It's no secret bloggers and YouTubers want to showcase their best lives. Influencers gain their followings because they share photos that make people go, "I want that [insert product/body part]!"
So unsurprisingly, many influencers feel intense pressure to keep their feeds as "perfect" as possible — and the easiest way to make sure their Instagram personas are ~on fleek~ is to Photoshop their images.
It's one thing to brighten an image or arrange products to look aesthetically pleasing — but it's quite another to edit your entire body from head-to-toe just to fit an idealized image of what an internet celeb "should" look like.
But thankfully, there's a movement among YouTubers and bloggers to take back their imperfections.
Not only have these influencers stopped over-editing their photos, they've decided to expose their former Photoshop tricks for the internet to see.
Last year, UK-based YouTuber Amelia Goodhead made headlines for revealing the "truth" behind perfect images.
In a matter of seconds, Goodhead's waist and thighs basically disappeared — and the end results were alarmingly realistic. There were no blurred body parts or jagged lines in sight, which Goodhead found unsettling.
“We are bombarded with a lot of images online, and most of the time those images are pretty damn perfect," Goodhead noted in the clip, vowing to always keep her "Before" shots. "It can be so difficult, even as an intelligent, 27-year-old woman who works in social media, not to let those images affect you.”
Following Goodhead's lead, more and more YouTubers, bloggers, and social media influencers have committed themselves to the fight against Photoshop.
Earlier this week, fitness blogger Stacey Lee uploaded a "Before and After" shot to her Instagram.
In the "real," pre-Photoshop image, Lee has back rolls and a slightly smaller booty; in the "fake," post-Photoshop picture, Lee's butt is bigger and her skin is completely smoothed out.
"When I first saw the photo on the left I went ‘Holy shit. Hello back roll, where did you come from?’” Lee confessed in her caption. “Then the negative self talk started. 'I can't post that. That's gross. I look fat.' … [But] it's called skin. And when skin is twisted and turned on weird angles to achieve a booty pop it will roll or scrunch or warp. It does not make you gross or fat. It makes you HUMAN!"
The fitness expert added, "Don't perpetuate false images. Don't make young girls question something that is normal."
Sometimes it's tempting to give into the editing craze — but bloggers are resisting the urge, one photo at a time.
In another post, Lee swore she would never try to play off an edited photo as the real deal.
"Recognizing the signs of a photoshopped image is important for our mental health," she wrote in May. "I'll NEVER adjust my body through an app and post it as a real image. That's adding fuel to an already all consuming fire."
Even though influencers make a living by selling an idealized lifestyle, they still want people to know everything is not always as flawless as it seems.
"Because I want to be as transparent with you as possible, I’ve decided to expose the instances where I used photoshop to distort and change my body," she wrote. "I know it might only look like an inch or 2 removed from my waist, or a couple zits blurred here and there, but my stomach and my skin have been huge insecurities for me my entire life."
She added, "The purpose of this post is to remind you all that 1. Not everything is real. 2. Do not compare yourself to others. 3. Love yourself for who you are. 4. Even people you look up to are flawed."
Don't believe everything you see.
It's unfair to compare your body to social media influencers when even they don't look like their photos. Let these bloggers' Photoshopped photos serve as a necessary reminder.