Perfect people. Wearing perfect clothes. Having the time of their lives on perfect holidays. That’s mostly what you see when you scroll through Instagram. Especially if you follow any major Instagram influencers. However, we forget that these stunning pictures are usually staged and don’t reflect reality.
Amsterdam-based social media influencer and vlogger Rianne Meijer decided to have some fun with this concept and uploaded a series of photos showing side-by-side comparisons of ‘perfect’ Instagram shots coupled with what reality is like. And they are hi-la-ri-ous.
“When I make Instagram photos I always take between 200 and 400 pictures. Which is insane and I wouldn't use 90% of them,” Rianne told Bored Panda. “It always amazes me to see how different I looked in every picture. So at one point I was laying in bed and I figured, why not post the pictures next to each other in an expectations vs. reality post.” Scroll down for the rest of our interview with Rianne.
We bring you some of Rianne’s funniest comparison photos. So scroll down, upvote your fave pics and let us know in the comments what you think of Rianne’s project. Remember to share this list with anyone who might be just a tad too serious about their social media profile. And be sure to check out our previous article about Rianne’s Instagram vs. reality pics right here.
“First of all, the not-so-pretty pictures made me laugh so hard and I hoped it would make others laugh as well. And second, it could give a really nice and honest message to my followers. It kind of felt like only posting the perfect Instagram pictures was basically lying, so for me to post the other ones next to it made it more real. That’s why I posted the Instagram vs. reality pictures. And it turned out to be a good call. I love that now I stand for something online.”
She added: “I’m not just a pretty face.”
We wanted to hear Rianne’s opinion about how she thinks people are affected by seeing ‘perfect’ pictures on Instagram all the time.
“I think it can affect you in a huge way. We spend more and more time online on social media, which makes social media more and more a part of our reality. So if we see a lot of perfect pictures online, at one point that becomes our reality. Which is a really hard reality to live up to. Especially for younger people who have a hard time looking ‘beyond’ the perfect images.”
Bored Panda was also to hear the influencer’s thoughts about why she believes most people want to look ‘perfect’ on social media.
“I think for generations we tried to look in someway ‘perfect.’ For example, saying hello to someone on the streets and them asking: ‘Hey, how are you?’ And your response would probably be: ‘I’m fine! How are you?’ But in reality we might actually not feel fine at all.”
“I feel like the same goes for social media. I think in the end we care quite a lot about what other people think of us, probably even more than we like to realize, and we want that image to be as good as possible. And that’s probably a big part of why most of us try to look as perfect as possible online, and only share the really good stuff.”
However, Rianne thinks that there are some things that we can do about it. “What can be done about this is first of all realizing that you only share the perfect pictures online. I think a lot of us don’t even notice they do it.”
“So just take an honest look at your online profile and see if there’s a little more you want to share with the world. If what you’re sharing feels like a legit image of yourself then that’s great! If not, then maybe try to post something a little less perfect once in a while. It might surprise you how cool the response will be. The power of not being perfect all the time is huge and I think more people should use it.”
Some members of the younger generation are abandoning the “Instagram look” and are opting for a more natural (not to mention hilarious) take on their personalities. For instance, college student Sonia Uppal told The Atlantic that people from her generation are “trying to seem candid. People post a lot of mirror selfies and photos of them lounging around.”
While influencer Reese Blutstein explained why she doesn’t over-stage her photos: “I’m not afraid to over-post. I don’t think, Oh, will this mess up how my feed looks. I don’t think too much about it. If I like an image, I just post it.”
She also added that “For my generation, people are more willing to be who they are and not make up a fake identity. We are trying to show a real person doing cool things as a real person, not trying to create a persona that isn’t actually you.”
So there’s hope yet that the trend to post honest (well, slightly more honest) photos might just become something that defines social media in the future. However, in the meantime, we’ll still have to deal with looking at perfect photos that make us think that we totally should be working from a beachside cafe somewhere in Bali.