Sara Puhto, 23, is poking fun at social media’s impossibly flawless standard in a series of Instagram photos, which she started doing as early as 2018.
In a side-by-side image, Puhto demonstrates what’s considered the "perfect" Instagram snap versus how she looks in real life.
On the left, she poses perfectly with a subtle, modelesque angle to accentuate her curves -- stomach sucked in, buttocks poked out. On the right, however, Puhto stands upright with her head to the sky as she smiles and allows her tummy to stick out naturally.
“In photos I constantly suck in my tummy or try and hide it and stick out my booty as much as possible. But why?” she captioned the photo.
“We’re constantly flooded with photos of ‘perfection’ on social media and see advertisements about ways to change your body to fit a certain idealized body trend.”
Rather than striving for perfection, she encouraged her 319,000 followers to learn to accept the skin they’re in.
“We constantly work on changing our bodies, but why don’t we focus more on changing the way we look at our bodies,” Puhto wrote. “Don’t focus on negativity, focus on accepting and loving what you dislike about yourself. You have this body and it allows you to live life."
“We should all allow ourselves to experience life to the fullest without the fear of judgment about our bodies, by ourselves or by others,” she added.
Puhto’s followers praised her for exposing social media’s dangerous beauty standards and having the courage to show her real self.
“You’re beautiful and amazing. You should be proud of the message you are sending and actively changing unhealthy ideals,” one Instagram user commented.
“Your posts have helped me out so much,” another person said. “I always beat myself up for being bloated,”
Yet another follower added, “You're the reason I love my own body.”