Sometimes, it’s easy for us to forget that social media isn’t the same as reality. But it’s incredibly important to remember that what we see on our screens can often be an altered, upgraded, and airbrushed version of what’s really out there. If we realize it’s partly an illusion, we won’t feel so bad when we compare our lives to those of seemingly ‘perfect’ Instagram influencers. However, some people take photo editing several steps too far.

The “Instagram Reality” subreddit is dedicated to showing how heavily some people facetune their pictures before putting them up on social media. Whether it’s inspired by people’s insecurity or narcissism is difficult to tell. But we collected some of the best examples of fake people pics from the subreddit for you to enjoy.

So scroll down, upvote your fave Instagram photos, and leave a comment below to let us know which images you thought were the most shocking, and why you think these people tend to use too much Photoshop. Also, check out Bored Panda’s previous posts about expectations vs. reality right here, here, here, as well as here. Scroll down for our interview with the "Instagram Reality" moderators about their community and about the culture of excessive photoshop, and be sure to visit their subreddit as well.

#1

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

aya5810 Report

varwenea
Community Member
9 months ago

So fake it's funny.

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#2

A Body Builder I Have Since Unfollowed

A Body Builder I Have Since Unfollowed

alejas_tejas Report

varwenea
Community Member
9 months ago

Looks like a Star Wars alien.

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#3

Reflections Dont Lie

Reflections Dont Lie

shitpost90000 Report

Panda Angel
Community Member
9 months ago

LMAO what kind of photo is that!!!!

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Bored Panda talked to the "Instagram Reality" moderators about why some people go overboard with photoshopping their pictures. Here's what they had to say: "Insecurity, envy, money. Take the girl sitting next to you in Statistics who's scrolling through her latest selfie shoot and disappointingly thinks to herself, "[Damn], is that a pimple? I can't let people see that, it's embarrassing." She casually opens up FaceTune, smooths out the pimple, and boom—now there's an image she feels comfortable sharing online. Unbeknownst to her, there's a seed that's been planted in her mind now that it's as easy as using this app to change anything she finds unattractive about herself at any time, then it snowballs; from taking in just a bit of your tummy for a more slender silhouette until eventually she's landed on a waist the size of her neck."

"The light improvements are so gradual over time, she stops noticing that the waist she's creating is 1.) of course, not hers 2.) (as we often see on Instagram Reality), anatomically impossible, and 3.) that she's now set an expectation subconsciously for herself (and outwardly for anyone following her) that she needs to keep up this flawless appearance; which means sticking to the edits she's made for every photo she posts in the future. What she doesn't realize is in this process, she's simultaneously creating and constantly reinforcing her own insecurities."

#4

What The Hell

What The Hell

hrafi1 Report

glassgrassgrossgloss
Community Member
9 months ago

Looks like a scenes from sims

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#5

When U Ordered It vs. When It Arrived

When U Ordered It vs. When It Arrived

moonkid93 Report

EA
Community Member
9 months ago

Upvote for the caption

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#6

Big Difference Between The Photos Of Her At The Event And The One On Her Instagram...

Big Difference Between The Photos Of Her At The Event And The One On Her Instagram...

Rude-Transition Report

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
9 months ago

Plastic fantastic on the left, a gorgeous, real woman with real-life experience on the right.

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We were also interested to know the subreddit mods' opinion about why some people are scared of presenting themselves as they truly are. "Everyone wants to be loved and desired, everyone wants to feel that they belong. The harsh, scary truth of the matter for anyone is that the more you resemble what people around you consider universally attractive, the more likely you are to have access to those things in your life. So, you begin to think, "Well, what do I need to change about myself to fit in? How do I become more attractive?" Based on what magazine covers and many an Instagram Explore page shows you, that image is a tall, long-haired, fair skinned woman with smooth skin, a slim yet hourglass figure—oh, and don't forget, the perfect butt. In comes photo editing apps, offering you the chance to finally be her. Even if it's only online."

#7

Legend

Legend

iamalol9701 Report

Eirik Johnsbråten
Community Member
9 months ago

Not even Bane is that deformed.

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#8

Yeah, No

Yeah, No

lrdkira Report

Antonia
Community Member
9 months ago

this is really funny

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#9

When One Right Hand Isn’t Enough...

When One Right Hand Isn’t Enough...

lisaloveslashes Report

Antonia
Community Member
9 months ago

it's not the 2 right hands, that shock me... it's the friggin face 😬

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"Instagram Reality" moderators told us that the community greatly supports inclusivity: "The Instagram Reality team is a huge supporter of inclusivity. All races, body types and genders need to be fairly represented in the media. Sanity Sunday was created as a day for our subscribers to share an ad (or influencer) they've seen which support that idea as well. In the long run, the only way to reduce our obsession with self-image is to normalize those we see in the media; not just celebrating how they look, but who they are as a person."

The "Instagram Reality" subreddit was created just under two years ago. "u/Zaza9000 began to notice IG models who looked insanely different in real life. She wanted to create a platform that exposed the fakeness to people who were being fooled."

#10

I Don’t Know Where To Start ...

I Don’t Know Where To Start ...

al958 Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
9 months ago

Even the dogs are scared

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#11

Those Abs Were Made In Ms Paint

Those Abs Were Made In Ms Paint

Merwebo2Veces Report

Bill
Community Member
9 months ago

Extra from the movie 300?

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#12

He Colored His Eyes Over His Glasses Frames

He Colored His Eyes Over His Glasses Frames

ooqpoo Report

Night Owl
Community Member
9 months ago

Is he Superman?

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It’s very easy to feel insecure in the information age. Every day, we’re bombarded by images of beautiful, successful, healthy, wealthy individuals. While this inspires some of us to aim for greatness, others can feel insecure because they realize the huge gap between their dream lives, and where they currently are.

Melody Lyons explains that having grown up in the United States, she was raised to be dissatisfied with the way she looked, which meant she felt ashamed of herself. However, she still advocates not using photo-editing apps or keeping the editing to a minimum: say, for removing a big red spot that would simply ruin the pic.

But according to her, if you start radically changing who you are in photos, you start believing that there’s something wrong with you. And that just increases any feelings of insecurity you already had. In other words—the less photoshopping you do, the more comfortable you feel being yourself. After all, nobody is perfect and never will be. Even models think they eyelashes/jawline/pinkies could look better.

#13

I’m Speechless

I’m Speechless

colderin69 Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
9 months ago

She amputated a leg

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#14

Shes Not Fooling Anyone With That Steering Wheel

Shes Not Fooling Anyone With That Steering Wheel

MIKE-WAZOWSKIS-COCK Report

varwenea
Community Member
9 months ago

Clearly someone who's never even seen one.

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#15

*gasp*

*gasp*

princessofawfulcourt Report

The Alchemist
Community Member
9 months ago

Its like 2 mannequins. Little disturbing

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Also, the more people there are out there who photoshop their pictures, the stronger the culture of ‘perfect’ Instagram pics. This means that there are even more individuals who feel insecure because they have to compare themselves to endless masses of photo-edited pictures.

Meanwhile, Michelle Linker told The Guardian that the pressures of social media are very real. “People are publicizing usually something really cool or fun that they’re doing, or at least they make it appear that way. I absolutely feel insecure.”

She continued: “I do feel a pressure to look particularly good. I would never post a photo that wasn’t flattering of me. I feel anxiety over how many likes I get after I post a picture. If I get two likes, I feel like, what’s wrong with me? Some people judge Instagram by deleting photos that don’t get enough likes. I wouldn’t do that, but I would definitely second-guess my intentions with posting them.”

#16

... She Very Obviously Was Not In This Photo Before She Photoshopped Herself In

... She Very Obviously Was Not In This Photo Before She Photoshopped Herself In

Bittysweens Report

CrunChewy McSandybutt
Community Member
9 months ago

Attack of the 50 ft influencer

BusLady
Community Member
8 months ago

Look out, little dude on the bike!

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Jim Ellington
Community Member
9 months ago

She casts no shadow and is therefor a witch. Burn her!

Jim Ellington
Community Member
9 months ago

Debra, I was being facetious for the purpose of having a chance at being slightly humorous. Unfortunately, I suspect you are being serious. Witchypoo.

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PandaPiñata
Community Member
9 months ago

When not in Rome...

Carolyn Coburn
Community Member
8 months ago

Good one.

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PjandBolt
Community Member
9 months ago

Shadow?

SirPatTheCat
Community Member
9 months ago

Yeah you don't walk around barefoot in Rome 😬

Slune
Community Member
9 months ago

Had no money for flying in...

Leisa Farrow
Community Member
8 months ago

Look! It's a Glamazon! Run for your lives!

Waqitos
Community Member
9 months ago

In the next shot, she might have just jumped inside the colosseum just like that.

Mark Jaress
Community Member
9 months ago

Look! She floats!

Kathy Baylis
Community Member
9 months ago

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman?

Molly Block
Community Member
9 months ago

Can you guys tell me what is wrong here? I believe she edited herself in, but it's not bad, right? I mean, she even added a slight shadow near her feet. So how is it so obvious? (Forgive me, I am visually impaired).

Laurinde Fleur
Community Member
9 months ago

She is in her summer outfit... While the people in the background are all in winter clothes

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Gemma Lees
Community Member
9 months ago

Worldwide travel for people without passports.

Quintessence
Community Member
8 months ago

And somehow the 1,013 people who liked it didn't notice

Rascal Photo
Community Member
8 months ago

Attack of the 50 ft woman does the Colliseum

BusLady
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

Oh, so that's what happened to it. She gave it a few swift kicks.

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Ari
Community Member
9 months ago

Can't photoshop and can't write.

Monster munch
Community Member
9 months ago

Grammar?

Shania Brown
Community Member
8 months ago

if you see her feet you can tell this was photo shopped on

Gina Bina
Community Member
8 months ago

her caption doesn't make sense "much colder but than when i took" ??? what

Jessie Cooper
Community Member
8 months ago

Her caption makes this so much better

Dian Parama Kosala
Community Member
8 months ago

how can she fooled 1,013 peoples?..

estimaate
Community Member
9 months ago

when you dont have a shadow

Randi Carrigan
Community Member
8 months ago

Yeah, I've been to Rome. No one in their right mind would walk barefoot there.🤢

Khairul Syazwan
Community Member
8 months ago

thats not bad editing at all hahahaahah

GenXandEarnedItAll
Community Member
8 months ago

Poor thing. Don't got good Grammer.

Nadia Silveira
Community Member
8 months ago

The picture looks great when compared to the text.

Vivian Ingram
Community Member
8 months ago

Why is she not wearing shoes?

Eagle Girl
Community Member
8 months ago

I remember this one! Was posting fake cropped photos all over The EU.

Claire Armstrong
Community Member
8 months ago

OK, what am I missing that's making it very obvious that it was photoshopped? Help please! Is it the bright 'shine' on the top right?

Theory Buchannon
Community Member
8 months ago

them feet tho

Lynn Morello
Community Member
8 months ago

She should have checked put the weather first.

beaulatte
Community Member
8 months ago

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Auntie Depressant
Community Member
8 months ago

In response to above question: I don’t do social media because I was either obsessively checking for validation of my cleverness, or blocking people so desperate for attention they posted something every five minutes. I also don’t find myself fascinating enough to be plastered all over some server for eternity...it’s frightening to even think about. I’ve only really used the quick erasure tool available to erase a zit, but other than that, sought good days and better lighting

Dawn K
Community Member
8 months ago

People on the street are in coats and she's in a short dress and barefoot? lol

Susanna Vesna
Community Member
8 months ago

"It's all about the viiiiiiiiiiiibes guuuuys! Positive viiiiiibes, duuuuude!" 1013 morons fell for these fake viiiiiiiiibes

Corine McMillan
Community Member
8 months ago

No shadow?

Auntie Depressant
Community Member
9 months ago

The feet!! They couldn’t even be bothered to finish the edges! Of course when you’re essentially advertising how bad your grammar is (if English is not your native tongue, there are many translating apps that do it for you in seconds) I guess you wouldn’t take the time to take a tutorial on layering before you post this stuff. Who are the sheeple who “like” these?

Paw Paw
Community Member
9 months ago

She alludes to it being warmer in Rome. Everyone below looks dressed for cold weather. Don't these idiots check things before they post? (it's OK - already know the answer)

Roberto Durante
Community Member
9 months ago

PS, the cheapest way to travel

Debbie
Community Member
9 months ago

seriously sad

Cristina Sacchi
Community Member
9 months ago

[facepalm]...at least create a shadow and photoshop some shoes, while you're at it. Graphic design 101.

Kathi Keegan Chang
Community Member
9 months ago

Was that all in English??!!! Her word pad must have a migraine...a really BAD one.

Jo Choto
Community Member
9 months ago

How sad, to be so desperate to have a life that is not your own.

Kelly Hartle
Community Member
9 months ago

The attack of the 40 foot woman.

Elizabeth Gardner
Community Member
9 months ago

Wow the realm of the giant lady!

Kat Khatib
Community Member
9 months ago

Everyone on the street are bundled up like Nanook of the North, but she's walking barefoot?? She could've at least had herself holding a pair of sandals.

Ana M
Community Member
9 months ago

Very funny!

shado
Community Member
9 months ago

"but than when" ... ?? ... she really needs to work of her proofing before hitting that post button too - bad text is almost as criminal as bad photoshoping

Katie Morris
Community Member
9 months ago

All the people in the photo down below and wearing winter outfits thick jackets and gloves and hats !

Michelle Line
Community Member
9 months ago

I'm not seeing it. Her size is due to being very close to the photographer. People below her have minimal shadows (cloudy?) so with the photographer lighting, I'm not surprised to see she shows none. No distortion in the background. No signs of masking or feathering. I think it's legit.

Dave Cremin
Community Member
9 months ago

You can see there are shadows cast towards the camera, but there's nowhere for a light to be set up behind her, so she would definitely be casting a shadow... Surely you're joking about it being legit?

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Steven Meyer
Community Member
9 months ago

She must be a vampire because she casts no shadow

Id row
Community Member
9 months ago

When the desire for attention overrides your logic and vision.

Bob Beltcher
Community Member
9 months ago

I can't follow her bad English. Is she in NY or Rome? Is it summer with the sun out, or winter? So much confusion.

Ami Morrison
Community Member
9 months ago

all that photoshopping and the person doesn't even know how to do a drop shadow? :o

Blue Cicada
Community Member
9 months ago

I don't often travel, but when I do, I make certain to walk barefoot all over the historic sites.

Donna Reynolds
Community Member
9 months ago

Really standing in front of a parking garage.

Amanda Windsor
Community Member
8 months ago

Oh stop it. Silly woman.

AnnSmithJones
Community Member
8 months ago

Such an idiot - she's barefoot in a summer dress while everyone else is bundled up in winter gear?

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#17

Most Severe Case I’ve Ever Seen Tbh

Most Severe Case I’ve Ever Seen Tbh

offitat Report

Hello it Smee
Community Member
9 months ago

The real person is prettier than the anime photoshop

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#18

Whats The Point Of Photoshopping A Starbucks Logo On Your Cup..? Had A Good Laugh Bc Of It

Whats The Point Of Photoshopping A Starbucks Logo On Your Cup..? Had A Good Laugh Bc Of It

joanoa Report

varwenea
Community Member
9 months ago

Probably trying to score a sponsorship.

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Do you photoshop your pictures, dear readers? Have you ever been in a situation where you post a photo and constantly check to see how many likes it got? Share your experience with everyone in the comments.

#19

The Difference Is Day And Night, Literally

The Difference Is Day And Night, Literally

atbzrrr Report

My O My
Community Member
9 months ago

White nose tip

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#20

I Love Playing “Find The Distorted Background” Game With Everything She Posts

I Love Playing “Find The Distorted Background” Game With Everything She Posts

meowmix265 Report

EA
Community Member
9 months ago

Why does her head look so small??

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#21

Mua Posts Christmas Inspired Look, Flat Out Denies It's Photoshopped In The Comments

Mua Posts Christmas Inspired Look, Flat Out Denies It's Photoshopped In The Comments

epaj Report

Blakkur Sverrir
Community Member
9 months ago

Its not photoshop if you print it out. Put makeup on the photo and than take a picture of it

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#22

No Way Her Waist Is Real, That Shadow Has A Different Angle

No Way Her Waist Is Real, That Shadow Has A Different Angle

diveonfire Report

B
Community Member
9 months ago

I've never understood why people do this. Why would you want a huge backside or a face that looks like a duck? Just so unattractive.

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#23

Edited vs. Unedited

Edited vs. Unedited

probglum Report

Hocus Pocus
Community Member
9 months ago

I've seen worse.

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#24

Forgot To Edit The Mirror

Forgot To Edit The Mirror

SpecialRegular Report

Rae
Community Member
9 months ago

She didn't leave room for her ribs. LOL

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#25

Jesus Christ, She Even Smoothed Over Her Tongue

Jesus Christ, She Even Smoothed Over Her Tongue

wombatcheeses Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
9 months ago

Nothing about this looks ok. It's disturbingly fake.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#26

“Ugly Sweater Dinner Date! ” Dear God... I Didn’t Need To Sleep Tonight Anyway

“Ugly Sweater Dinner Date! ” Dear God... I Didn’t Need To Sleep Tonight Anyway

DeusUrsus Report

Femur!
Community Member
9 months ago

Oh, this "muricans" LOL I'm ugly and I have no problem with that, none of my pics have filters. Only when the filter is funny, only that.

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#27

Mom Take Me Home I’m Scared

Mom Take Me Home I’m Scared

olruun Report

Hocus Pocus
Community Member
9 months ago

I think this might be apart of one of those trends where you make it look like that on purpose? Like, I've seen 'eye tutorials' on youtube where people purposely try to make their eyes look like that. Sorry if I'm wrong.

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#28

Same Girl I Posted Before, She’s Actually Nearly At 2 Million Followers And Will Block Anyone Who Claims Photoshop

Same Girl I Posted Before, She’s Actually Nearly At 2 Million Followers And Will Block Anyone Who Claims Photoshop

ElitaWins Report

My O My
Community Member
9 months ago

But she is so pretty on the left

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#29

Am I Insane Or Did He Photoshop The Exact Same Face Onto Two Different Photos

Am I Insane Or Did He Photoshop The Exact Same Face Onto Two Different Photos

lasagnaestranja Report

Gemma Lees
Community Member
9 months ago

I thought that Photoshop was supposed to make you look good, not scary af.

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#30

I'm Speechless

I'm Speechless

ashehole64 Report

Antonia
Community Member
9 months ago

what.. is he still a thing?

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Note: this post originally had 96 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.