When we flick through a magazine, pass a billboard or see a TV ad for a new beauty product or fashion trend, we may feel a little bit intimidated or self-conscious. Maybe you can’t help but ask, “why aren’t I that skinny” or “why don’t I have porcelain skin”, but at the end of the day, on
a subconscious level, you take comfort in knowing that someone out there has spent hours Photoshop-ing the image to achieve that level of perfection. From smoothing the skin, removing wrinkles and/or slimming the waist and even where it is one of those ‘all natural’ campaigns, you know there is bound to be expensive lighting and a myriad of filters adopted to achieve that ‘natural perfection’. We know these images don’t reflect reality and we take some comfort in that, although we may still desire to look as perfect as those portray.
We’re sick and tired of being fed these digitally constructed people, so it makes sense that we turn to bloggers and Instagramers for inspiration… since at the end of the day, they’re real people, not some unrealistic and unattainable model. But truth of the matter is, as we increasingly turn to social media, namely Instagram, for sources of fashion and beauty, marketers have began to realise this too and followed our steps. From traditional bloggers, Instagram bloggers and YouTubers, there are so many people on social media today who are essentially, brand ambassadors. Sure, their posts are not as unrealistically constructed as traditional media platforms, but at the end of the day, they have to induce you into buying products too and one of the main ways they do so is to show you “beauty” that can be attained from these products. And the thing is, we buy it and feel inferior… because we think they are portraying ‘real beauty’.
Truth is she wasn’t born with it, she just put Valencia on it. In a survey 57% of women admit to regularly editing their own social media pictures to enhance appearances and social media brand ambassadors are notorious for doing so. Now, we’re not just talking adding filters on a photo but what we’re talking about is the use of editing apps to slim down their things, flatter their tummies, achieve perfect skin and perfectly white teeth. While falling short of the overly Photoshopped images of women in magazines, there is still a lot of work that gets put in by brand ambassador, working in collaboration with advertisers, to make the perfect photo which portray what that foundation or new dress can do to make you look ‘beautiful’.
So in essence, before your pour your self-worth on the fact that you not only don’t live up to magazine portrayals of beauty, but you also don’t live up to what you see on Instagram… think about this first. Your definition of beauty should not be wasted on the ‘fake’ representations of beauty portrayed both on online and traditional media by advertisers. It’s more important that you love yourself for the real and inner beauty that you’re all about.