Woman's side-by-side pictures shows extent Instagram vs reality
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Featured Image Credit: @saggysara/Instagram
While Instagram can be great for a whole host of reasons - it's true that many users of the photo-sharing app find the highly curated, edited and posed avalanche of body shots slightly stressful.
With unrealistic body standards on the rise, many can feel a huge sense of pressure when it comes to their looks.
So, it seems almost miraculous when some Instagram influencers decide to bare all for their followers and show them the reality behind the super-staged snaps.
And this is exactly the case for Sara Puhto, 23, who goes by the Instagram handle '@saggysara'.
Sara's whole ethos revolved around 'body acceptance reminders' as she teachers her followers: "Your body isn’t a trend, so don’t treat it like one."
With one thousand posts on the platform, Sara has made it her duty to share the tips and tricks that many influencers use to appear a certain way on the app.
From posture posing and muscle tensing to clothing placement and lighting angles - Sara is here to expose the truth behind picture-perfect Instagram photos.
Sara now commonly posts side-by-side 'Instagram vs Reality' pictures after she began sharing her health and fitness journey online back in 2015.
"I was posting fitness photos only, which consisted of me flexing my muscles and were all taken from my best angles," she told Insider.
Upon joining the fitness influencer community, Sara revealed that she began to feel 'insecure' as everyone else's posts seemed to only revolve around one thing and one thing only - working out.
She admitted: "It made me feel insecure and bad about my body because I was comparing my body to theirs.
"I realised that the photos that I was posting may have been making other people feel like this," she added before revealing that she flexed in every single one of the photos and made sure to capture the images from the 'best angle and in the best lighting'.
Wanting to make a change, Sara decided to take a whole new route when it came to posting on social media.
"I noticed that my body didn't look like this 24/7, and decided to share my thoughts and what I really looked like most of the time," she said.
Just a year after she started posting about her fitness journey, Sara made the change in adopting a more 'body-positive' approach to Instagram.
She said: "I started posting more body-positive photos in October of 2016 and have been doing so consistently since then.
"It has helped me realise that many of us pose in certain ways to make ourselves look better in photos."
Noting the common poses that influencers did, Sara explained that people 'look different' when they do things like 'suck in your tummy, flex, stand up straight, and pop out your booty'.
Also adding that no one actually poses or stands like this in reality, Sara explained that the staged positions are not 'an accurate representation of how someone looks'.
She pointed out that we are so used to being bombarded with images of 'seemingly perfect bodies' alongside only the 'highlights' of people's lives on social media.
"Social media is becoming more and more difficult to avoid," Sara explained, "it's difficult not to compare ourselves to photos we see on social media."
Instead, Sara promotes being 'more transparent about falsities in photos' to help people realise that the perfection they're chasing 'doesn't actually exist'.
"We should learn to start appreciating ourselves for how we are naturally," she added.
The fitness influencer continued: "We see this false reality and try to obtain it, often forgetting that what we already have is amazing."
"These images are not a realistic depiction of bodies and the diversity of people in society.
"We shouldn't feel the need to change in order to love ourselves."