It is completely understandable to want to look your best in a photo, but at what point have we gone too far in manipulating the original image?

It started with simply removing a pimple to now completely reconstructing our figures. We used to blame the media for this issue of creating this beauty standard. Now this power is in everyone's hands and it's getting out of control. We now have quick access to apps that easily make your skin flawless and butt bigger.

Thankfully I've been in the Photoshop world for a while to know that not everything is real. Most of it isn't. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't know this and it's terrifying. Why are we even doing this to ourselves? Seeking false validation by posting overly edited images. Thriving on the likes and comments. Is this what our self-worth has come to, the amount of likes we can get on a photo? People scroll past these "perfect" bodies and then feel bad about themselves.

Examples from the author of before and after photo manipulation.

Not only is your perfectly airbrushed photo affecting other people, but it’s also hurting yourself. How can we love ourselves if we can't even accept our own bodies? Showing characteristics of our bodies like skin folds, rolls, and cellulite are not flaws, they are what normal bodies naturally do. Let's normalize normal bodies.

While you don't have control over what other people post, you do have control over how much time you spend on social media, what you let fill up your feed and what you choose to post. When you open up Instagram, you shouldn't instantly feel terrible about yourself. Instead I recommend filling your feed with artists, poets, or whatever else genuinely makes you feel happy.