As you scroll through your Instagram account you tend to see a regular pattern. It goes something like: funny meme page, fitness account, food, celebrity, celebrity, food, group of friends at an event you weren’t invited to, and fitness account. You go back around again with varying amounts of repetition and before you know it, 23 minutes have gone and you’ve forgotten you’re at work and should be doing something productive.
If we focus on Instagram, it should be no surprise to you by now that those near-perfect pictures you see on your timeline are the result of some heavy editing in Photoshop. Karina Irby is a swimwear designer and fitness blogger with 682,000 Instagram followers, and her Instagram feed is a prime example of this culture. There are enough selfies, workout videos vacation pics from white-sand beaches, and bikini photos to keep scrolling for hours.
Not too long ago however she shred a post that’s a bit different: a side-by-side collage that shows Karina with a decadent, candy-topped milkshake. One the one side she is posing with a demure smile, just barely sipping the sugary freakshake – a truly drool-worthy picture. But on the other, she does something a little different.
On the right-hand photo, she’s staring straight into the camera with a smear of chocolate syrup across her lip, milkshake devoured and a face with that subtly screams guilt for drinking the whole thing.
The post is meant to highlight the gap between photos on Instagram and the actual experience behind those snapshots. A photo of a pretty girl posing with a pretty milkshake is aesthetically pleasing – it will get a lot of likes, that’s for sure – but it doesn’t tell the whole story. A photo of the post milkshake sugar rush – complete with chocolate on the said pretty face – is more honest.
Karina writes in the post: “Instagram VS Real Life Real talk. Try not to judge a book by its cover. We’re all guilty of it, especially in a world of Social Media.Keep an open mind that everyone is different and has a different story. Hell! People try and put me down on Social Media everyday; calling me all kinds of names and saying I’ve had all kinds of surgeries. They don’t know me, or what I do, or how I think.”
She reveals that there’s a lot more to her than the lifestyle she portrays on Instagram and her booty fitness videos. “If they had the chance to meet me they’d soon realise I’m just a goofy dork who designs swimwear, sings all my words loudly, and badly! They’d realise I have a serious and concerning chocolate addiction, hence my fat booty (sorry trolls it’s not fat injections) and has nightly dates with my super lame TV series.”
She went on to reveal several lesser-known facts about herself – like that her parents are her best friends, that she was bullied as a kid, that she loves to spend time alone – in an attempt to prove that a person’s Instagram rarely tells you everything about them.
This isn’t the first time Irby has made the headlines for addressing the myth of Instagram perfection. Last September she shared side-by-side photos that revealed exactly how she used Photoshop to achieve “perfect” bikini photo. Some fans argued however that if she’s so eager to be real, why have Photoshopped pictures in the first place?
This was a while back now, and her newer milkshake before-and-after-post seems like a step in the right direction – and it certainly resonated with her followers. I wouldn’t mind something thick and chocolatey right now.