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We’re Obsessing Over: The subversively positive self-image message from Instagram’s @CelebFace

We’re Obsessing Over: The subversively positive self-image message from Instagram’s @CelebFace

Everybody has insecurities. At one, or even many points in our lives, we’ve belittled ourselves with our flaws that sometimes only we can see and magnify. Anyone who says they haven’t done this is lying, because that would otherwise mean that there’s a human being out there who is actually perfect—and no one is perfect.

Whenever I scroll through my feed, I’d see things that would awaken my inner self-critic: a model’s tiny waist, accented with a cropped top. An actress who had just given birth but is now back to rocking bodycon dresses. A not-so-young celebrity’s perfectly sculpted face that makes me question if the gods do play favorites. They all raise the standards of physical beauty, making them increasingly harder to meet and (very expensive) plans on how to achieve them even more tempting.

That is, until I found the Instagram account @celebface. (It’s currently on private mode, though—like a secret society. But I took some screenshots to share with you, you’re welcome.)

Celeb Face is an Instagram account that exposes models and celebrities who Photoshop their selfies before posting them on social media. It also posts zoomed-in and unedited photos for the public to see every blemish, wrinkle, and pore—stuff we rarely see on curated accounts, billboards, and magazine pages.

Its 974,000 followers (and that includes me) obviously go to this account to see the list of personalities who got caught editing their pictures. But after frequently checking in to see who’s new on the list and what kind of digital sorcery they’ve used, I began to realize that my obsession over this account is rooted on something that’s actually positive: a soothing of my own self-image.

Through Celeb Face, I saw a candid shot of Sofia Richie at a poolside (probably taken by a pap) be compared to the bonkers body shots that she flaunts on her own account. I saw how Bebe Rexha would tighten her waistline and reduce the size of her arms in photos before sharing them. A little pull-up on the cheekbones or a slight cinching of the waist—they’re all very subtly done so that no one would notice at first glance, but a look at their unedited photos would always make me ask, “How did they even think they are not beautiful enough in the first place?” They are stunning just as they are!

Seeing the before and after Photoshop comparisons make me think that maybe most of the flaws that I see on myself have been blown up by this carefully carved perception of how beauty should be measured. We see models posting photos of their hourglass-shaped bodies, which can goad an impressionable audience to starve or work themselves to exhaustion at the gym, almost to the point of punishment. As important as it is to make our diet more balanced and nutritious and to exercise our bodies regularly, we should also remember that we have our physical limits.

The kind of exposure that Celeb Face makes on real bodies and real faces pulls me back to reality: It’s okay to have that extra bite of cake. It’s okay to spot a few wrinkles making their appearance on my face. The standards that social media continues to set, whether on physical appearances or lifestyle, are just too damn high, and we’re harming ourselves in trying to keep up with them. To think that these standards aren’t even based on reality.

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On the other hand, Celeb Face also makes me appreciate the amount of care celebrities give themselves, particularly in the area of skincare. Zoomed-in photos of Emmy Rossum and Rihanna are proof that taking care of our bodies (and self-love, really) goes a lot towards winning the battle against aging.

The next time that you feel pressured by the #blessedt photos of models and celebrities that are all over your feed, don’t beat yourself up for not conforming to what social media dictates as beautiful or sexy. In the long run, contentment and security within ourselves, despite our imperfections, are what will bring us the real #blessed moments of our lives—not the number of likes we get online.

Touch up on your self-care kit and request to follow Celeb Face on Instagram, will ya?

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