Body Image in the Age of Instagram

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Thanks to digital editing and airbrushed images, even supermodels can't live up to their perfectly polished 2D selves.

But the airbrushing isn't limited to the professional models. The rise of Instagram ushers in a time when everyone has an opportunity to pose and be praised. Senior pictures, your wedding day, maybe a family holiday card — these were once the occasions on which adults took formal photographs. But not anymore. We pose, post, and rate ourselves and others on a daily basis.

We're only beginning to understand the full effect this has on both our psyches and our culture, but its significance cannot be overstated.

What do we hope to gain via subtle tweaks like this?

And more importantly, what do we lose in this process?

That gap between fantasy and reality is rather humorously pronounced with formal gowns.

These photos remind us that fairy tales are best left in animated pixel form.

When it comes to poking fun at the airbrushed perfection and unrealistic scenarios featured on Instagram, no one does it as well as Celeste Barber. She is my Instagram hero.

So focus on what's physically, tangibly in front of you (and inside of you) and appreciate images as mere artistic expression (and occasionally a much-needed comic relief), not factual reality.

Yours,

Anna

p.s. Who's your Instagram hero? Which accounts make you laugh or put things in perspective? Tell us in the comments!

p.p.s. Get more image analysis by following us on Instagram. And share this with your friends who would appreciate some real-talk on Instagram vs. reality!

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