Woman's drastic side-by-side photo proves issue with social media
Sara Puhto wants her followers to understand that what they see on Instagram is often not how things appear in real life.
The 23-year-old Finnish woman, who frequently shares fitness and lifestyle tips on her Instagram account with her 325,000 followers, posted a series of side-by-side photos showcasing how wildly different social media can be from reality.
“I can make my body look smaller from certain angles, by sucking in and flexing ridiculous amounts,” Puhto wrote on Instagram. “But that’s not how I really look 99% of the time. Society has convinced us that this is ‘aesthetic’. But we need to realize there is beauty in everyone and in being human.”
Puhto told Insider that she started sharing photos of her fitness progression on Instagram in 2015, but added she was only posting select images taken from her best angles, as many influencers do.
Realizing her social media image might be making others feel insecure — as some prominent fitness bloggers had done to her in the past — Puhto set out to share “what I really looked like most of the time” in hopes it would help followers realize “this perfection we’re chasing doesn’t actually exist.”
The result is a series of charming and honest images that feel all too relatable for anyone who has fretted over their belly rolls “ruining” a perfect Instagram shot.
“Don’t allow social media, or anything, or anyone else make you think you aren’t good enough,” she wrote in one of her most recent posts. “You shouldn’t have to suck in your tummy and make your body look a certain way to be happy with a photo. You shouldn’t feel the need to delete a photo of you having fun and making memories because your brain convinced you that you don’t look good enough.”