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

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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
8 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?

Kevin Fox
Community Member
8 months ago

Was he ever? He does looks like a “thing” .

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YoyoSthlm
Community Member
9 months ago

This just feels like: Did they really need a human body? Why not just photoshop everything?

PandaPiñata
Community Member
9 months ago

Elf on a shelf never looked this bad.

Molly Block
Community Member
9 months ago

Who is this? Is this that gay instagram star that is so popular for his makeup? I can't think of his name.....

loading...
Community Member
9 months ago

Ain't he James Charles? I thought he was cancelled

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OMG! I’m not Wengie!!!
Community Member
8 months ago

Left and right, he lookin' sister STUPID!

louis porter
Community Member
8 months ago

Is that James Charles?

Yve Hooson
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

In the pic on theright his shiny pants and ultra nipped in waist have given him that "middle-aged woman with big belly poured into too small jeans' look.... I can say that, I am one and it's not a look I ever aspired to!

iluvanimals
Community Member
8 months ago

Scarily, he isn't even the worse. You got this guy who thinks every straight man wants him and is a predator. Or...Jeffree Starr who darn well knew he was in a band with a child rapist and has never cared.

Ema Sklepic
Community Member
8 months ago

Also, i never heard anything about a child rapist. But after that fiasco with James, I stopped following J Star. What kind of friend are u if u're gonna attack someone and spread rumors on the internet. I hate when people backstab.

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Timmy
Community Member
8 months ago

This is Gozer the Gozerian from Ghostbusters.

Paw Paw
Community Member
8 months ago

Nah - Gozer was prettier 😸

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Elizabeth Dunlop
Community Member
8 months ago

It really shocks me that he had the audacity and the dignity to post this publicly

Mari Bryant
Community Member
8 months ago

He's always trying to be like Kylie Jenner. Looks like they have lots in common.

Minnie-me
Community Member
8 months ago

oh God my eyes!

Melanie Remele
Community Member
8 months ago

Looked good 1st photo (fashion) but alien in 2nd shot.

Grace Galan
Community Member
8 months ago

sKiNnY lEgEnD

Catherine Becker
Community Member
8 months ago

leave James Charles alone! he has done nothing to deserve this at all.

Paw Paw
Community Member
8 months ago

That's the same outfit this loser is wearing two pics up - #28.

Elizabeth Gardner
Community Member
8 months ago

Is this a bloke or a girl I cannot make up my mind either way it is bloody awful.

KombatBunni
Community Member
8 months ago

It’s a bloke..

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Ayasophya Alturas
Community Member
8 months ago

lol he's still active?

Emily Bean
Community Member
4 months ago

that was just for fun

Alexandria joy Kelly-Kane
Community Member
6 months ago

he be gay boi.

Carolyn Coburn
Community Member
8 months ago

This does NOT look like Christmas!

Merilyn Horton
Community Member
8 months ago

Elf without intestines

Amanda Windsor
Community Member
8 months ago

Same one as above. Alien Elf.

Claire Armstrong
Community Member
8 months ago

As if the close up face shot in the pictures above wasn't scary enough, here is full body shots! Got to admit, I'm confused - is this a male or female?

love life you only live once
Community Member
8 months ago

its lighting guys!!!!!!!

beaulatte
Community Member
8 months ago

#canceled

Auntie Depressant
Community Member
8 months ago

THIS. Cannot stand this guy. Another bored rich kid gaining loads of pseudo-validation for doing nothing but applying pounds of make-up and posing. Go away.

Kathi Keegan Chang
Community Member
8 months ago

A HE or a SHE? Either way, the waist took a real slimming down, huh?

Isabella Fagan
Community Member
8 months ago

He. That’s James Charles.

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Ana M
Community Member
8 months ago

Jesus!!!!

Id row
Community Member
8 months ago

What the hell with this guy?

Keti Ledeno
Community Member
8 months ago

Ew and ew !

Tifferooski
Community Member
8 months ago

That's a boy?!

Amaranthim Talon
Community Member
8 months ago

Is that the same freak from above?

Dawn K
Community Member
8 months ago

What the hell is that?

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