They say we shouldn't compare our grind to someone else's highlight reel. But when we're scrolling through Instagram, it's hard to not feel bad that we're not as pretty or photogenic as what we're seeing on screen. The contouring is perfect, the abs are out of this world and plates of food look chef created. It's easy to feel pretty defeated when we put our phone down and realize we're in sweatpants, eating cold pizza, and watching our third straight hour of Stranger Things.
But remember: social media, and Instagram especially, is an illusion. Every perfect photo is made up of filters, cropping, Photoshopping, touch ups, and special lighting. That carefree selfie actually took 27 tries to get right. The gorgeous beach on vacation is actually humid and filled with tourists just out of the frame. And the #WokeUpLikeThis pic was actually taken after an hour of applying makeup and getting ready. No one is as perfect as their social media would have us believe. With that in mind, take a look at some of these Instagram vs reality pictures that will help remind you that no one is immune to a bad hair day.
15 No Gold At The End Of This Rainbow
Gorgeous techni-color hair is easy to find on Instagram. All of our favorite beauty bloggers have sported some shade of pink, blue, or red. And these ladies are really pulling it off! They look like mermaids or magical unicorns. They've got us so convinced that we should all dye our hair a wild color. Of course you can pull it off! No, it won't be damaging. For sure, your boss is going to love it! But the sad reality is not so true. All that dye actually takes a huge toll on your hair. You're left with dry and brittle strands that are super unhealthy. They make look luscious on Instagram but in real life they're coarse and unruly. Plus, the color isn't nearly as magical without all of those helpful filters. The rainbow look doesn't always translate in real life.
14 A Bad Day For Tweety
Ouch, poor Tweety Bird has definitely seen some better days. Ever wonder why all we see on Instagram is the packaging or the before shot of the meal? That's because the real life thing is ugly. No one wants to see this distorted popsicle on their social media feeds. Just like no one wants to see photos of someone actually eating and enjoying their food. They only want to see photos of the food untouched and looking perfect. But that's not what food is for. If you've ever had to wait to eat until your food got cold, just so someone at your table could take the perfect photo for Instagram, then you know what I'm talking about. Enough of this nonsense. Snap one pic and move on. We all know it's better to eat the food than to gram it.
13 Chris Ain't So Sizzling IRL
On screen and in the magazines, Chris Pratt is such a hunk. He had a total glow up when he went from the funny slob on Parks n Rec to the lead hero in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. But, because he's human, Chris is still capable of taking a terrible photo. He's not always smoldering and working that perfect jawline. Like the rest of us mere mortals, Chris can pull off the double chin. He can do the messy hair look with an unkept beard and bags under his eyes. This is the face Anna Faris had to live with. It might not be the face we're used to seeing on social media, on screen, or on the movie posters, but it's a face we all recognize from the mirror.
12 Not So Buff After All
Listen, if it can happen to Vin Diesel, it can happen to anyone. We know Vin Diesel as the rough and tough guy from Fast and The Furious. He talks in a low, deep voice. And the only thing more intimidating than his voice is his big buff frame. The man is a beast! It looks like he bench presses elephants every morning. It looks like he only consumes protein shakes and raw eggs. It looks like he could squash you with just his forearm and no effort. But then, we see the image on the right. Not so buff now, are we? Vin is totally rocking the dad bod. All of those brews finally caught up with him. And you know what? Good for him! It must be exhausting to be that fit all of the time. When he's not filming, he totally deserves to take a break and let himself go loose.
11 Red Carpet VS Running Errands
Mila Kunis is a total babe. Seriously, girlfriend is a little pint sized goddess. And we love her so much more because she just seems so chill and down to earth. She always plays the relatable girl who just wants to hang out. Mila is effortlessly cool. But even Mila has a bad hair day every now and then. We're used to seeing her all made up and perfect in her movies, on the red carpet, and during interviews. But Mila can't be a perfect goddess all of the time. She's also a wife and a mom. Sometimes you just have to throw on a hoodie and run to the grocery store because you're out of milk or someone forgot to buy diapers. You don't have time for hair or makeup. And you can't be bothered to put on a hat or some sunglasses. And then, you take a picture like this...
10 Meg Keeps It Real
At this point, we all know those models on Instagram aren't as authentic as they would have us believe. Have you ever heard of Facetune or Photoshop? Yeah, those models certainly have. Everything has been slightly edited, nipped, and tucked. The lighting is just perfect. There are tons of filters. And there's lots of photos that didn't quite make the cut. Some people who make their living off of Instagram even have to get all dressed up just to take a picture. They put on a sassy outfit, do their hair and makeup... Are they going out? Nope! They just need something for the gram. Once they get that perfect selfie, it's back to sweatpants and letting your muffin top hang out; which is way more comfortable and way more real.
9 Girls Night Not Ending Well
While looking at photos of #GirlsNightOut on Instagram, you'll find lots of perfectly posed selfies. And why wouldn't you take a selfie on girls night? You and your ladies are looking your absolute best. Everyone has spent time getting their hair, makeup, and outfit just right. And since you all want to look your best, no one is going to mind spending a few extra minutes to get the selfie just right. You gotta watch your angles! And then you might want to follow that up with some blurry Instagram stories of you and your ladies dancing or cheering at the bar. There will be duck faces and kisses on the cheek a plenty! But what will we never see on Instagram? How that girls night ends. Because the end of girls night isn't nearly as pretty. There's running mascara, smudged lipstick, messy buns, ripped tights, and someone is always missing a shoe. No one needs a selfie of you and your crew rolling through McDonald's looking pretty scary.
8 Instagram Is An Optical Illusion
Let's give this girl some credit — she is so creative! When you're taking an up close and personal shot for Instagram, you have the luxury of hiding the rest of your body from the frame. So you can take the most gorgeous selfie of yourself rocking some awesome lipstick, while you're actually sitting on the floor of your room in sweatpants and a stained t-shirt. Or, you can use your knees to create the cleavage you always wished you had. A similar effect can be had with lots of special makeup application and shading. Or you can enhance your chest using some Photoshop skills. But I'm liking this girl's approach to changing up her look. It's hilarious and technically, it is all natural! Every part of that photo is her real body. It's just not the body part you think you're looking at.
7 Real Lazy Sundays Are Not Instagram-Worthy
In the Instagram version, this lazy Sunday is obviously a lie. The woman lying there is wearinfg a face full of makeup and looks like she just got a blowout at the salon. She's in a skin tight tank top, cute little shorts, and she looks gorgeous. The biggest lie? Her computer isn't even on! A real life lazy Sunday is way darker and scarier than that. A true lazy Sunday is staying in your bed or on your couch all day long. You only get up for bathroom breaks and force someone to bring you food all day. You stay in pajamas or sweatpants. You don't comb your hair or get anywhere close to a makeup brush. You're unshowered and you are definitely not ready to go out in public. Lazy Sundays aren't the prettiest, but they are necessary. Everyone needs to get into a deep Netflix hole at least a couple times a month and just sit in their own filth.
6 Tanning Isn't For Everyone
Vacation photos on Instagram are always so stunning. The backgrounds are beautiful! There are palm trees, crystal clear waters, bright tropical colors, and the sun is beaming. If people are included in the shot, they are always just as gorgeous. They're tan, rocking skimpy little bathing suits, wearing sunglasses, a smile, and holding a drink. But in real life, vacations aren't always so kind. Not all of us can achieve the gorgeous bronze skin colour we see in all of those vacation selfies on Instagram. Some of us burn like lobsters. And we forget that we burn that easily, so we decide to sit outside with a bowl of cereal on our laps. Whoops! So instead of lounging by the pool and posing for IG, we're inside applying aloe and vitamin E.
5 Exercising Isn't Always So Glamorous
Instagram is full of fit models and buff people showing off their latest workout. People are posting selfies from the gym or right after finishing a hike. We're all wowed by their muscles and how athletic they are. But the idea of taking a selfie post workout makes me shake in my boots. No one needs to see my sweaty face on their screens! And that's because when I work out, it's not pretty. My face turns bright red, I'm sweating, and I just want to lie down on the ground and cry when it's all over — just like the girl on the right. I'm never going to look like the girl on the left post workout. If putting on makeup to workout is your thing, more power to you. I'll just be sweating and crying over in the corner.
4 Barbie? What Happened?
You know there's a problem when people don't recognize you in real life after following you on Instagram. No one should be audibly gasping when they run into you at the grocery store after liking your selfies on IG. It's one thing to dress up a little for your selfies; no-one minds if you use a bit of a filter, take advantage of nice light, and hold your phone at a flattering angle. But if all of your photos are Photoshop projects that take you hours to put together, you might be going too far. It's okay to post a photo where you're not wearing makeup and your hair is in a messy bun. It's okay to be in an Instagram Story without putting on the dog face filter to cover up your real life. What you see in the mirror should at least resemble what you're putting out on social media.
3 It Seemed Like A Cute Idea...
Babies on Instagram have got to be the most misleading things of all; all of the babies we see on Instagram are perfect little angels. They are dressed adorably. They're smiling. They've got their big baby eyes just looking into your soul and melting your heart. But there's so much more to babies we're not seeing on IG. There's all of the crying, spitting up, dirty diapers, wailing, and squirming... Babies cry a lot! Where is that on Instagram? No where to be found! So you might see an adorable baby covered in lipstick kisses as you're scrolling through your feed and think, "I should do that and post it on my Instagram!" Bad idea. Because your baby is real life. Meaning he probably won't enjoy lying around in the buff while his mom applies 10 different lipsticks to kiss him all over with. You'll end up with a screaming child who looks like he's covered in hives.
2 It Always Looks So Easy On Instagram
Food photos on Instagram are the best and the worst. They literally have me salivating. And they're awesome for finding some great hidden gem restaurants and dishes in town. They offer great recipes. And so many food bloggers and photographers have been able to make a career out of their Instagram accounts. But remember — those people are professionals. They know how to cook. And, more importantly, they know how to take the perfect photo of their cooking. All of those dishes we see on Instagram look so beautiful because they're perfectly posed with lighting, backgrounds, and editing. And there might be 11 cupcake fails before that one perfect cupcake you see on your home page. So don't feel too bad when your real life version isn't nearly as picture perfect.
1 Don't Watch Me Eat!
Ever notice how food photos on Instagram are usually just of the food? That's because it's hard, even for the models and pro photographers, to look nice while eating. So if you ever do see a beautiful photo of someone eating on Instagram, you better believe a lot of work went into that photo. You'll notice their food always looks perfectly untouched. Their mouth is closed and, of course, their hair, makeup, and outfit are all perfect. You're not going to see a half eaten plate and someone opening their mouth to take one big bite — because that's not conventionally pretty. But it's how you eat in real life. All that pretty food is worthless if it's not delicious and eaten by someone. So please, put your cameras down. Especially when it's me with my Chinese takeout positioned on the couch with a few episodes of House Hunters.
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