Social media isn’t real — and this viral TikTok shows the harms of photoshopping and ‘strategic posing’

By now, we’re all aware of the damaging effects of diet culture, body shaming and the constant societal pressure women face to be thin. But it’s always helpful to have a reminder of just how unrealistic these standards — even for the celebrities who help set them.

In a recent TikTok, user @.1.545 highlighted just how common photoshopping and “strategic posing” are on Instagram.

Touted as “proof social media isn’t real,” the viral TikTok compares Instagram posts from Khole Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Tana Mongeau to candid images and videos taken at the same events. The difference is stark, showing that so-called “celebrity perfection” is completely unachievable, even to celebrities themselves.

To emphasize how distressing body standards can be, the post opens with a quote from the movie Thirteen, in which a young girl screams, “Oh my god, are you kidding me? Where do you think I learned all this sh*t from?”


#greenscreen no hate to any of these women I think they are all beautiful #bodyimage #bodypositivity #socialmedia #fyp

♬ Its just a cigarette – Cassie

Though celebrities like Khloe, Kylie and Tana are often pointed to as the “problem,” the creator of the comparison video makes it clear she isn’t posting the video to shame them. A caption to the post notes, “No hate to any of these women. I think they are all beautiful.”

The simple sentiment serves as a reminder to not demonize these women, but rather criticize the beauty ideals that make photoshopping or “strategic posing” feel necessary as a woman — celebrity or not.

Though it’s unreasonable to entirely blame these women for editing and contorting their bodies to appear thinner, some commenters do point out that the women depicted have helped shape the body ideals we have today — even if they can’t live up to them without Photoshop.

“The Kardashians created so many unrealistic beauty standards that even they can’t live up to them,” one user commented.

“Imagine how much more ‘normal’ people would feel without edited photos everywhere,” another commented.

“Photoshop is dangerous especially for younger ppl,” noted a third.

And with that said, some TikTokers wrote that the mere 15-second video helped them feel more secure in their bodies, simply by depicting reality.

“This made me feel a lot better,” another TikTok user commented. “Thank you.”

If you liked this story, check out this article about a woman’s embarrassing moment with her mom.

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