Why We Need to See More Images with #NoFilter
When I first started my fitness Instagram account I would screenshot images of babes (and I mean A LOT of babes) whose bodies I saw on Instagram. I would aspire to have their bodies and it was part of my inspiration for getting fit. This was the exact image I saw that made me go, “I want abs, that’s it, I’m working out”.
I mean what a babe am I right?! Tash is gorgeous and I believe she’s a great role model to women as she doesn’t fit the standard “model” body. Of course Tash doesn’t look like this all the time, I’m sure she looks bloated AF after a meal and she gets pimples like the rest of us peasants. But she doesn’t want to post that to her 1.8 million Instagram followers. And she sure as hell doesn’t have to. It’s her Instagram and she is free to post whatever she chooses. She is a brand, and brands work with her because of who she is and what she represents. There’s nothing wrong with what she is doing, I get it. Brands want to work with people like Nicole Warne, Chiara Ferragni or Alexis Ren. Brands don’t want Debbie from down the road. They want the bonafide, picture-perfect, all round package. A lot of work goes into creating these images, and there is a team of people making these images happen. I can appreciate the time and effort each individual photo takes, however I think times are a-changing.
Introducing the other side. It’s not as pretty, it’s more transparent and filters are a choice not a prerequisite here.
Welcome to before and afters, stretch marks, cellulite, loose skin, bloated bellies and pimples. If I can be honest, I always viewed these types of images as tacky. Like, Jenny Craig tacky and a New Idea headline “celebrities have cellulite too!”. I was in shock and awe of these women who would post these images, showing their most vulnerable body parts and insecurities to the world. My whole attitude and mindset has shifted, I now find these images so refreshing and empowering.
In the past, I preferred images from magazines that were touched up, with great lighting. Which image do you prefer of Lady Gaga? Which image of Gaga will brands want to work with? I’ll bet my cat’s life they want the left, perfect version. Ain’t no-one buying a bag from Gaga on the right. Am I right or are attitudes shifting?
Not many brands want to work with the unedited “real” life person. Hence why so many women edit and filter their photos on Instagram. Brands want to work with Influencers who are selling a certain lifestyle to their followers, and cellulite ain’t one of them!
I think because I post these pictures certain brands will never approach me. I think about that when I post these photos. I do treat my Instagram as a brand and a business, and my brand is being genuine and real. But man, it’s hard! But also very freeing!
I was so embarrassed when I first starting posting my transformation photos, I wouldn’t include my head. I felt like my friends were judging me. Why does she want to put this photo of herself on the internet? At first I did it because I didn't think many people would see it, I cut off my head and didn't think anyone would notice my account. That's the reason I'm not smiling at the start, I didn't think anyone would see the photos! Then slowly I started not to care if anyone noticed me. I started to feel liberated. It’s made me embrace so many things about my body that I hated so much before. And for that, I am grateful.
There have been times where I’ve felt if I posed and filtered more, and posted less transformation photos, then more brands would contact me. But I can’t ignore what has happened to my account. The more flex/non-flexed photos I take, the more stretch marks and transformation photos I post, the more followers I get. It’s actually crazy, no-one really wants to see me with make-up on and a nice dress, people want to see me sweaty with stretch marks and a bloated belly! Haha, what is wrong with you people?! But it makes sense. Your Instagram is full of perfect, perfect, perfect, and then BOOM a bit of cellulite rocks your world. It’s a nice comfort to know that hey look, she’s just like me.