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.

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Chasing perfection 🌿 Before I went on holiday I fell back into old negative thoughts and kept seeing photos of people in bikinis and wanted to look like them. I started disliking how my body looked because it didn’t look lean and toned 24/7. Don’t allow social media, or anything, or anyone else make you think you aren’t good enough. 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. I can make my body look smaller from certain angles, by sucking in and flexing ridiculous amounts. 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. You are not the negative thoughts that your brain tells you. You deserve to be comfortable in your skin and not worry about what you look like when you sit down and have your tummy touch your thighs. Don’t hate and punish yourself for things that are completely normal and human. Don’t think that your body needs to look any particular way, because its amazing the way it is now. You don’t have to change yourself. ------------------------------------------ . . . . #instagramvsreality #mybody #flatstomach #loveyourbody #selfesteem #loa #thankyourbody #youareworthit #youareunique

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“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.”

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Body types shouldn’t be viewed as trends 🌿 I think we’re all familiar with the booty pics on Instagram. I see them all the time and don’t get me wrong, I pose to make my booty look bigger all the time. But the thing is I don’t even look like the left photo all the time. In order to look like that I have to pull up my bikini bottoms to the point of giving myself a wedgie, bend my back and stick out my booty unnatural amounts. Even after all that I criticized myself and though “my waist doesn’t look small enough”. But why? It’s funny how I go to these lengths for Instagram photos and know that I do this, yet I still compare my everyday body to posed ones on Instagram, wishing I looked like that all the time, even though I know how much posing goes into these photos. We don’t appreciate our bodies enough sometimes. We focus on trying to change them so much that we lose focus of how incredible our bodies are in the first place. I mean, our bodies allow us to experience day to day life, but I’m out here being mad that my waist isn’t smaller. We need to stop being so harsh on ourselves. We try to make our bodies fit trends that pop up and hate ourselves when they don’t. Body parts shouldn’t be viewed as something that can go in and out of style. You shouldn’t have to consistently worry about how your body looks for an Instagram photo. Just live your best life and don’t allow social media or anything bring you down about yourself. We’re all just people, all with different types of bodies that can’t be compared to one another. That uniqueness should be celebrated. 🌿 ------------------------------------------ . . . #effyourbeautystandards #bodyfat #bekindtoyourself #findyourhappiness #workonyourself #losehatenotweight #bootybuilding

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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.”

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Bad body image days 🌿 Lately I’ve been having bad body image days. Everyone has days where they look at themselves and just see the negatives. I was struggling to get a good “Instagram” photo because I’m not as lean as I used to be. But I realised that even though I’ve been struggling to have the same positive viewpoint of my body that I’ve had majority of the time, there will always be ups and downs and you can’t possibly expect yourself to be completely content with what you see everyday 24/7. So here’s a reminder that it’s normal for your tummy fat to bunch up. It’s completely normal to gain weight and have difficulty accepting it because of the obsession society has with weight loss and being fit. But we shouldn’t have to stress about looking as lean as possible. Or stressing about normal things like tummy fat bunching up. We should be able to love and accept the body we have whether it’s like the left or right photo. You don’t need to constantly suck your tummy in and sit uncomfortably in order to look smaller. We need to realise that having bad body days is okay, as long as you acknowledge that it’s a bad day and those negative thoughts aren’t a true reflection of yourself. Your body is amazing no matter how it looks because it allows you to live and experience life 🌴☀️ ----------------------------------------- . . . #instagramvsreality #changethewayyouthink #focusonyourself #bodygoals #idealbody #powerofpositivity

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