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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapel Hill chapter.

Amaro, Mayfair, Valencia, LoFi, Nashville and 1977.  Five years ago these words simply correlated with small town names, large cities abroad, the quality of an audio recording and a random date in time.

But for most college women today, these words are synonymous with filters used to edit their photos on Instagram.  Whether your favorite is the black-and-white of Inkwell or the old-school feel of Nashville, women are spending more time than ever before editing their photos before sending them out into the world.

When you sit down and think about it, if we are all aware that every photo on Instagram is edited before being posted, who are we really trying to fool?  


The answer seems all too simple but it’s buried in the back of our minds.  The average college woman thinks, “I’m just adding this filter because it makes the picture look cool!”  When in reality, the subconscious thought is more along the lines of, “The way my hair falls across my face is a little weird right above my eye but with this filter you don’t even notice it!”

Studies have shown a correlation between diminishing self-esteem and Facebook use.  College women spend hours a day scrolling through pictures of their friends, analyzing every image and wondering why they don’t have her perfect hair, or her flawless complexion.  

But now we face an even bigger obstacle — Instagram, an app solely dedicated to posting pictures.

What would our perception be if we imagined every picture posted in the Normal filter? No edits, no scrutinizing, just plain and simple. After all, that is where our real beauty lies.  


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Jenny Bingham

Chapel Hill

Jenny is an aspiring journalism and communications professional in her senior year at UNC-Chapel Hill.  She has spent her summers living in Manhattan, working for fashion PR firms while writing about the sights, sounds and fashion that inspire her.  Check out more: SweetTeaAndMemories.com.
Megan McCluskey is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. with Distinction in Journalism and Mass Communication, and a second major in French. She has experience as a Campus Correspondent and Contributing Writer for Her Campus, a Public Relations Consultant for The V Foundation, an Editorial Assistant for TV Guide Magazine and Carolina Woman magazine, a Researcher for MTV, and a Reporter and Webmaster for the Daily Tar Heel. She is an obsessive New England Patriots and Carolina basketball fan, and loves spending time with her friends and family (including her dogs), going to the beach, traveling, reading, online shopping and eating bad Mexican food.