The truth about Instagram selfies

From our group research, we found there was a common link within ‘facade’ that we would focus on. Selfies. Yes, those pictures you take of yourself, by yourself. The pictures that are circulating through social media platforms worldwide. Even Barack Obama enjoys taking the occasional selfie with his political colleagues.

The groups decision to concentrate on selfies came about after a discussion surrounding what a ‘facade’ is. Now, it can mean ‘the principle front of a building’ or a ‘deceptive outward appearance.’ We are going to research into how selfies can be a deception of your true self in order to be perceived in a certain light. The word deceptive links clearly to the idea of selfies, as it has usually taken many people minutes and 100’s of attempts to take the ‘perfect’ selfie. This idea of the ‘perfect’ links clearly to the article below by the Independent.

The article by the Independent, features an Instagram celebrity model called Essena O’Neill, who’s career was focused heavily on the followers/likes/comments she received from others. In late October 2015, she took the plunge to delete her account off Instagram in order to highlight the negative effects it has on peoples lives. Through posting 100’s of pictures to Instagram, her followers increased and the amount of comments she received also increased. Her career as an Instagram celebrity was inevitable. However, she found herself posting unrealistic captions about each picture. In the article, she talks about one picture in particular. She had posted a picture of herself in a white dress in a beautiful setting and captioned it something unrealistic just to gain comments/likes. However, she then went on to talk about if she has posted the truth it would have stated something like ‘I can’t even afford this dress, it is borrowed and it has taken hours to get this one shot that is good enough.’

‘As Instagram and YouTube influencers rush to prove their channels are comprised of more than just covert adverts, some are following the example set by Essena O’Neill and re-captioning their images with the truth about how they arrived at the final, ‘perfect’, picture.’


This idea of creating the ‘perfect’ picture is a subject our whole group can relate to and is interested in communicating through our project. Some people spend hours trying to get the perfect selfie before they can upload it to social media for everyone else to see. Why does it take 4 different filters to create something worthy of Instagram or Facebook? Essena’s take on posting true captions led a lot of people to do the same. If people posted true caption, what response would it get from the people viewing them? Would they criticise it? Or would it make them do the same?

‘In an emotional video, O’Neill said the pressure of looking perfect and projecting an idyllic lifestyle had left her miserable. Now, other popular Instagrammers are also reassessing their own relationships with social media with the hashtag #socialmediaisnotreal.’

The popular hashtag began circulating through social media, however the model received some negative comments from people who did not agree with what she was trying to do.

It is interesting to look at where she says ‘the pressure of looking perfect and projecting an idyllic lifestyle left her miserable’. The key word in that sentence for me is ‘pressure’. Young people/adults especially are increasingly under pressure to look/dress/act a certain way and this leads to people posting unrealistic perceptions of themselves on social media platforms. What if everyone posted honestly for one day?