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
8 months ago

So fake it's funny.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

A Body Builder I Have Since Unfollowed

A Body Builder I Have Since Unfollowed

alejas_tejas Report

varwenea
Community Member
8 months ago

Looks like a Star Wars alien.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Reflections Dont Lie

Reflections Dont Lie

shitpost90000 Report

Panda Angel
Community Member
8 months ago

LMAO what kind of photo is that!!!!

View More Replies...
View more comments

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
8 months ago

Looks like a scenes from sims

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

When U Ordered It vs. When It Arrived

When U Ordered It vs. When It Arrived

moonkid93 Report

EA
Community Member
8 months ago

Upvote for the caption

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 months ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments

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
8 months ago

Not even Bane is that deformed.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Yeah, No

Yeah, No

lrdkira Report

Antonia
Community Member
8 months ago

this is really funny

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

When One Right Hand Isn’t Enough...

When One Right Hand Isn’t Enough...

lisaloveslashes Report

Antonia
Community Member
8 months ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments

"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
8 months ago

Even the dogs are scared

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Those Abs Were Made In Ms Paint

Those Abs Were Made In Ms Paint

Merwebo2Veces Report

Bill
Community Member
8 months ago

Extra from the movie 300?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

He Colored His Eyes Over His Glasses Frames

He Colored His Eyes Over His Glasses Frames

ooqpoo Report

Night Owl
Community Member
8 months ago

Is he Superman?

View more comments

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
8 months ago

She amputated a leg

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

Shes Not Fooling Anyone With That Steering Wheel

Shes Not Fooling Anyone With That Steering Wheel

MIKE-WAZOWSKIS-COCK Report

varwenea
Community Member
8 months ago

Clearly someone who's never even seen one.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

*gasp*

*gasp*

princessofawfulcourt Report

The Alchemist
Community Member
8 months ago

Its like 2 mannequins. Little disturbing

View More Replies...
View more comments

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
8 months ago

Attack of the 50 ft influencer

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Most Severe Case I’ve Ever Seen Tbh

Most Severe Case I’ve Ever Seen Tbh

offitat Report

Hello it Smee
Community Member
8 months ago

The real person is prettier than the anime photoshop

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 months ago

Probably trying to score a sponsorship.

View more comments

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
8 months ago

White nose tip

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 months ago

Why does her head look so small??

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 months ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Edited vs. Unedited

Edited vs. Unedited

probglum Report

Hocus Pocus
Community Member
8 months ago

I've seen worse.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

Jesus Christ, She Even Smoothed Over Her Tongue

Jesus Christ, She Even Smoothed Over Her Tongue

wombatcheeses Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
8 months ago

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

Kathi Keegan Chang
Community Member
8 months ago

Ya think???!!! and what did it add to the fakeness of it? Highlighted blues and her face with the dark wink, is too weird.,

Load More Replies...
Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch
Community Member
8 months ago

Taste buds are so gauche right now.

Lilli
Community Member
8 months ago

taste buds are overrated anyways (sarcasm)

Jim Ellington
Community Member
8 months ago

Dudes, shave daily if you can't grow a full beard.

Ari
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

Her tongue is so smooth it actually looks like her bottom lip o.O

Linda Matheny
Community Member
8 months ago

What the fuck is that blob of flesh by the steering wheel?

Bette Noire
Community Member
8 months ago

Lmaooooooooooo

Load More Replies...
m. b
Community Member
8 months ago

That is just sad, believe the real one would be great memory

Brandy Grote
Community Member
8 months ago

Her tongue being that smooth does verify her lack of taste!

Melanie Celliers
Community Member
8 months ago

Tastebuds are for the weak

Anne Wild
Community Member
8 months ago

They are not fashionable. :D

Load More Replies...
Seabeast
Community Member
8 months ago

A bright red tongue is a symptom of pernicious anemia.

Elizabeth Dunlop
Community Member
8 months ago

K A W A I I

SatanIsBloodyHilarious
Community Member
3 months ago

Why do people stick out their tongue? Their freaking tongue??? Nobody wants to see that... It's a tongue!

Grace Galan
Community Member
8 months ago

She honestly seems really beautiful. Why tf would she do this :(

Kate Johnson
Community Member
8 months ago

I tried whitening my eyes and teeth in a photo once, around nine years ago now. I never showed out ro anyone, but kept it as a reminder of how obviously fake it looked and how stupid I was to try and edit my pictures. I cringe every time I see it!

Living_Shadow
Community Member
8 months ago

They look like an anime picture made too realistic but still not enough

Shania Brown
Community Member
8 months ago

she is so cute i might take her man

Amanda Windsor
Community Member
8 months ago

80s throwbacks??

Claire Armstrong
Community Member
8 months ago

Buckled at the caption pml! Who is she? Is she 'famous'? Or maybe she kinda reminds me of someone 'famous'

Diana Lantow
Community Member
8 months ago

YUK!

beaulatte
Community Member
8 months ago

Gross

Auntie Depressant
Community Member
8 months ago

what I hate about the whole self-advertising obsession is that no one looks like they’re even having real, unabashed fun anymore. everything’s overtly posed. don’t feel sorry for them..they choose to exist in a vacuum of a million frozen selfies

BG Rey
Community Member
8 months ago

Agree

Caroline Driver
Community Member
8 months ago

I guess a lot of these people just really want to look like a manga/anime character. So they can look back when they are wrinkled 70 y/o and say 'look, I was so perfect once'

Auntie Depressant
Community Member
8 months ago

People are bored.

sewwandi ranaweera
Community Member
8 months ago

A terrible case of glossitis

Elizabeth Gardner
Community Member
8 months ago

This is truly one to make you shudder, just a tad, it is disturbing!

Kat Khatib
Community Member
8 months ago

Did he get a sunburn while wearing a "W" necklace??

Ana M
Community Member
8 months ago

God Almighty!!!!!

Ryo Bakura
Community Member
8 months ago

Did she put her entire face in the Shine-O Ball-O?

Albert G. Fernández
Community Member
8 months ago

She smoothed her tongue so much, that it looks like a glans. o_o

David Jones
Community Member
8 months ago

Not a tongue. Tongue-eating louse...

Ayasophya Alturas
Community Member
8 months ago

the hell is this

Fatemeh.F
Community Member
8 months ago

Is the guy Photoshopped too or he's just gorgeous?

View More Replies...
View more comments
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
8 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

Mom Take Me Home I’m Scared

Mom Take Me Home I’m Scared

olruun Report

Hocus Pocus
Community Member
8 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 months ago

But she is so pretty on the left

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
8 months ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

I'm Speechless

I'm Speechless

ashehole64 Report

Antonia
Community Member
8 months ago

what.. is he still a thing?

View More Replies...
View more comments

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