Instagram Isn’t Real Life

Recently The Daily Mail published an article, “exposing” Amelia Liana, a UK blogger & Youtuber, for photoshopping her Instagram posts. The article showed some of Amelia’s posts where there were some alterations done to them. Most of those alterations were done to the background. Like a photoshopped NYC skyline, an impossibly empty Taj Mahal etc… They stated that these photos are unrealistic and misleading. They also questioned where the alterations stop.

Bodysuit Forever 21 sold out similar, jeans Levi’s, mules Sam Edelman on sale, bag Cult Gaia

While I understand where this article is coming from, I also understand Amelia and a lot of other bloggers side of the story. As a blogger, I strive to present the highest quality content possible. And just like about every blogger out there, I “beautify” my posts. That means, fixing the exposure/brightness/contrast, playing with the saturation, cropping out something distracting in the background. As for my face and body, I’ll be lying if I said that I always keep it real. Sometimes I’ll clone out a zit or two (because no one wants to see a close up of my hormonal zit )and maybe whiten my teeth if they need to. But that’s it. I stop here! Everything I retouch is by using Lightroom. I don’t photoshop my pictures. If I did, trust me I’ll have a smaller waist, bigger booty, and a fuller bust.

You can always see my freckles (like here, here and every other post), small blemishes and MY REAL body in my pictures. I’ve discussed before here how I select certain pictures that are naturally more flattering. I’ve always kept real and I’ve always preached that imperfections are what makes us beautiful.

What people don’t understand is that bloggers (especially those with a bigger following) have replaced magazines. And we all know how much Photoshop magazines use. Just like magazines, bloggers want to share esthetically appealing photos that attract attention and viewers. But sometimes, just like magazines they take it too far.

 

Another thing to note is that Instagram in all is fake! Those candid shots are not so candid. Almost everything is staged and well calculated. Even the posting timing. For example, while I was on vacation in Lebanon earlier this spring, I was posting lots of colorful and aesthetically pleasing pictures of my travels there. Lots of different location, making me look like I was having the time of my life. A girl actually messaged me telling me she was so jealous of my “happy amazing life”. What she didn’t know is while I was having a blast there, I was also going through a lot offline. My dad was hospitalized, I had issues with my visa and lots of other things that I didn’t share online. I made sure to explain to her that no one has an amazing life as they showcase on their feed. We all have to remember that Instagram by itself is a beautified altered reality.

While I don’t have a problem with beautifying a background, such strong changes like Amelia did, can lead to a loss of trust in a blogger. Just like people don’t trust magazine’s pictures anymore, they can lose trust in bloggers also.

After all isn’t followers’ trust what we are all seeking?

So while I’m all for minor improvements, big alterations are a no no for me. What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think it’s ok to change and alter pictures? And where do you draw the line?

XoXo,

Tamara

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31 Comments

  1. July 21, 2017 / 3:55 am

    Well, I am looking at the message they send not the accuracy of a picture! I know that a blogger expresses himself using the best he/she can get from a photo. This is what I love, the message! Blame the make-up!

    • July 21, 2017 / 1:46 pm

      Yes! I love how you said it. It’s about the message!

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  2. July 21, 2017 / 6:12 am

    There is always a happy medium to changing how the photos look!!
    Of course you want to brighten and make them look good. But heck, I don’t have time to photoshop our bodies—there would be too much to change…ha ha!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • July 21, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      Haha Jodie! We’re all beautiful just the way we are 🙂

      XoXo,

      Tamara

    • July 21, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      Thank you V!

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  3. July 21, 2017 / 10:37 am

    What a wonderful article, I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve mentioned. I, too, have made slight improvements to my images, such as removing a bruise or smoothing out enlarged pores, but nothing to my body or a complete change of background. Like you, I can understand the pressure a blogger faces to puchlish seemingly perfect images on social media because unfortunately, that appears to be what people respond most to. If we were to just post a random selfie with no adjustments made, we wouldn’t receive as many likes or followers and in fact, might even lose followers as a result. People have become so accustomed to seeing perfection on IG specifically, that when something doesn’t look nearly perfect, they reject it. Yet those same people will chant that they want genuine and real, which is so contradictory. Anyway, you made some great points for both sides of the discussion and you look absolutely beautiful; I love that bodysuit and those mules! Thanks for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great weekend!

    Xo,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • July 21, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      So true, it’s such a dilemma! Unfortunately, long gone are the days where Instagram was more organic and spontaneous. Nowadays, it’s treated like a publication where everything needs to be perfect or else it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. But it’s up to us to keep it as real as possible and draw the line when it comes to too many alterations.

      XoXo,

      Tamara

    • July 21, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      Thank you Belen.

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  4. Amy
    July 21, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    So ture and always such a good reminder. None of us go to social media to see people’s behind the scenes – that is just reality. You look gorgeous here babe!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • July 21, 2017 / 1:52 pm

      I agree with you Amy, but it seems that bloggers are always being put in the hot seat when doing the same as magazines or celebrities.

      XoXo,

      Tamara

    • July 22, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      I’m glad we’re on the same page Jessi!

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  5. July 21, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your post. Of course, we all want to share the pictures we look the best and that is okay.
    You are so right that people develop their own story to your pictures.

    -You look stunning and I love your pictures. Keep up the good work.
    Have a nice weekend.

    Love, Esther
    https://lifestyle-tale.com

    • July 22, 2017 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you Esther and I hope you’re having a great start of the weekend!

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  6. July 21, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    I didn’t even know that she photoshopped her photos, I’m shocked to hear this. I’ll have to go read the Daily Mail’s article. But I totally agree with you. Instagram is not reality, it’s just making one person’s life look as perfect as it can be, but truly no one’s life is perfect.
    https://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

    • July 22, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      Almost everybody alters their Instagrams in one way or another, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  7. July 21, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    I can totally understand what you are saying. I always think that people want to see glamorous life so we put everything on point. Choose the perfect location, outfits, makeup. We edit the image. (I am not professional enough to use photoshop), but this is what people want to see and of course, this is not real life. Real life is something else, something natural and human, like all other people our days are not spent with the perfect outfit and perfect makeup on, we are not always having this smile on our faces and laughing so hard. We are real and what people see is just the perfect moment in our lives.
    http://www.easys-tyle.com/

    • July 22, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      So true E!

      XoXo,

      Tamara

  8. July 22, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    I don’t really know that blogger or what she’s posting, but there’s one thing that I don’t like the magazine said about the empty Taj Mahal. I personally know a lot of travel bloggers who will wake up with a sunrise to go to a certain location and take that “uncluttered” photo. For me that’s real dedication to showing of a place in the best way possible. Of course, that may not always be the case and like you said, I myself never even thought of changing anything in my body shape (besides the zit, of course, haha). To each its own though.

    Much love from Napa Valley,

    Paulina | Shenska

  9. July 22, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    Thank you for this post, Tamara. I know a lot of people are struggling with Instagram! PS – you are rocking this outfit. Love the bow shoes – simply adorable with the stripes too!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  10. July 23, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    You are so right about instagram isn’t real life. Instagram just shows a snapshot of what our life is like in that moment. There is so much to us than the moments we share. I love your body suit and those shoes!!! Gorgeous
    xo
    S
    The Grey Canvas

  11. July 24, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with all your points Tamara, it’s OK to beautify our content to some extent but the problem is that may lead to not even see the line at some point. As you say, we are getting more and more used to believing that the reality is perfect simply because it’s what they bombard us with, omitting all the bad stuff, so posts like these are a great reminder! And when they showcase such a pretty outfit even better 😉 Thanks for sharing and hope you are having a great Monday

    Saida | She talks Glam

  12. August 2, 2017 / 12:16 am

    I agree with you. We always have to rember that what people shows on social media isn’t they’re whole life but only the good part of it.
    https://theurbanbrownie.com/

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