Instagram my Life (how we’ve all become airbrushed models)

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The magazine industry has long been slammed for its propagation of perfect air-brushed images.

And so it should be.

The criticism does not stem from society’s inability to appreciate art, but rather from the fact that we understand that what we (and teenage girls in particular) see in magazines, helps to define our sense of ‘normal.’

I’d like to propose that we can no longer point the finger exclusively at Hollywood and the magazine industry for giving us a distorted sense of normal. While we may not be reshaping our appearance to the same extent that these industries do, social media, and, in particular Instagram, has enabled each of us to put forward our own perfectly ‘altered’ version of our lives.

Instead of seeing each other for who we really are, we are assailed daily by images that have been composed, cropped, filtered, adjusted and selected from dozens more that didn’t make the cut.

We’ve Instagrammed our lives and in the process we’re re-defining normal. We’re building a discrepancy between ‘real me’ and ‘media me’ and we’re finding it hard to live up not only to the images of others, but even the images of ourselves.

I’m concerned that this ‘masked’ version of ourselves not only conceals an insecure and broken reality, but provokes envy and feelings of inadequacy in others.

So, before we post that perfect picture, maybe it’s worth asking: what message am I trying to send the world about myself and my reality?

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2 comments on “Instagram my Life (how we’ve all become airbrushed models)

  1. Mark Myers says:

    Quoting Steven Furtick “we compare everyone else’s highlight reel to our behind the scenes shots”. Great post, social media can be really good, but can also be very deflating if we use it to compare.

  2. sf says:

    One of the reasons I had gotten off of Facebook was because I got so tired of seeing males who would take a selfie pictures of themselves standing shirtless in front of a mirror, just to show the world how much more built (buff) they’ve gotten. Ugh. Keep your shirts ON, people! Many times when I’d see an Instagram photo that’s obviously altered, I wonder why that person had altered it at all. Especially when it’s a beautiful scene of family or themselves. When it comes to taking pictures of nature or some kind of scenery, I can understand changing the color tones to have a vintage look – but for pictures of a birthday party and such? Odd.

    BUT I do have to admit that I am a guilty party when it comes to airbrushing – or shine-removing. I’ve done that a number of times if my face was looking like I had applied Crisco cooking oil on my face as a cream or was making blinding the flash by the glare coming from my forehead. In any case, I am guilty of having touched up those photos. So yes, airbrushing and altering our pictures sure has come a long way and we really should look at how we’re trying to portray photos of ourselves with fake masked versions. Great post!

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