Today’s blog post is suddenly came to me after being in the hairdressers yesterday, I was having a good old gossip with the other girls in there while under the drier (as you do) and I met a girl who worked in ‘social media’. Ok?! What does that even mean? When I delved more into this statement she explained it was her job to make famous people look good on Instagram! Wow – that’s actually a career? Who knew? Anyway I said I felt it was odd as I would want a genuine, sincere feel to any celebrity’s Instagram and if I thought I wasn’t getting that I always unfollow!
So then when I woke up this morning and without thinking, did my usual thing of grabbing my phone and browsing my social media- namely Facebook and Instagram and it got me thinking- Instagram really does make up a huge part of our every day lives- everyone who’s anyone has an Instagram it a must have as a business. But is it really right to edit, photoshop and FaceTune your pictures? Is this a true representation or advertisement? Obviously as a beauty and make up lover and blogger I spend a lot of time on Instagram- and as you do looking through all the polished and perfect pictures of people’s make up that fill a large proportion of my feed- I am always green with envy! Why don’t my pictures look as polished? Why is there always a flaw in my selfie? The notion that people may FaceTune or photoshop their pictures was alien to me until recently -my pictures are never posed or staged they are very real- although I’m tempted I must say because the accounts who clearly photoshop to the hilt have literally millions of followers!
It’s not that I’m against editing pictures but the issue is that Instagram often makes me feel so insecure of myself for so many reasons, and sets out somewhat realistic goals or expectations for people to try to match. I’m sure some of you have felt like it before- insecure after browsing your feed a bit- you start to unconsciously critique your face, your skin condition, your body, your ability to pout and to take decent pictures on your iPhone? You end up taking 100 selfies just to get one halfway decent one and even then your not happy! You end up zooming in and finding wrinkles, spots, pimples, blemishes on your face you never knew were there. It makes you want to call an uber immediately and have it take you to he nearest John Lewis just to buy Estee Lauder Double Wear and wack about 5 layers. Then it doesn’t stop at that- you start questioning everything about your life- your hair, your clothes, your meal choices , your partner choices-everything!
Instagram is how Facebook was 10 years ago- when you reconnect with your old school friends and first see their accounts, lives looking perfect, glamorous, fun filled and carefree. Then you end up comparing your own life and feeling like you drew the short straw in some way- and never stopping to think that maybe these are carefully selected pictures. This even works down to celebrities and those paid for what they do on Instagram. Recently quite a few Instagram models had an amnesty on posts and came clean about the reality of every picture, Model Essena O’Neill springs to mind as an example as she recently had a change up on her Instagram account and very publicly explained that the posts on her Instagram are rarely what they seem. Here’s a couple of screenshots from her Instagram which explains what I am getting at- defo check out her page for more as it makes interesting reading.
Life through Instagram is the life people want you to see and not really reality, but often that’s hard to remember!
Instagram also makes it difficult for me- as a Make Up Artist. I want my work to photograph as beautifully as many of these accounts but without a ton of editing they can never compare. On top of this the worst issue is when booking you, clients will actually ask for “The Instagram Look”- by that they mean full coverage make up, very heavy contour and highlight, colour corrected, over drawn lips and of course The Instagram Brow (heavy dark, cut out, faded in brows!). Seriously, this look may be great on camera, and after Photoshopping but in real life this isn’t wearable?! And clients don’t recognise this- because all they see is what’s posted on social media. In real life this make up would be inches thick caked on, creased TF and basically a mess. Instagram style make up is very drag as well which can photograph well but in real life is very ageing on anyone over about 20!
I studied and work in makeup because I wanted to enhance natural beauty and make them feel good about themselves flaws and warts and all- do I could correct? Of course but only when needed, do I overuse on the lips? Yes I do but again only if it suits the person and only if genuinely needed. We don’t all need to look like blow up dolls to be beautiful!
With that said there are a few great Instagrammers which I follow not for product reviews or because they are ‘Influencers’ (saw this written in a really popular Instagrammers bio recently and I really dislike this whole notion, because clearly that just means you are there to make money only and we are just passive viewers who will buy anything wtf?!- how can I trust your reviews or anything you post at all then). I follow them because they are real – unedited genuine just well chosen pictures @bodyposipanda is one I can think of straight away- Check her account out too.
What are you views? I would love to hear- do you think photoshopping and heavy editing to be acceptable? Do you feel the pressures of trying to keep up with Instagram?
My Instagram is www.instagram.com/aishasimonemua – Follow me and let’s connect- although you won’t see much Photoshopping going on!
That’s all from me today- please like share and comment would love to hear your views!
And next time you find yourself browsing Instagram feeling insecure or flawed-always remember; ‘Being imperfect is in itself, perfect’!
*photocredit- screen grab @essenaoneil and instagram