While curating a feed for a client of mine, (a client who is gorgeous beyond belief I tell ya,) I got an email from her asking a few things of me. There were a few photos of her that she was not a fan of and wanted some edits done. In one, her tattoo that she decided was a huge mistake was visible. In another, her pores were too visible and in another, she didn’t really like her jacket and then she asked before we published any of these photos if we could put a filter on them to enhance her features. To this, my heart sank, not because now I have a lot more work to do, but because this woman was ripping apart these (and I am not exaggerating here) absolutely stunning photos of herself and failing to see the beauty that I 100% knew everyone else would see once we hit share. I’ve taken branding photos for many women, and they always see what everyone else does not: the second chin, the belly roll, the pimple, the bags under their eyes, the cellulite and on and on. I myself have cringed at photos because my roots were so bad! So I feel like after the many conversations I have had, and the many conversations I am going to have to have, I need to put my thoughts on photoshoping/filters out there for you to read. Here it goes: you do not and should not edit your “flaws” out of your photos! It can actually HURT your social media strategy. Here’s why:
Taking away what makes us real/relateable can destroy the real/authentic connection you are trying to build with our audience. Plainly put, if you look too perfect, nobody can relate.
Nobody even sees these so-called “flaws”. When asked to edit the pores on my clients skin, I had no idea which photo she was even talking about because I did not see ANY imperfections. Nobody is going through your feed, landing on a stunning photo and saying well, look, she has a pore, I don’t like her. (And if they are, they are not your people.)
When you OWN your flaws and show up real, it lets other women know that it’s okay to not be “perfect” and that real beauty is a thing! Think about the confidence of this generation of teenage girls that are going to think it is okay to have a pimple, or a belly roll, or a bad hair day (Man I wish I knew this when I was in high school!)
You’re not fooling anyone. These filters edits are sometimes way-too-obvious and we catch on that you’re using them and start to wonder what you have to hide.
The feeds where women are OWNing their bodies are doing the BEST! Look at these feeds and tell me that confidence is not beautiful.
@thebirdspapaya -1.1million followers
@jennakutcher -906K Following
So my advice? OWN your flaws! OWN that mistake of a tattoo - heck - tell everyone the story and I swear, they will love you for it and you will probably make a new I-also-have-have-a-tattoo-I-dont-want-anymore best friend! I know this can be hard. It will take a new level of self-love and acceptance that we all may not be ready for. I promise to start OWNing more on my own feed. Follow me @ashleyavisco to cheer me along! Ashley #bodypositivity #bereal #loveyourself