Instagram is a weird environment of pseudo-positivity, where skinny fitness models take photos of their nonexistent rolls or flecks of cellulite to prove to their followers that they’re just “normal people.” While the intentions behind these photos are often commendable, and typically have pure intentions, the reaction for many women is: “Wow, I don’t even look like the ‘bad’ photo in this scenario.”
This trend is somewhat detrimental, as it perpetuates non-body positive ideas of what is attractive and what isn’t. For every a woman who shows a pic of her super-faint stretch marks and says “See? I have stretch marks too!” there’s another woman looking at the photo and thinking, “Welp, my stretch marks are ‘worse’ than hers — guess I’m extra flawed.”
One fitness blogger discovered this truth for herself when she attempted to share side-by-side photos of her “good” and “bad” angles.
Amanda Bucci simply wanted to demonstrate to her followers that poses and clothing can drastically affect the way our bodies look in photographs. However, by labeling the left photo as her “bad” angle, Bucci inadvertently polarized women who did not identify with her body in either photo.
Bucci later posted an amendment to her previous Instagram, saying that her choice of language was misguided.
The caption reads:
I did not mean to use the word ‘bad’ for the photo on the left, because looking a certain way should never be called ‘bad.’ As much as in my head I thought ‘oh, this is a bad angle for me,’ to someone else, they might not view it that way. Funny how the language we use is truly, truly important to convey how we feel and we should all (myself included) be more careful on the message we’re sending.
So, for any and all Instagram models out there, us “average” folk appreciate your attempts to sink to our collective level — but, maybe lay off the comparison photos? It’s weird enough navigating the world of modern body representations without having a beautiful woman assuring you that she’s also capable of occasionally looking “bad.”