Smooth skin, full lips, seductive cat eyes, symmetrical facial features, flawless complexion–when scrolling through many Instagram feeds, you'd think that only the most beautiful of the beautiful are romping around on the online platform. It's easy to forget that the reality of this seemingly perfect flood of images fades into the background, once you've fallen into the Instagram maelstrom.

But nowadays, every average person can look "perfect" in social media. Thanks to Photoshop and countless filters, we can transform ourselves into the Instagram beauty ideal with just a few clicks. The right posture (tiptoeing, head slightly tilted to one side, looking down, one foot in front of the other), perfect make-up–the repertoire seems endless here, the ideal light, the correct angle et voila, and there you have the seemingly perfect photo. This has little to do with naturalness and authenticity. 



Even though (mostly female) activists of the Body Positivity movement have been demanding a completely different approach to beauty and body awareness for quite some time now–namely to accept and love one's body as it is and not to chase after an unrealistic ideal of beauty–the image of a “normal” body has not yet established itself in the mainstream.

For some years now, the advertising industry, too, has come up with the idea that “normal” bodies in advertising turn out to be sales boosters. Denim brands such as Good America and Fox Factor have focused specifically on Plus Size and sports giant Nike launched its first Plus Size collection three years ago. Nevertheless, unedited photos of bodies and faces are virtually nonexistent in the fashion industry. 

A little change could come now with the #InstagramVsReality or #Nofilter trend. These are not brand new hashtags, but it is more recently that the influencers now post not only funny outtakes of their pictures where they still look perfect, but pictures where they look unflattering. Just like in the real world–double chin and stretch marks included. Dutch influencer Rianne Meijer started with the side-by-side posts on her account two years ago. But only in recent months has media attention increased and the number of her followers doubled to 1.1 million between June and August 2020 alone. The supposedly perfect is resolved by seeing the real picture in direct comparison. The strong increase in the number of followers of Meijer’s account show that people are more and more interested in such authentic pictures.

Rianne Meijer's Instagram post
Photo: Screenshot Instagram/Rianne Meijer
Rianne Meijer's Instagram post
Contemporary fashion brand Drykorn recently launched its #NOFAKES campaign. “Social media today is flooded with a perfect and smooth visuality that leaves hardly any room for honesty and authenticity,” the company stated.

The multichannel campaign is digital and analog and aims to sensitize consumers to the topic of authenticity. From September 2020 on everybody can test the #NOFAKES-face filter through Drykorn’s social media channels Facebook and Instagram. This face filter doesn’t optimize anything but sets the face in a passport photo setting.

The campaign will be posted from today in Berlin. Drykorn employees can be seen on posters that will also be exhibited at Galeries Lafayette in Berlin. In addition, everyone will have the opportunity to have their ID photo printed on a Drykorn shirt during the #NOFAKES events. The Berlin events will take place in the Drykorn stores and Galeries Lafayette. Ludwig Beck will host four events in Munich.



Hopefully more brands and influencers will work with creative solutions and ideas to change the supposedly perfect image. There is still enough room for improvement. Let's be honest: wrinkles, scars, pores, facial marks on unretouched photos seem almost wonderfully and honestly refreshing in all the filtered madness.

 

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