I wanna be clear about something right off the bat here – we’re not here to mock anybody for their looks or their bodies or any beauty methods they feel like using. It’s fine. We’re fine. You’re *all fine.*

That said, a huge part of social media seems to be subtly convincing ourselves that we’re *not* fine, largely by comparing our appearances to that of others. Little do many of us know how often those *others* don’t even look like themselves.

Between makeup methods, lighting techniques, photography angles, differing lenses, and of course ever more accessible photo filters and digital touch ups, we’ve got a veritable arsenal of ways to play around with our looks on the screen, or to have them played around with, and it’s hard to know what to do with that sometimes.

Here’s a few things that arsenal can do.

14. Pinch it way in

And it’s not like she’s not skinny in the second picture!

[deleted by user]
by inInstagramreality

13. Shift definition

How much is us and how much is for an audience?

(Fixee her head and thighs on the same size) Her tiktok’s vs. her IG posts. And denies the obvious adamantly.
byu/Ill-Cancel-6322 inInstagramreality

12. Force a perspective

Everybody’s a shape shifter if ya wanna be!

Angles change people
by inInstagramreality

11. Smooth things over

Ya’ll it is a-ok to have skin.

when one person posts the edited photo and the other posts the original
byu/sunshineandstuff inInstagramreality

10. Create a costume

And the irony is that neither of these would look like the person you’d see face to face.
That’s just how cameras do.

Actually a celebrity. On Instagram vs. On TV
byu/rxl7 inInstagramreality

9. Color things up

I am not in fact surprised to learn that this person is not naturally rainbowed.

This is uh. Quite the difference
byu/MsLunaValentine inInstagramreality

8. Change your reflection

To be honest, it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on here.
Combining lenses with mirrors always makes for strangeness.

i think she forgot to photoshop half of of the picture
byu/chipotlesucksman inInstagramreality

7. Tune up a face

This dang near looks like a face swap.

When you’re a Facetune god but your friend uploads the original
byu/Lil_Nutmeg23 inInstagramreality

6. Create a shift

Angles, always angles.

byu/cowskin– inInstagramreality

5. Brighten things up

The comparison might be more helpful if the left pic had more than eight pixels.

Facetuned within an inch of her life
by inInstagramreality

4. Filter things out

Some people just like different looks for different contexts, yo.

Imagine not even being able to recognize yourself in the mirror because you don’t have a filter on.
byu/LegolasLovegood inInstagramreality

3. Turn some heads

Them wings tho.

why…just why
byu/Altruistic-Dance-903 inInstagramreality

2. Soften things up

Back in the day cinematographers would literally smear vaseline on a lens to soften up feminine faces, this is absolutely nothing new.

I’m sensing a filter
byu/OriginalGSpot inInstagramreality

1. Draw some lines

Differing lighting conditions make a lot of change too.

Always remember that all of their pictures are manipulated even the “paparazzi” ones
byu/stevebuscemiofficial inInstagramreality

The point is, a single picture isn’t who we are. It’s just one particular collection of pixels with a part of us in there somewhere. Try not to get too hung up on it.

What’s the best or worst picture you’ve ever taken?

Tell us in the comments.