We’ve all be there. You’re scrolling through Instagram, wondering how all of these seemingly perfect people manage to lead such glamorous lives.
It’s as if their entire life is one big tropical island photo shoot, while you’re crammed onto a stinking hot, overcrowded train, just trying to make it to your office job on time.
“It’s all smoke and mirrors. Nothing is real,” she confesses.
“It’s all a constructed reality, and you can’t compare yourself to somebody that isn’t real. It doesn’t make sense.”
“It is so powerful, and it affects people in so many different ways, both positively and negatively,” she says.
“Comparing yourself constantly, it’s just this vicious cycle.”
Lauren says her job as an influencer comes with both “power and responsibility”, which is why she feels obligated to tell it like it really is.
She says she had a realisation during a holiday in the Maldives with her boyfriend, Reece. Having never really posted photos of herself in a bikini before, Lauren says she developed a newfound confidence in her body while on vacation, and asked Reece to take some swimsuit photos of her.
“We had this huge argument and we didn’t speak for a few hours, which is big for us,” she says.
“We worked it out and I posted the photo, and I had this moment where I was like, ‘Wow, some people are going to see this photo of me like, hahaha, on the beach, but in reality I had a massive fight with my boyfriend afterwards because of taking those photos.’
“I was devastated after that.”
But she says she knows the photo portrays a completely different version of events.
“In reality, that photo brought on a really crappy time, but all you guys are seeing is a photo of me happy on the beach,” she adds.
Lauren says social media is ultimately all about presenting a “skewed version of reality”.
“Social media is all about being happy. You don’t want to follow someone who only makes you feel worse, so people are only showing you the best parts of their lives,” she says.
“It always shocks me when I see people that I follow come out with stories of depression or anxiety or mental struggles, because you never see that stuff… There is a lot going on behind closed doors that we’ll never get to know.”
And she says that even though people may appear confident in themselves and their body, they are often masking insecurities.
“I know my angles. I post bikini photos from the side, because it makes my body look the nicest. Front-on photos aren’t that flattering, so I don’t post them,” she says.
“I want to look at these photos and feel good about myself, not worse, so I’m posting photos that I like the most.”
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She reminds people to keep this in mind when they’re scrolling through other people’s Instagram feeds.
“When you’re looking at people on Instagram, you’ve got to be wary that there are other factors at play here. People have their angles. They’ve had surgery. They’ve had Facetune!” she adds.
Even though her job may seem glamorous, Lauren says being a social media star has been “mentally taxing”.
“Social media has taken a toll on me,” she says.
“I’ve had some dark times.”
Above all, she says people should just learn to be happy with who they are.
“Comparing yourself doesn’t change anything. It makes you feel worse,” she adds.
“You are beautiful as you are… You are enough as you are.”
You can watch Lauren Curtis’ full Youtube video here.