Opinion: A friendly reminder as we come into summer - Instagram isn't real, so stop comparing yourself 1 month ago

Opinion: A friendly reminder as we come into summer - Instagram isn't real, so stop comparing yourself

Once we compared ourselves to airbrushed models in magazines, now we're comparing ourselves to our airbrushed peers.

Ever find yourself scrolling through Instagram, comparing yourself to influencers or models, wondering why your life isn't like theirs?

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Well, as you probably know by now, you're not alone. Personally, I've lost track of how often I've done this, and no matter how much I try to stop - it's just so hard to avoid it.

It's ironic. We know that the beauty standard Instagram pushes is not realistic. We know we live in a world of beauty filters, Facetune and Photoshop. And we know everyone's Instagram page is a complilation of their highlights in life. Yet we still do it.

As we creep into summer, our feeds are about to be dominated by influencers and celebrities showcasing their amazing holidays, swimwear pictures, and festival fun.

Now more than ever, maybe we just need a little reminder that Instagram is not reality.

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Recently, we got a behind-the-scenes look at Coachella festival, from TikToker Ruby Saracino, aka @rubyrubyrubyrubyrubay, who went to the event as a plus one with her influencer friend - and showed us that things aren't exactly as they seem.

Those flawless carefree candids that end up on our screens, giving us serious FOMO, are actually carefully curated and it's nowhere near as glamorous as it looks.

In one video, she shows influencers at Revolve - a private party at the festival which had its very own Instagram vs reality scandal this year. During a pool party, almost everyone there can be seen taking staged photos and videos, whipping out tripods and ring-lights, and hardly actually partying at all.

Speaking to Vice, Ruby said much of the festival is like "a production set".

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@rubyrubyrubyrubyrubay It’s only getting better guys #revolvefestival #coachella #plus1 ♬ original sound - Ruby Saracino

"Like, they put on this gorgeous large event, which is basically a backdrop for influencers to make content. They're putting on a photoshoot, and the festival is the setting."

Full disclosure, this isn't a dig at influencers, most of them are invited to events like this to create content and work. But it's worth remembering that next time someone's life looks so much more fun than yours, it's probably not.

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A few years ago, former social media influencer Essena O’Neill made headlines when she spoke out about her experience on the platform. She went through her Instagram feed and edited every caption on her photos to reflect what was actually happening in the moment.

In some captions, she revealed she would have barely eaten on the day in order for her body to look a certain way in a photo.

As well as the not-so-perfect behind the scenes of everything, often times the finished product we are being presented with doesn't even look like reality.

With beauty filters that show smoother skin and slimmer faces, as well as the easy availability of photo-editing apps like Facetune that allow us to shape our bodies however we like, it's easier than ever to convey this notion of perfection.

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Once we compared ourselves to airbrushed models in magazines, now we're comparing ourselves to our airbrushed peers.

So how do we stop when it's inevitable we're going to see it? Firstly, educate yourself on unrealistic standards and remember the steps it took to create the images you see. Curate your feed by following hashtags and users who embrace their flaws and the things that make them unique. And if all else fails, take some time away from social media - easier said that done, but never something you'll regret.