthy as can be, with enough energy to tackle her day (Don't you hate those people?). However, reality shows her tiredness, which is something models don't ever let us see. Although it's fun, traveling and being away from home so frequently can be pretty exhausting.
All that you're exposed to is the glitz and glam of the trip. You certainly won't hear about the lost luggage, the layovers, the homesickness, or the exhaustion from pretending to be perfect. Of course, they still have a great time, but it's nothing like what their posts crack it up to be.
Imperfection Is Beauty
The way models pose with their best poker faces, kind of makes you wonder if you need to be a less friendly person to fit in. However, these girls look a lot more like genuine people that you'd want to be friends with when they're just their silly selves.
It can be pretty intimidating, especially for teenagers, to try and keep up with the gorgeous public figures we have to see on social media today. That's why Rianne's fans were blown away by her initiative to show them that everybody has a bad angle, a bad hair day, and of course, a silly side.
When it comes to pictures on social media, you need to remember a fundamental life hack. No one is ever as ugly as they look in their passport photo, and no one is ever as pretty as they look in their Instagram photos. Hanging out of the window of a car is certainly not a 'natural' pose, so don't be fooled.
Another issue with social media is that people usually only post the images where they appear to be their happiest. Whether they're laughing or smiling, the general takeaway from that picture is that they're blissful, without a single care in the world. But that's not real life, and you never know the kind of baggage people are carrying around.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Rianne continued to post more of these before and after shots on her Instagram, and the reactions she received were unbelievable. Not only were fans impressed by the initiative, but she even gained more followers than she ever had when she strictly posted only edited pictures.
Will we ever reach a point in history where we stop glorifying all of this perfection? A few brands, including Clavin Klein, have experimented with campaigns featuring plus-size models, and the reactions they've received were pretty mixed. We can only hope that eventually, we'll stop being sold false ideas of beauty.
The Evil Bikini
Nothing drives people more insane than trying to perfect how they look in that summer bathing suit. Especially since having the most perfect curves came back into style (Thanks a lot, Kim K). As you can see here, it's all about the right angle, and you can fake an hourglass figure pretty easily.
Rianne also made use of the 'shoulders-back' method over here. Of course, she looks beautiful, but when you're at the pool, are you really standing with a perfect pose the entire time? I don't think so. Hopefully, this is obvious to you too, but these ideas of unachievable beauty do get consequently planted in our heads.
The Perfect Tan
How many of you have left the house looking like a blotchy giraffe because we needed the perfect tan by a Saturday? That's the result of using self-tanners and cooking in the sun, just to look like you've been beaching. However, all you ever really needed was to adjust your saturation.
By playing with the contrast and brightness a little bit, you can look as though you've been on a nice, long summer vacation. Stay woke friends, nobody looks sun-kissed in the middle of winter, unless it's paid for. In that case, the rest of their self-tan is probably on their sweater by now.
With a Side of Sass
Rianne is far from the perfect blogger that she appears to be on her Instagram handle. She too has rolls when she sits, double chins that come out on Facetime, and even bad hair days. She also has cheat-days where she enjoys the fast food that she's been missing out on while dieting.
Keeping to a balanced diet is essential, and being healthy is above everything, but don't let that lead you to believe that models never indulge in the occasional pizza night or freshly baked cookies. You don't need to deprive yourself of everything in order to look "good," it's all about balance, get yourself a girl that can do both!
In My Calvins
It's pretty rare to scroll through Instagram and not come across someone looking totally perfect while they lounge about in their Calvin Klein underwear. It's usually enough to make you want to head to the store and buy your own. However, once we try on the overpriced item, we still don't seem to look like Kendall Jenner.
Rest assured, no one looks like the Calvin Klein models we see. Even the Calvin Klein models themselves. The perfect picture comes after hours of posing impeccably, tucking the tummy in the closet, and a whole lot of photoshop. Don't be fooled girls, as you can see, it's all about the angle.
Rianne sure made us laugh with this one. The picture on the left is not of herself, but rather of a model she was trying to copy. As you can see, the result she got was far from her expectation, and this just goes to show that even social media experts fall victim to the picture-perfect trick.
We've all seen some magical vacations being dangled in our faces when we scroll through social media. However, what you're seeing is just a fraction of what is really going on and more often than not, these filters are just selling you dreams. Even for a model as beautiful as Rianne, it's pretty hard to look good when covered in mud.
After what probably took 100 tries, the image on the left looks like Rianne and her pooch are posing for a commercial for eyewear. Without even realizing, her followers are looking at the leather seats in the background, the expensive drip, and the 'effortless' beauty.
As you can see, the image on the right shows off a much more natural moment and suddenly, Rianne is a lot more relatable. While she may look flawless in the final picture, we're glad she let us see the other side of the coin. Just to remind her followers that nothing on Instagram is the full truth.
If you're cool enough to drive a car without a roof, it never really happened unless you take a picture of it, right? Well, we're gonna let you in on a little secret. Most of the time, the car doesn't even belong to that person, or they're not done paying it off, or best off all, it actually belongs to daddy.
Instagram only offers us a tiny piece of the picture. We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, we don't know the kind of battles people are facing and most of the time, the things we compare ourselves to, don't even exist. You have to admit it, Rianne looks a whole lot more lovable when she's genuinely laughing.
From Paris with Love
There's nothing worse than getting vacation-inspo from social media. Especially the little trips to Paris, where travel bloggers usually post pictures of their gorgeous hotel rooms right by the Eiffel Tower. This could all be yours, if you're willing to pay a small fortune just for one night.
Vacations always come with little bumps in the road, it's pretty hard to go to a foreign country without running into some sort of hiccup. However, you would never publicize that part of the trip, would you? Well, bloggers have the same mindset and they're just very good when it comes to faking it.
It's All About the Angles
There's nothing worse than going to the beach and falling victim to that little voice in our heads that tells us 'everyone is staring at me,' or 'I shouldn't be wearing a two-piece.' How could you think differently when all you see are tiny photo shopped models in adverts, looking perfect in a bikini.
As you can see, it's all about the angle and nobody looks as good as models do in a commercial. Moreover, we're gonna let you in on a little secret. No one is even looking at your bathing suit, most of the time they're too busy worrying about the same thing as you. So, quit wasting time and soak up that vitamin D!
Since this experiment, Rianne has made an effort to post as many natural pictures as she can on social media. At this point, she understands the value of the message she's been trying to send. Her followers have appreciated the honesty and, of course, the wake-up call.
Well, it's been made pretty clear to us that the pictures we see on social media are never as genuine as we think. What a waste of time it is to spend our lives wanting to be someone else. This is the only body we have, folks, so we might as well get comfortable in our own skin.