It's no secret that bloggers, vloggers and pretty much anyone on social media tend to 'bend the truth' a little bit, with a little tweaking, you can fake just about anything. In an attempt to gain points for her reputation, Instagram blogger Johanna Olsson suffered a photo-shopping mishap creating a little more publicity than she could have expected.
It was not the type of attention she was hoping for...
Johanna Emma Olsson was born and raised in a little coastal city called Helsingborg, in the South of Sweden. The 29-year-old is one of those people who automatically make you feel like you need to work out and dress better, after looking at their posts.
One of those classic pages that are there to inspire you, but instead just makes you think you're stupid for having a regular job. Every post of hers is filled with beauty, excitement, luxury and a life many on social media might aspire to.
Around The World
Johanna's Instagram page has over 1500 posts of her in gorgeous outfits, around the world. With all the top brands retail has to offer and the perfect hair and makeup, she seemed absolutely flawless.
Since she became a well-known blogger, shes inherited a truly jet-setting lifestyle, traveling to the most luxurious destinations. She regularly posts pictures of herself living her best life in places such as Rome, Ibiza, Paris, London and New York.
Climbing The Ladder
This blogger gained her fame after posting a picture with Monika Chiang, a respected fashion designer. She regularly posts reviews of her favorite new items from some of the world's most popular brands. Johanna now has over 500,000 followers and receives an average of over 10k likes per photo.
She has since collaborated with Chiang and made appearances at all the top fashion events around the world. Although this life looks like nothing but glam, the pressure to stay relevant must be immense, since the competition out there is pretty intense.
If you think all these exquisite clothes and expensive travels come without blood, sweat and hard work, well... you'd be absolutely right. Once you have enough of a following, brands and companies give you their products, paying you to take pictures of yourself using or wearing them.
You see, once you have an following and some online charisma, brands view you as a perfect vessel to endorse their products into the 'real' world. Bloggers like Johanna are sent on also all-expenses-paid trips and earn a fortune in the process.
A Trip To Paris
Johanna's loyal followers loved watching, liking and commenting on her glamorous life. So, when Johanna was told she'd be heading off to Paris, she was excited to let her fans know. Johanna was on her way to the city of love.
Once again, this was an all-expenses-paid trip whereby she was expected to take fashionable pictures of herself in clothing by different brands, including prettylittlething, at different sights in Paris. She planned to go to many of the usual landmarks of Paris.
When Johanna posted on her story that she had arrived, her fans drooled over the gorgeous hotel room and the clothing she would get to wear. Chocolates on the pillow? Check. On Schedule? Check. It seemed everything was going according to plan.
But then, Johanna made the ultimate social media mistake. Once you openly fail on a public domain like the merciless internet, it can be easy to gain a reputation and it's very difficult to shake it off. All you can do is deal with it in the best way you think is possible.
When people are analyzing your outfit, they're usually paying close attention. Johanna's followers noticed that the first photo seemed to be a little photo-shopped. It was hard to be sure, but she received a mixed response of comments.
Half of her followers were commenting on her outfit and how lucky she was to be in Paris, such a beautiful city. But the other half were pretty miffed over what seemed to be a clearly photo-shopped image, they must have been wondering whether this the first time or had Johanna done this before?
"GUYS! This Picture Is Real"
The next photo she posted was at a viewing spot of the Eiffel Tower, a wrought-iron lattice tower situated on the Champ de Mars. It seemed to be serving as a response to the reaction she received on the previous photo.
Johanna was trying to set the record straight. Her post was shared with caption reading: "GUYS! This picture is real. You can see when I’m there under my “Paris” story highlights. Parisian moments just before the dinner with @ingieparis".
Although you can clearly see this viewing spot in her Paris highlights, her fans were not convinced on the picture. Johanna continued to receive more negative comments in which her fans were disregarding the caption, pointing out that this was just another one of her fake pictures.
In the world of Instagram and social media, everyone knows your pictures are edited but the idea is to never get caught. Once you get caught, a charlatan reputation is hard to shake off, since you had built up your following based on a sense of trust.
It Only Got Worse
She then posted another picture where that white glow surrounding her body was just too noticeable and even Johanna knew that. She tried to defend herself in a caption that read "GUYS! I was in Paris, at this restaurant, they seated me at a table with no view..."
She continues "I really wanted a picture with the best view to get that perfect Paris vibe to inspire you guys so instead of complaining to the staff about where they seated me which I think is awkward I simply took a picture of the background I wanted from a better table and photo-shopped it."
"I Have Done This To 3 Pictures While I Was In Paris"
Johanna was furiously trying to maintain her position, explaining away to her followers. "That’s it. It’s in my “Paris” story highlights if you want to see. So you can still go here and have this exact view if you are ever in Paris. Which is what I wanted!
She continues, "And I have done this to 3 pictures while I was Paris in where I have changed the background to make it prettier." Was this an admission of sorts? Would they accept her explanation? Would she retain her followers after such an episode?
As I'm sure you can imagine, the internet knows no mercy and to be fair, it seemed like Johanna was just fueling the fire. The caption explaining that she was well aware of what she was doing, couldn't calm the stampede of angry followers that was coming after her.
She had maintained her innocence, but she had also admitted to occasionally doctoring the background of her images, so at this point, her follower didn't quite know what to believe. She began to gain more publicity, but not for the reasons she would hope for. Some followers commented on her image saying, "Maybe go to university and contribute to society?." With another one pointing out that this pic is clearly photoshopped.
Her next picture was taken at Musee du Louvre and boy did she get a social media slap! The funny thing is, this picture was actually one of the few that were 100% real. But by this point, it didn't really matter, the trolls were out in force.
Johanna began to gain a rather undesired reputation for herself, as some began referring to her as the 'fake traveler'. The comments began to focus on her audacity to lie to those looking to her for inspiration, the same followers who looked up to her.
The Crème De La Crème
The ultimate explosion came from the last picture she posted in Paris. This one was a sad and obvious, epic fail. The backlash was so bad that Johanna had made the decision to turn off the comments on the picture.
Followers were calling her an "abomination" and a "shameful human being" for lying to the world. Even though Johanna admitted to editing her pictures, it didn't make a difference. Her followers, or the ones she had left, were not happy.
We Want Answers
Johanna knew the situation couldn't remain like this. So, she decided to address the issue in an Instagram story. "I wanted to talk a little bit about the pictures I posted in Paris. So I did one picture, shot it and didn't think it looked that nice..."
"...So I took a different background and put the background into it and when I put it up nobody noticed so I thought, this is good," the blogger said. Johanna decided to go for the naive explanation tactic, but would anyone believe her? Or, did it even matter?
Is That An Apology?
I'm not sure if Johanna was trying to apologize or make matters worse with her next statement. "So I admit it wasn't my finest Photoshop skills. Now in Sweden, this thing has gone crazy and TV shows want me to come on and talk about my 'fake traveling'."
She then added "It's a bit ridiculous I think. There are a lot of influencers out there that use Photoshop in birds, rainbows or crazy skies and I could do that but I don't like that," Johanna said. This post seemed angrier, Johanna had become exasperated with the situation.
Being An Influencer
There are some bloggers out there such as, Jameela Jamil, who make a point of not photo-shopping or airbrushing their images. This is more essential than we think, considering the majority of followers looking at these images are comparing themselves to what they see.
To be a perfect model of a human is already unrealistic as it is, it doesn't help to make it worse. Followers are looking for that fantasy life, that knowledge that someone is out there living their best life, wishing it could be them, but it needs to be authentic.
Have A Little Pity
Some of the responses have chosen to take this incident as a chance to have pity on Johanna. Since Johanna was the guilty party here, but her crime was hardly murder. And she was also not the first, nor the last, person to improve her Instagram images.
Niamh McClelland commented on the issue asking "How warped does your perception of yourself and your lifestyle have to become that you feel compelled to create a mix-and-match image in order to meet a standard you have deemed high enough? I wouldn’t want to estimate, to be honest."
Paris Made In China
Conspiracies started cropping up around the real story, a popular opinion that spread was that Johanna had faked her entire trip to Paris. It seemed as though no matter what she posted, followers took it as a new opportunity to bring her down.
The hate mail began to become overwhelming, so eventually, Johanna decided to participate in an interview with Mirror newspaper, to set the record straight. Johanna wanted to have a chance to respond to her detractors, but not through her social media.
Haters Gonna Hate
The Instagram blogger didn't seem to take it all too bad. She responded confidently by saying "I just wanted to make that clear that I was in Paris, I did Photoshop the background, but I'm not going to take them down because it's a collaboration and they're nice pictures - it's a good outfit!"
She's not wrong there, that outfit is pretty fab. Additionally, Johanna maintaining that she would keep the pictures up was, at the very least, commendable. She like them, even if they had been played with a little, so she was going to leave them up.
Brush It Off
Although Johanna received a lot of hate during this time, it didn't stop her from being the popular blogger and fashionista that she is. Her page is still filling up with more pictures, in more outfits, in more places. And her followers have stuck by her.
That may have been an epic fail, but this blogger shows no signs of slowing down. She's definitely not the first blogger to photo-shopped her pictures, she is one of the few that got caught terribly. The fact that she has continued after this setback is a testament to her brand.
Don't Believe Everything You See
Here are some additional photo-shop fails for you to enjoy...