Instagram Editing: Good or Bad?

On this lovely Friday morning, I wanted to talk about how “real” or “fake” Instagram can be. In light of the famous Instagrammer, Essena O’Neill, who quit Instagram because it created an unhealthy culture and blurred lines between reality and photoshop, I thought I’d let you guys look at my most recent Insta photo.

Instagram: Real Vs. Fake

The photo on the left has not been touched or edited in any way. The photo on the right has used two different iPhone apps to smooth out any wrinkles, frown lines, or under eye circles, and give my face that “sunset glow.” Actually, I’m looking at it now and realize that it’s closer to a “Cheetoh dust glow” than a sunset, but that’s besides the point. Notice how my eyes become a little prettier, my scarf a little brighter, and the leaves a little yellow-er? An app did that, not me.

One thing I hate about cameras is that they don’t seem to catch the same photo we do with our eyes. Because our photos never turn out as beautiful as the actual scene, we try to make up for it in our editing. Am I really that pale in person? No, which is why I decided to tan myself a bit, or a lot. Do trees come alive with color? Yes, but they don’t always reflect that in photos.

Instagrammers edit photos so they can put their best foot forward and gain followers who appreciate their content. Editing isn’t always a bad thing, but it becomes a problem when it promotes unhealthy expectations of people. Examples of this would be models who are a little too thin or people who just don’t seem to age (“seem” is the key word there.) We can edit, but we still need to be real.

Leave a comment with your opinion about the real vs. fakeness of Instagram!

witty n pretty

 

 

9 thoughts on “Instagram Editing: Good or Bad?

  1. It’s a tough question to answer as the original is better because it’s true. But an enhanced picture often gets your attention. I like it when bloggers or those on IG, tell you which filter was used or how the photo was enhanced. As long as it isn’t fake… Such a great post!

  2. This is such an important discussion. Photoshopping is so standard these days, and edits are so easy to make, that one almost feels at a disadvantage not retouching.

    What takes a photo from “enhanced” to “fake” is subjective, but I personally think modifying the body is where it moves from enhancement to hoax. It could be argued that playing with lighting, filters and perhaps a little under eye correction, is more about bringing the photo in line with our best reality (as you noted, the camera can often make colours more dull and wrinkles more harsh than they are to the naked eye). I think it’s problematic though, to use apps that slim and stretch (although they are so tempting) because then we start catering to an impossible standard that shames real bodies.

    Great post!
    Lesley http://www.workinglook.com

    • Yes! When you modify the body it starts to cross lines because it’s not real. I do modify the lighting on my face though because pictures make me look shadowy. Not what I look like in real life!

  3. I really think an edited picture brings more viewers or more people to like a photo (and I don’t mean click “Like”). An edited photo is almost like a house you walked into that was just vacuumed or swept. It is like a cleaned up place to visit. It’s brighter, it’s shinier, and it friendlier. I enjoy a nice edited photo…of course there is nothing wrong with showing the raw version of it. Great post Liz.

  4. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little editing and touching up. Life is so much more vibrant and beautiful than what’s captured by our cameras (on our smart phones). I don’t think it hurts to highlight some areas . . . it’s when people create unrealistic renderings of life or themselves that I draw the line. But that could be another blog post…

  5. I love the photo on the left- I’d rather see real pictures! I don’t edit my instagram or blog pictures…I want someone to get a real idea on the color of something (since I do a lot of nail Polish posts) with the occasional OOTD- I don’t want to distort anything in any way for my readers!

  6. Since I am in my 50’s I have naively thought that all the pictures we see haven’t been photoshopped. I knew the ones in magazines were, but not the ones on Instagram. Kind of eye-opening and sad at the same time.

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