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natural beauty

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Instagram is increasingly being told to take responsibility for the harmful effects of it's site on the mental health of young people.

Between celebrities endorsing weight-loss products which have no scientific backing, the NHS encouraging body-negative adverts to be banned, and the new sensitivity screens being put in place to prevent graphic violence and self-harm being depicted; Insta is a dangerous place.

Yet, we cannot deny that selfie culture and self-branding through social media has become just a normal part of our everyday life. Me, myself and Instagram has taken over, and young people growing up today assume it's perfectly normal to try to look perfect.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It's so prevalent in society to share the highlights of ourselves and desperately emulate others who we assume have 'better' lives, which writers such as Matt Haig have emotionally discouraged.

FaceTuning images to blur seeming 'imperfections' such as stretchmarks, wrinkles, spots, freckles, teeth, smiles, body hair, even elbow wrinkles or unwanted curves is the new normal, according to our society.

Having flaws is deemed unhealthy, and the notion of 'narcissism' or vanity is no more.

Now Rankin is trying to counteract the idea of editing ourselves in a new photo series, and it's beautiful.

The amazing photographer is attempting counteract self-editing, by showing people just how damaging the effects of social media can be.  His photo series, aptly named Selfie Harm, was launched last week on Instagram.

The renowned artist captured portrait shots of 15 teens and handed power to them and their filter apps, asking them to edit the retouched image until they felt it was 'social media ready'.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He commented;

“Social media has made everyone into their own brand. People are creating a two-dimensional version of themselves at the perfect angle, with the most flattering light, and with any apparent flaws removed.”

“This is a new, enhanced reality, a world in which teenagers can alter themselves digitally within seconds. Mix this with the celebrities and influencers flaunting impossible shapes with impossible faces and we’ve got a recipe for disaster," he attested.

The photographer shows images of youth and natural beauty which massively contrast with the newly filtered, edited versions. It's shockingly easy for the young models to blur the lines of reality, but what is 'perfect' in a world such as this?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He wrote on Instagram;

“People are mimicking their idols, making their eyes bigger, their nose smaller and their skin brighter, and all for the social media likes. “It’s just another reason why we are living in a world of FOMO, sadness, increased anxiety and Snapchat dysmorphia."

"It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image," he concluded.

The visible differences and changes made allow the teenagers and subjects to transform their entire identity, so much so that their natural state is completely erased. There are smaller noses, smooth complexions, wider eyes and lips, everything you can imagine.

Interestingly, the photographer notes that most of the models preferred their original image, but it's still disturbing to witness the power of filters. These edits can convince people that they're regular image isn't good enough to be seen.

It's becoming harder to discern what's real and what's fake; soon the idea of reality on social media could vanish altogether.

Feature image: Rankin Instagram/Fashionista

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Have you ever gazed at the perfectly edited, well lit and angled photo of your favourite Instagram model and despaired over their flawless skin, plump pout or perfect brows?

The saying comparison is the thief of joy is exceptionally true, but when someone seems to naturally have it all, it can be harder to swallow. 

Luckily, there is a lot more transparency now in the beauty guru business than ever before, with Instagram celebrities being completely honest about their expensive skin care, filler appointments and eyelash extension habits. 

 

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One Instagram influencer and beauty vlogger Gina Shkeda has called out the perception of natural beauty on social media. 

One of Gina's 820,000 followers tweeted the makeup guru saying 'If I could wake up as beautiful as @GinaShkeda I'd be the happiest girl alive #naturalbeauty.'

The MUA tweeted back, exposing the not-so-natural elements of her makeup free look. 

'Girl, I have micro bladed brows, lash extensions in and lip injections,' she tweeted back.

'I don't even look like this, you're flawless,' she finished, with no shame about her beautifying habits.

 

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While Gina and her fan are both natural beauties, lip fillers or not, calling out false perceptions on social media is so important to remind people that what they see on their feeds isn't always exactly what they seem.

Images can be manipulated in photoshop, or people can choose to edit themselves in real life through the use of makeup, cosmetic surgery or beauty techniques like tattooed brows and eyelash extensions. 

What we think is a 'natural' beauty look on someone's Instagram could be any combination of these factors, which is important to keep in mind before we go feeling bad about ourselves after scrolling through our social media streams.

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With so many tricks of the trade at their disposal, it’s easy to assume celebrities have zapped away any imperfections they might have had as soon as they reached stardom.

But thankfully a new tweet by Kylie Jenner has revealed that at times A-listers can be surprisingly refreshing when it comes to natural beauty.

When asked last week about the sizeable leg scar she’s had since childhood, the 19-year-old reality star said that while she could try and have it removed, she’d rather keep the mark because it’s part of who she is.

She wrote: “I’ve had it since I was 3 it’s in all my pics!  I could try & do treatments to remove but I like it.  I think it makes me [me].”

This isn’t the first time the cosmetics entrepreneur has opened up about her scar.

According to Us, late last year she shared a picture of the mark on Instagram alongside the caption “I love my scar” and during a 2011 interview she revealed that the scar is the result of an accident she had while playing hide and seek.

 

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