Minutes after waking up each morning, many smartphone users check social media and feel glum, negatively comparing themselves to the unrealistic images of perfection that dominate their feeds.
Such a routine inspired Karina Irby, CEO of Moana Bikini, to speak out and spark positive change through Instagram.
“Every morning I wake up and scroll though my personal Instagram feed and spy 'Insta Girls' posting unrealistic images of themselves. The girls I follow that portray these images have big followings, often with hundreds of thousands of young girls looking up to them as a role models,” the Australian 27-year-old captioned her September 4 post, which has since gone viral.
“As I scroll though the comments I find young girls tagging their friends 'GOALS' and 'OMG WHY DONT I LOOK LIKE THIS.' The truth is these girls don't looks like this. They look like you, like everyone," Irby wrote.
To highlight the power of digital correction and promote body positivity, she posted side-by-side photos of herself in a bikini. The first image was natural and the second was corrected with what she called a “classic Insta Girl Edit.”
Irby detailed that she smoothed her skin, scars and cellulite, enlarged and lifted her butt, and sucked in her tummy and back, while rounding her breasts and thinning out her arms, quads, and neck, to achieve the desired look.
Gathering over 23,000 likes and nearly 400 comments, Irby closed her post with a flourish, telling fans that she did not speak up to play “mean girl.” “I simply want to #inspire you to love yourself and stop comparing yourselves to unrealistic images online,” she said. “Let's get real.”