The fact that people share an idealized version of themselves on social media, cherry-picking only the best images, thoughts, and experiences isn't new. But the lengths they go to marketing themselves keep surprising even the ones who think they've seen it all.

I'm talking about r/Instagramreality. It's a subreddit whose members strip down the glamor of make-up, flattering poses, and all kinds of photo editing, and expose the truth behind the facade. It's been around since 2017, and we've written about it numerous times (here, here, and here), but even these folks still get baffled at how absurd some of these manipulations are. Here are a few reasons why.

#1

Must Be Her Sister In The Car

Must Be Her Sister In The Car

illegalmemesforsale Report

Lewis Fisher Wells
Community Member
5 months ago

but she's cute in the window why change it

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#2

A Fairly Popular Local Influencer Recently Made An Appearance On TV. A Lot Of Her Fans Apparently Had Trouble Recognizing Her At First

A Fairly Popular Local Influencer Recently Made An Appearance On TV. A Lot Of Her Fans Apparently Had Trouble Recognizing Her At First

SwissMercyMain Report

Klaatu Verrata (Cough)
Community Member
5 months ago

Yikes. Filler is expensive. Always amazes me how much vain people will pay to turn themselves into literal caricatures of themselves.

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In an earlier piece on r/InstagramRealityBored Panda spoke to Siobhan Ward, a primary therapist at Life Works, a rehabilitation center that provides treatment for addictions and eating disorders, about the scope of social media addiction in the United Kingdom.

"If you broke 'social media addiction' down into categories, it would encompass other process or behavioral addictions such as porn and gambling, as well as eating disorders, especially predominant with the likes of Instagram," Ward explained. "It may be that the addiction is not with the social media itself, but the social media has become a tool of other addictions."

The therapist thinks people can't stop faking and editing their Instagram photos (even when it's an obvious lie) because of brain chemistry. "Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that comes into play with the addict — it is what tells us that we enjoy something and therefore need to do it again as it gives us pleasure."

"If the person is taking a lot of selfies that have to be 'perfect', then maybe they are not addicts. Instead, this could be a sign of a possible narcissistic personality disorder. Also, if someone is posting pictures to get as many likes as possible, they may not be getting certain needs met in their life. They may not have the love, support, or even safety that they need now or that they needed when they grew up and therefore have had to find another way to fill that hole," Ward said.

#3

A Man, For A Change. Not Sure If Satire Or For Real. Behold, The Wall-Bending Biceps And Butt

A Man, For A Change. Not Sure If Satire Or For Real. Behold, The Wall-Bending Biceps And Butt

jueoni Report

Tobias Rieper
Community Member
5 months ago

looks like he has balloons in his trousers and shirt

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#4

Skipped Leg Day, Forever

Skipped Leg Day, Forever

Douchecanoeistaken Report

James016
Community Member
5 months ago

Trying to become Johnny Bravo

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#5

This Is Funny And All But It’s Getting Out Of Hand

This Is Funny And All But It’s Getting Out Of Hand

stonemilking Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm getting the feeling that I'm probably going to make more Slender Man jokes.

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#6

Found In The Wild On Instagram

Found In The Wild On Instagram

olivia-annabelle Report

SlartyBlartFast
Community Member
5 months ago

Ridiculous :D

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Interestingly, being reminded that social media is fake can also 'fill' us. In a 2019 study, researchers decided to investigate the effect 'Instagram vs. Reality' pictures (the ones containing side-by-side photographs of the same woman, one an idealized depiction and the other a more natural depiction) have on body image.

They got together 305 women aged between 18 and 30 years, the largest demographic group of Instagram users. The sample had a mean age of 25.34 years, and their mean body mass index (BMI) was 26.98, indicating a slightly overweight sample. The majority of participants identified as Caucasian (69.2%), followed by Latino/Hispanic (11.8%), African American (10.2%), Asian (6.6%), Native American (0.3%), and 'other' (2.0%). The participants were randomly assigned to view one of three sets of Instagram images over a period of time: 'Instagram vs. reality" images, the 'ideal' side alone, or the 'real' side alone.

#7

Blended The Fence Into Her Face

Blended The Fence Into Her Face

barberta Report

Tobias Rieper
Community Member
5 months ago

oh crap its the T1000 run

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#8

Be You!

Be You!

OptionsRMe Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
5 months ago

The irony of "be you" as the caption

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#9

In Reality, Birds Flap Their Wings When They Fly

In Reality, Birds Flap Their Wings When They Fly

_waigwe Report

Pungent Sauce
Community Member
5 months ago

And gulls! They would be savaging your lunch.

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#10

Unfortunately Did Not Pass Her Photoshop Class Though

Unfortunately Did Not Pass Her Photoshop Class Though

fannywaffles Report

Dirk Daring
Community Member
5 months ago

Retouched by Potato Jesus lady

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"[The study found that] viewing the 'Instagram vs. reality' and real images resulted in decreased body dissatisfaction relative to the ideal images," the researchers wrote. "Furthermore, the detrimental effects of appearance comparison were much less marked for the 'Instagram vs. reality' and real images than for the ideal images. It was concluded that 'Instagram vs. reality' and real posts have the potential to bolster women's body satisfaction, but more research is needed to assess their longer-term impact."

Siobhan Ward said that we need to become aware of what we believe we are getting from the Internet in order to start resisting its temptation. "By understanding why [we] turn to the Internet, [we] can start to think about healthier ways to meet these needs."

#11

This Guy Popped Up In My Feed As A Sponsored Story

This Guy Popped Up In My Feed As A Sponsored Story

Lksarchitecs Report

adiiantryx
Community Member
5 months ago

why does everyone here look like characters from the sims

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#12

Yes, The Giant Feet Syndrome, More And Coomon These Days

Yes, The Giant Feet Syndrome, More And Coomon These Days

Slow-Werewolf Report

Nugua
Community Member
5 months ago

The feet are not the problem here...

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#13

We’ve Seen Tiny Heads…now Get Ready For Giant Feet!

We’ve Seen Tiny Heads…now Get Ready For Giant Feet!

meep_meep_merp Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
5 months ago

Halfway through changing into a Bratz doll

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#14

Legs For Dayyyyys

Legs For Dayyyyys

orange-basilikum Report

Rose the Cook
Community Member
5 months ago

Was one of her parents a giraffe?

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#15

"The Model Has Achieved This By Chewing On A Plastic-Looking Contraption"

"The Model Has Achieved This By Chewing On A Plastic-Looking Contraption"

metti-021 Report

Vic
Community Member
5 months ago

He's become a cycle seat!!

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#16

Photoshopped Herself Into Oblivion, Grandpa Can Stay Lookin Old Af

Photoshopped Herself Into Oblivion, Grandpa Can Stay Lookin Old Af

ZeuslovesHer Report

Pungent Sauce
Community Member
5 months ago

Scary movie poster?

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#17

Organs Are For The Weak!

Organs Are For The Weak!

cutest_corpse Report

theflyingcicero
Community Member
5 months ago

Another Barbie!

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#18

From Her Profile vs. Tagged

From Her Profile vs. Tagged

Yayitselizabeth Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

When you photoshoped yourself hard enough to be Kate Siegel. Good job.

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#19

Reminder: This Is Not How These Women Look In Real Life

Reminder: This Is Not How These Women Look In Real Life

jassicassi Report

MiriPanda
Community Member
5 months ago

Who would want to anyway...

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#20

Internal Organs? Never Heard Of Them

Internal Organs? Never Heard Of Them

look4alec Report

Collie
Community Member
5 months ago

Her organs are in her butt

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#21

Reminds Me Of That Scene In Beetlejuice (Little Head)

Reminds Me Of That Scene In Beetlejuice (Little Head)

ZoIpidem Report

Walking On Sunshine
Community Member
5 months ago

Just.....why

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#22

What The Model Posted vs. Photographer

What The Model Posted vs. Photographer

clutchkickmurphys Report

lenka
Community Member
5 months ago

they are both hideously unrealistic

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#23

She Was On A Popular Reality Show. I'll Never Understand Why They Do This When We've All Seen What They Really Look Like!

She Was On A Popular Reality Show. I'll Never Understand Why They Do This When We've All Seen What They Really Look Like!

TheStayAtHomeAtheist Report

Monday
Community Member
5 months ago

Why accept the reality show invite if you've modified your online image this much is what I don't understand. You KNOW you don't look like your pictures, so why expose yourself? [Why change yourself this much is a question for another day]

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

One I Found In The Wild

One I Found In The Wild

helibear90 Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
5 months ago

Half Barbie, half centaur.

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#25

Arms So Big They Warp The Plane Seats?

Arms So Big They Warp The Plane Seats?

FreddieL2103 Report

adiiantryx
Community Member
5 months ago

and what happened to his leg?

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#26

This Cannot Be Real! Inhumanly Possible To Look Like This

This Cannot Be Real! Inhumanly Possible To Look Like This

fenixdarkdirk Report

James016
Community Member
5 months ago

I think this is the guy from TOWIE (UK reality TV show) and he is dangerously thin at the moment

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#27

I Was Startled By This While Scrolling

I Was Startled By This While Scrolling

tedleydoright Report

theflyingcicero
Community Member
5 months ago

Aliens! They have arrived.

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#28

Girl I Go To Uni With Always Edits Her Photos Like This.. The Second Pic Is How She Actually Looks

Girl I Go To Uni With Always Edits Her Photos Like This.. The Second Pic Is How She Actually Looks

BigBootyBianca Report

ElenaK
Community Member
5 months ago

And she looks great! These individuals have serious issues!

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#29

4 Out Of 5 Dentists Approved

4 Out Of 5 Dentists Approved

dmtacos82 Report

notfunarts
Community Member
5 months ago

Same face syndrome in real life

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#30

Her Index Finger Seems To Be Melting Down Her Bum

Her Index Finger Seems To Be Melting Down Her Bum

SunnyAmerican Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
5 months ago

Help, she has an enormous tumor!

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#31

Her Gravitational Pull Is So Strong It Distorts Everything Around Her Waist

Her Gravitational Pull Is So Strong It Distorts Everything Around Her Waist

samiam130 Report

Tobias Rieper
Community Member
5 months ago

this whole page could just have a picture of Thanos after he gets the reality stone with caption now reality can be whatever i want

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#32

Two Of Her Fingers Are Thicker Than Her Wrist, Wtf

Two Of Her Fingers Are Thicker Than Her Wrist, Wtf

MelanieSenpai Report

Tobias Rieper
Community Member
5 months ago

looks like one of the Strigoi from the Strain Tv show

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#33

Repeat Offender. This Girl Has No Shame

Repeat Offender. This Girl Has No Shame

ieattoomuchnutella Report

Walking On Sunshine
Community Member
5 months ago

The Khloe Kardashian of the Osborne family

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See Also on Bored Panda
#34

Even The Poor Headless Mannequin Can't Live Up To Ig Standards

Even The Poor Headless Mannequin Can't Live Up To Ig Standards

_queefer_sutherland_ Report

ElenaK
Community Member
5 months ago

Whyyyyy?

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#35

When The Very Thing You Rely On Betrays You Lol

When The Very Thing You Rely On Betrays You Lol

Fvcknloner Report

ElenaK
Community Member
5 months ago

She is better in reality. Can't she see it?

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#36

Copy + Paste Cleavage?

Copy + Paste Cleavage?

eurogem Report

Some Cool Guy
Community Member
5 months ago

Why are her boobs up around her neck?

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#37

The Face!!! And This Was A Sponsored Post

The Face!!! And This Was A Sponsored Post

thehappilydepressed Report

Oopsydaisy
Community Member
5 months ago

When your dead sister turns up in your selfies.

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#38

And The Knees?

And The Knees?

Latraviata92 Report

karla Meixnerová
Community Member
5 months ago

Never heard of them...

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#39

And She Would Have Gotten Away With It Too, If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Straps!

And She Would Have Gotten Away With It Too, If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Straps!

reakkysadpwrson Report

I like cats
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Srsly...You don't need to change your body to be truly appealing.

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#40

Subtle.... Her Poor Nose

Subtle.... Her Poor Nose

randomthemoron Report

a_smol_berry
Community Member
5 months ago

I’m sure she looked wonderful before photo shop.

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Note: this post originally had 50 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.