Stop Comparing Yourself to People On Instagram

For most college women, a significant amount of our day is spent mindlessly scrolling through social media. We’re bombarded with women showing off their flawless bikini bodies in picture after picture. And it doesn’t take long for the inevitable self-loathing thoughts to kick in: “Why aren’t my legs that long?” or “Why doesn’t my stomach look like that?”. We’re so consumed by all of the seemingly perfect bodies on our screens that we don’t stop to consider the reality of these photos. 

Think about every photoshoot you’ve taken. You may take hundreds of pictures, but in the end, you refine it down to ten pictures you find suitable to post. The other ones were either too unflattering, too posed, not posed enough, captured too much cellulite, revealed your bloated stomach - the list never seems to end. With those ten pictures that were actually flattering enough to consider posting, another hour is spent editing and then re-editing to make sure the picture is as close to perfect as possible. 

But why is it that when you see other women post these same pictures you don’t consider this process? Social media has brainwashed you into believing that everything you see on your feed is natural and effortless. You are more likely to shame yourself for not looking as picture-perfect as the influencer on your screen instead of considering the lengths they went to in order to produce that amazing picture. 

So where do we go from here? How do we end the cycle of comparing ourselves to others on Instagram? The first and most important step is to acknowledge that we are comparing ourselves in the first place. Scrolling through Instagram countless times throughout the day is a task we feel subconsciously obliged to complete. But this subconscious need to pause and compare ourselves to others can lead to dangerous thoughts about ourselves. If you find yourself stopped at one picture for a prolonged period of time, comparing yourself to someone else, stop yourself! Interject those negative thoughts with the reminder that Instagram isn’t reality! This thought process is not easy to acquire right off the bat, however, once you can understand and accept that Instagram isn’t reality, it loses a lot of its power.