As they saying goes, “Don’t believe everything you see or read on the internet.” Though social media has become everyone’s favorite escape from reality—because you can curate your online persona into anything or anyone you want to appear to be— it has also turned into a mental health hazard over the past years. The rise of influencer culture has definitely changed the social media landscape, and has prompted people to aspire to be online celebrities themselves. The quest for fame of course comes with the growing desire for perfection and setting unrealistic beauty standards. That’s why editing apps like Face Tune and Snow have become popular in recent years because of their hyper realistic photo and video editing that can make your appearance look “perfect” without looking obviously edited.
YouTuber and influencer Stephanie Lange exposes what really goes on behind these flawless influencer photos and videos, and why some influencers don’t even look like the online version of themselves in real life! She also cites infamous Instagram account Celeb Face, that posts side by side edited and unedited photos and videos of influencers and celebrities. The account even shows how celebs edit Getty red carpet images before posting despite keeping the watermark on so it looks a lot more “real”.
In this post by Celeb Face, the account shows a side by side red carpet image of Dove Cameron where the actress clearly edited her butt to look fuller for her Instagram post.
Stephanie points out that it’s not only because influencers heavily post-process their photos or use an app to hide their pores or slim their noses in videos, but it also has a lot to do with that content they choose to post and share on their feeds in the first place. She breaks it down to three major reasons why influencers look the way they do in their posts:
“Imagine if your Instagram feed was just filled with the worst photos of yourself—who would do that?! We all want to look good online.”—Stephanie Lange
1. It’s all about good lighting.
“Imagine if your Instagram feed was just filled with the worst photos of yourself—who would do that?! We all want to look good online.” Stephanie explains. True enough, no one would post an unflattering photo of themselves if they cared about how people would react to it or if they’d want people to like it. According to Stephanie, the right lighting does wonders when taking photos. Beauty lights help hide or blur your skin texture in selfies and taking a picture in flattering light even helps slim you down. While taking pictures in harsh lighting, like direct sunlight, exposes your skin texture and all your blemishes.
Stephanie shows what her skin looks like under studio lights.
Versus what her skin looks like in reality under day light.
2. Influencers have mastered their angles and take A LOT of options
Influencers would never post a photo showing their “bad side”. Knowing which angles make your face look better—whether that means you want your jawline to be more prominent, your cheeks more sculpted, or your nose to look a little smaller—helps you take a more double-tap worthy selfie or OOTD. So influencers definitely only post photos and videos showing off their face and body in the most flattering angles. Stephanie also notes that influencers, like herself, take hundreds of options before getting the right shot that’s worthy of posting. Options are simply a must to get that double-tap worthy pic.
Here, Stephanie flashes a photo her friend took and posted on his feed that makes her look nothing like her own Instagram photos.
Also, influencers have full control of the camera or camera man/woman taking their photos, so they can direct every single detail of the shot to get a perfect photo. It’s definitely different if the picture was taken by someone else who has none of those things in mind. Stephanie then points out why some influencers look so different in pictures they have zero say on, and she herself admits that she looks different in photos posted by her friends who don’t care about aesthetics.
3. They ALWAYS edit their posts.
Photoshop is always a great go-to if you want to edit the nitty gritty aspects of your photo. But editing apps like Lightroom, Snapseed, and Ribbet allow you to change how your skin, hair, outfit, background and etc. looks in your pictures with ease. Not to mention there are apps that help you edit how your face and body look if you’re not happy with your height, weight, or body shape. With the variety of editing apps available, you can just imagine how influencers, whose job is to look “perfect” or aspirational online, tweak their pictures to look like the best version of themselves.
Though there’s honestly nothing wrong with editing and tweaking the images that you post online, especially if it makes you feel good. The point of Stephanie’s video is to encourage people to take every image of a perfect-looking person you see online with a grain of salt. “I take my role as an influencer seriously and I never ever want anybody to ever compare themselves negatively to me,” Stephanie explains in her vlog, “Because I know how demoralizing and how crap it can make you feel to see someone on social media that looks so perfect and they have the perfect face, the perfect body, and the perfect life and then there’s little old you here in the corner feeling bad about yourself. It sucks.”
“I feel like the bar has been set so high with these unrealistic beauty standards that even influencers can’t even reach that standard without editing the crap out of themselves.”—Stephanie Lange
We’re sure that a lot of influencers out there actually look like what they do in photos, and again, we’re not shaming anyone who loves to edit their pics and are good at it, too. Because we all know that Instagram is a great place to be creative. But just be mindful of what you take in visually and how it affects the way you think and feel. Remember, if this person looks too good to be true, they probably aren’t. And it’s totally okay to look like an actual real—blemish-prone, not body goals and all—human being in your photos. “I feel like the bar has been set so high with these unrealistic beauty standards that even influencers can’t even reach that standard without editing the crap out of themselves,” Stephanie adds.
You can watch her insightful video below: