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If a photo on Instagram looks too good to be true, it probably is. Even though the platform can be a wonderful and inspiring place, full of beautiful and artistic images, oftentimes it's misleading, too. Photography "tricks" and post-production dissolves the difference between real and fake. And some people try to make use of it, turning their looks into what they think society desires.

Eventually, it got so bad, a counter-movement emerged on Reddit in 2017. The community is called Instagram Reality, and it is dedicated to "exposing" these personas, trying to stop the spread of unreachable ideals and unrealistic expectations. To do so, it is posting side-by-side pics of how Instagrammers look online and in real life.

Bored Panda has already written about the subreddit (most recent articles here, here, and here), but it continues to dig out more and more... "specimens", so we gotta keep up; the pictures are getting more and more ridiculous.

#1

Found On A Dating App. I Am Genuinely Concerned

Found On A Dating App. I Am Genuinely Concerned

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In 2019, Marika Tiggemann and Isabella Anderberg released a study called "Social media is not real: The effect of 'Instagram vs reality' images on women’s social comparison and body image." The research revealed that such images have the power to limit the impact social media posts have on our mental health.

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As part of the study, a group of women were randomly assigned to view one of three sets of images: "Instagram vs reality" images, the 'ideal' side alone, or just the 'real' side. When women viewed either the real or comparison posts, researchers noticed that the identification or complete avoidance of the 'perfect' images as fake could "disrupt the comparison process," reducing the negative impact on body image and actually decreasing body dissatisfaction. 

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#2

I Thinks She's So Beautiful Without The Photoshop. Body Dysmorphia Is Real

I Thinks She's So Beautiful Without The Photoshop. Body Dysmorphia Is Real

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"Results suggest that the popular quote 'Comparison is the thief of joy'… has some truth to it," Renee Engeln, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, writes for Psychology Today. "However, it seems to matter who the target of your comparison is. We may have more luck accepting our own bodies if we see more realistic and diverse representations of other bodies in our social media feeds.

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"By following users who regularly challenge the frequent phoniness of Instagram posts, we can practice appreciating the diversity of human bodies and perhaps learn to appreciate our own bodies along the way."

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#4

Pores You Say?

Pores You Say?

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varwenea
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So, so fake. While they're at it, should have changed her teeth and gave the other one a real Chanel pendant. Why not do it all?

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#5

A Beautiful 51 Year Old Woman Who Doesn’t Need The Facetune

A Beautiful 51 Year Old Woman Who Doesn’t Need The Facetune

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Mimi777
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everyone ages. It’s part of life. She’s still beautiful. And looks great for 51.

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#6

I'm No Doctor But Her Head Is Small

I'm No Doctor But Her Head Is Small

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#7

Photographer Trying To Claim That The Long Legs Are Only Due To “Angling”

Photographer Trying To Claim That The Long Legs Are Only Due To “Angling”

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#8

When The Mirror Lets You Down

When The Mirror Lets You Down

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#10

That Foot Said, “Mr. Stark? Don’t Feel So Good.”

That Foot Said, “Mr. Stark? Don’t Feel So Good.”

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Louchebert
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's no foot!! That's a pirates stump!! Foot stumpin' all over the place, what is a boy to do?

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#11

Photoshopped A Lambo Logo On Her Honda, The Blue One In The Back Also Looks Fake

Photoshopped A Lambo Logo On Her Honda, The Blue One In The Back Also Looks Fake

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#13

A German Reality TV Star On Instagram vs. On TV

A German Reality TV Star On Instagram vs. On TV

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#15

Rtx On

Rtx On

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Evelína Zlá
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If he would take of his shirt in front of me and look like that.. I think I'll run away... screaming...

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#16

Original vs. What She Posted

Original vs. What She Posted

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#18

Bro..... Seriously

Bro..... Seriously

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Kosh1k
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, there's overzealous use of filters and photoshop (Eerily bright teeth and skin). But you can tell it's the same guy, and it doesn't slip too far into "uncanney valley" territory.

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#19

Delusion

Delusion

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#20

The Only Photos She Posts Anymore Are Pictures Of Models With Her Face Photoshopped In Instead

The Only Photos She Posts Anymore Are Pictures Of Models With Her Face Photoshopped In Instead

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#22

I Genuinely Don't Understand This. She Does This All The Time. She Doesn't Even Slightly Resemble Herself

I Genuinely Don't Understand This. She Does This All The Time. She Doesn't Even Slightly Resemble Herself

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#23

2 In 3 Use Photoshop

2 In 3 Use Photoshop

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Louchebert
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah... but which two??? If only someone could shine a light or something...

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#25

I Didn't See It Until The Direct Comparison

I Didn't See It Until The Direct Comparison

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#26

Her Billboard vs. A Pic From An Interview

Her Billboard vs. A Pic From An Interview

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#27

When You Get So Tan That Even Your Eyes Get Darker. (Summer 2018 On Left vs. Summer 2020)

When You Get So Tan That Even Your Eyes Get Darker. (Summer 2018 On Left vs. Summer 2020)

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#28

Her Promo Pic On Social Media vs. Photo From Her Promo Event

Her Promo Pic On Social Media vs. Photo From Her Promo Event

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Natalia
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh god! That's just so sad. Too many wrong messages they're getting to young people, damaging their confidence and making them believe that flaws or ageing is something wrong.

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#29

She Has 217k Followers On Insta

She Has 217k Followers On Insta

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troufaki13
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She was actually on Greece's Next Top Model as a plus size model and she was actually pretty good. She knows how to pose and how to make beautiful expressions with her face. But this picture on the right is just... it just isn't her. I don't understand why they're doing this. She is a beautiful girl.

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#30

Found One In The Wild. They Really Expect Us To Believe That Her Waist Is Real

Found One In The Wild. They Really Expect Us To Believe That Her Waist Is Real

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#31

I Think A Lot Of People Don’t Realise How Much This Girl Edits Her Photos

I Think A Lot Of People Don’t Realise How Much This Girl Edits Her Photos

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#32

Look At The Face... Look At The Hand... Look At The Phone!

Look At The Face... Look At The Hand... Look At The Phone!

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#33

It's Sad That He Edits Himself This Much. The Edit Doesn't Even Look Human

It's Sad That He Edits Himself This Much. The Edit Doesn't Even Look Human

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#34

Saw In The Wild On Facebook... Caption Was "Elegance Is The Only Beauty That Never Fades"

Saw In The Wild On Facebook... Caption Was "Elegance Is The Only Beauty That Never Fades"

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's a good thing his eyebrows are so heavy or else his ego would have made him float.

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#35

Instagram-vs.-Reality-Fake-Real-Images

Instagram-vs.-Reality-Fake-Real-Images

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#36

Just So... Processed

Just So... Processed

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#37

In The Photo vs. In The Video

In The Photo vs. In The Video

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#38

Does This Count?

Does This Count?

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#39

These Are All The Same Person

These Are All The Same Person

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I'manoob!
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm sorry, but what exactly does she hope to accomplish with her very distinct edits?!?!

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#40

Posted vs. Tagged. Same Event

Posted vs. Tagged. Same Event

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#41

Insta Versus A Still From Her Mom's Show

Insta Versus A Still From Her Mom's Show

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#43

Why Is There So Much Effort Put Into Looking Like A Caricature?

Why Is There So Much Effort Put Into Looking Like A Caricature?

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Roxy Eastland
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe that's the game though? The point is to play around and see how doll like you can make yourself look.

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#45

Croatian Singer. Yes This Is The Same Perosn

Croatian Singer. Yes This Is The Same Perosn

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#46

TV Show vs. Instagram. That's A Lot Of Editing

TV Show vs. Instagram. That's A Lot Of Editing

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#47

Online Versus At A Photo Op

Online Versus At A Photo Op

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#48

Left Is From Her Fb Live This Morning. Right Is Right After The Live In One Of Her Many Stories

Left Is From Her Fb Live This Morning. Right Is Right After The Live In One Of Her Many Stories

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Louchebert
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

By the looks of it, it must have been a hell of a ride that rough life she's led...

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#49

This Honestly Scared Me. I Couldn’t Believe This Was The Same Person

This Honestly Scared Me. I Couldn’t Believe This Was The Same Person

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#50

Very Realistic Bums

Very Realistic Bums

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Cip IESAN
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Select first butt... CTRL-C... select second butt... CTRL-V... Ready!

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#51

Instagram Photos vs. Video Screenshot

Instagram Photos vs. Video Screenshot

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#52

Instagram Fiction vs. Reality

Instagram Fiction vs. Reality

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#54

Instagram vs. Unedited Online Store Pic

Instagram vs. Unedited Online Store Pic

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I'manoob!
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She looks beautiful on the right, the left...*sigh* I- we- we're just not going to talk about it

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#55

Post vs. Video Screenshot

Post vs. Video Screenshot

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#56

Smoothed Into Another Person

Smoothed Into Another Person

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#57

Posted On The Same Instagram, 1 Month Apart. Same Picture. Has To Be. Not Even Hiding How Much Photoshopping Is Done

Posted On The Same Instagram, 1 Month Apart. Same Picture. Has To Be. Not Even Hiding How Much Photoshopping Is Done

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#58

This Sub Made Me Realise That You Can't Trust All Of What You See On Social Media

This Sub Made Me Realise That You Can't Trust All Of What You See On Social Media

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#60

New Purple Eyeliner, Brought To You By Ms Paint

New Purple Eyeliner, Brought To You By Ms Paint

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Erin Kavik
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

MS Paint would do a better job on what was likely a high resolution image if you know how to use it.

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#61

Unedited On TV vs. A Selfie On Her Friend’s Story

Unedited On TV vs. A Selfie On Her Friend’s Story

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JessG
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You should see her friend! (Larissa from 90 day Fiance)

#63

Post For Her Own Clothing Company vs. Still From A Sponsored Ad Video. Both Posted On The Same Day

Post For Her Own Clothing Company vs. Still From A Sponsored Ad Video. Both Posted On The Same Day

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Jonathan
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Urgh Gemma Collins. She's got a horrible personality, real delusions of grandeur situation.

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#64

Ig vs. Twitch Stream

Ig vs. Twitch Stream

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#65

Found On My Local Community Page. They Were Legit Display Photos Straight After Each Other In Her Reel

Found On My Local Community Page. They Were Legit Display Photos Straight After Each Other In Her Reel

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Louchebert
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I must say... yellow fever does make people look somewhat slimmer...

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#66

These Are All The Same Person

These Are All The Same Person

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#67

This Model Posted This Herself To Prove That She Didn't Edit Her Body But Like Girl, Your Face!

This Model Posted This Herself To Prove That She Didn't Edit Her Body But Like Girl, Your Face!

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#69

Nfl Player’s Wife, Her Posted Pic vs. A Video He Posted

Nfl Player’s Wife, Her Posted Pic vs. A Video He Posted

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#70

Instagram On The Left, Reality Show On The Right

Instagram On The Left, Reality Show On The Right

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ERIKA H.
Community Member
3 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This just looks like weight gain (or loss, depending on which was taken first). This just comes across as fat shaming, which isn't cool

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#71

Why Do They Keep Doing This?! Girl You've Had TV Cameras Follow You Around Your Entire Life. We Know What You Look Like!

Why Do They Keep Doing This?! Girl You've Had TV Cameras Follow You Around Your Entire Life. We Know What You Look Like!

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#72

Even If You Take Away The Horrible Makeup Choices, She Goes Way Overboard With The Filters And Photoshop

Even If You Take Away The Horrible Makeup Choices, She Goes Way Overboard With The Filters And Photoshop

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#73

Her Instagram Post vs. Her Story Video

Her Instagram Post vs. Her Story Video

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#74

Apparently, This Guy Is A Venezuelan Actor/Model

Apparently, This Guy Is A Venezuelan Actor/Model

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#75

This Clothing Company Decided To Edit Just One Photo On The Listing For These Sweats, But Not The Others

This Clothing Company Decided To Edit Just One Photo On The Listing For These Sweats, But Not The Others

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#76

His Instagram Pics Versus Real Life Video Screenshots

His Instagram Pics Versus Real Life Video Screenshots

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#79

Curvy White Line. This Sub Has Made Me So Much More Aware Of How Much Pictures Are Edited And Stopped Me Judging Myself Against Edited Images

Curvy White Line. This Sub Has Made Me So Much More Aware Of How Much Pictures Are Edited And Stopped Me Judging Myself Against Edited Images

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#80

Dutch TV Personally. Left Is From The TV Show, Right Is The Picture She Posted

Dutch TV Personally. Left Is From The TV Show, Right Is The Picture She Posted

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It seems that's she worldfamous in a tiny part of one of the tiniest countries in the world.

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#81

It Is So Insidious How She Preaches "Body Positivity" And Healing Your Relationship With Food/Self-Worth While Manipulating Her Own Body Through Pads, Filters, Photoshop, Etc. She Is Putting Her Own Pride, And Obsession With Attaining An "Hourglass" Over All Else To The Detriment Of Her Followers

It Is So Insidious How She Preaches "Body Positivity" And Healing Your Relationship With Food/Self-Worth While Manipulating Her Own Body Through Pads, Filters, Photoshop, Etc. She Is Putting Her Own Pride, And Obsession With Attaining An "Hourglass" Over All Else To The Detriment Of Her Followers

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#82

Video Thumbnail vs. Video Screenshot. It's Almost Like Two Different People

Video Thumbnail vs. Video Screenshot. It's Almost Like Two Different People

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kyled avatar
Kyle D
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm not seeing this one, this could just be a different angle with his mouth opened more & eyebrows raised which makes his face seem slimmer. At least I'm presuming that's where the assumed photoshop is located.

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