A few weeks ago, my friends and I were discussing the current "Instagram standard."
We admitted to each other that some photos just aren't "good enough" to post on Instagram, even if we love them. And that while we might use hashtags like #doitforthegram or #eatfortheinsta kind of as a joke, there's actually some truth to them.
Students at Birmingham City University Jade Johnson and Laura Dawkes have created an incredible campaign that goes deep into the pressures of social media, specifically Instagram.
The campaign, called "Un-Edit," is a series of stunning images accompanied by short verses that point out how filters and photo editing influence body image in social media users. The campaign aims to confront how Instagram makes women consider plastic surgery and extreme dieting.
Here's one of the quotes in the campaign:
Surgery should never be done to follow a trend. It will alter your appearance permanently.
As much as we want to pretend the number of likes we get on social media -- especially on selfies -- don't matter, they still have some effect. Even if we're not losing sleep over the number of likes a photo gets, it's not like we don't at least pay attention to it.
And when it comes to posting selfies, it's rare that we ever just take one and post it. Most people take at least a handful of selfies before uploading them to their social media accounts. We are all trying to present ourselves in a specific way. There's pressure to post photos that support an online "brand." We have to ask ourselves if it's "good enough" before uploading.
I'm not saying everyone who uses social media cares about personal brand, but there's definitely a spectrum.
"Instead of putting each other down, we should bring each other up."
Even though we know people can photoshop anything and that people on Instagram use angles to make their bodies appear a certain way, we still compare ourselves to the polished images presented to us. Regardless of whether or not the photos on Instagram represent real life, there's something about constantly seeing the same type of image over and over that gets to us.
Un-Edit is an example of one of the many movements that encourages Instagram users to "turn (their) back on the pressures of social media."
"Don't fix what isn't broken."
Johnson sums up her goals perfectly,
The campaign was built to show women we do not need to give into the pressures of social media and we should be proud of who we are rather than letting it bring us down.
From obsessing over likes to trying to look a certain way, campaigns like Un-Edit remind us that we can't let unrealistic beauty standards control our lives.