TikToker exposes how influencers edit and distort their videos

This 23-year-old TikToker has made it her mission to expose the truth behind all those perfect photos and videos on social media. 

A recent report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook and Instagram’s influencer culture is especially damaging to teen girls. About 32% of teen girls said when they felt insecure about their bodies, Instagram made them feel even worse. Sophie, aka @residualdata, is showing her 72,000 TikTok followers how to navigate the distorted reality presented on social media. 

In a typical post, Sophie pulls photos and videos from influencers and campaigns to explain how they’ve been edited. The point isn’t to blame and shame women who use filters and edits. Rather, it’s to show people that these perfect bodies don’t really exist without the help of technology. So you really should not feel bad for not looking a certain way when it’s physically impossible to do so.

On August 16, she responded to a viral fashion video that was circulating on Douyin (Chinese TikTok). 

“I’m really using this to show you how sophisticated this technology is and how hard it can be to decipher these edits,” she explained. “Seeing is unfortunately not always believing, and you never know who might be using this.” 

The clip showed a slender woman with an hourglass figure walking down the street. 

“Notice this green pole really warps around her body,” Sophie said

Instead of looking like a stiff pole behind the woman, it appeared bent and mirrored the curves of her body. This distortion, as well as the heavily blurred background and the strange way her breasts bounced up and down, were all signs that the footage had been altered.  

“This software has gotten so sophisticated that it’s really, really hard to tell. But there’s things like that that really give these things away,” she said

Sophie also clarified that there is a reason why Chinese fashion brands use this technology. 

“It’s my understanding [that] this editing style is mainly to showcase the fashion, and that people in China wouldn’t think she truly [is real],” she wrote in the comment section. 

The video received over 3.5 million views. Many didn’t realize the video was a fake at all. 

“I sometimes forget how easy it can be to warp media,” a user wrote. 

“I saw it and thought it was real. TikTok is ruining my perception,” another said

“Thank you for opening my eyes!” someone added

In The Know is now available on Apple News — follow us here!  

If you enjoyed this story, read more about critiques of the midsize fashion movement.

More from In The Know:

Woman claims neighbor called police over her “dressing inappropriately

The “best iron I’ve ever owned”: Amazon shoppers love this 2-in-1 hair straightener and curler

These inexpensive, silky-soft pillowcases on Amazon are good for your hair and skin

The 3 most affordable meal delivery kits for cooking at home

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: