In the world of Instagram, it’s incredibly scary to see what people think is attractive. Social media has taken magazine and regular media editing and warped it even more, so now it may seem like everyone you know looks like Megan Fox or Kim Kardashian—perfect curves, teeny waists, striking features, and some
light plastic surgery. But don’t worry, guys: pretty much everyone you see on Instagram is full of sh*t. Thankfully, most people who post like this on social media do not know what the f*ck they are doing, even when they should def have the budget to hire a decent photo editor (looking at you, Kylie. One billion dollars and not one person knows where your waist should be?). Especially since most of us are still staying home, it might seem like all you do is look at other people’s photos on Instagram, and if you’re not careful, this can get real toxic real quick. To save you from the B.S., I’m here to give you a few quick, easy tips to figure out whether someone on Instagram is misleading you.
View this post on Instagram
Same body, same underwear, different shape… On the left: – popped hip – underwear pulled high to waist – stretching up my torso – tensing my stomach muscles – sucking in my waist On the right: – relaxed Both images are my body that I love and am proud of. We don’t see unposed and relaxed images on IG often but I want to make it normal, because it is normal. You can completely transform the shape of your body through cleaver poses but at the end of the day, you should be so proud to share your relaxed and natural body because it’s beautiful just as it is. 💕
I don’t really know who Georgie Clark is (a reality star, says Google?) but you should follow her immediately. She started posting her thirst trap photos with a twist, throwing in a real picture that isn’t perfectly posed to show you how important knowing your angles can be. It’s really cool to see because this is even before Facetune. Just knowing how to show your body at the right poses (and having proper lighting, but we’ll get there) can make you look completely different.
In the photo on the right, you can tell she’s fit, but has a super normal straight waist and minimal ab definition. According to Georgie’s post, if you see someone stretching out their torso, with a hip out, and clearly sucking in (spoiler: it’s all of them), IT IS STRATEGICALLY POSED and not this person’s body IRL. That’s also true if you see underwear or bathing suit bottoms over the hips—it’s a super flattering silhouette, but they probably don’t look like this all the time. I have zero (0) issues with posing strategically in photos and wearing flattering outfits. In fact, I think that’s pretty necessary to take your most flattering pics; just ask any pro photographer. But just know, this is an art that people spend a lot of time perfecting and it’s not what they look like 24/7.
I don’t know who this chick is either (but apparently 1.8 million people do? Who are you people?) but after seeing this photo, I thought one thing immediately: Who TF does she think she’s kidding with this v v v fake Facetune waist job? Apparently, quite a few people. 175k at time of posting. This is the kind of sh*t I have a problem with. It’s not just posing your real body; it’s taking out body parts to fake what you look like. Thus creating the toxic AF wormhole we’re in as a society, especially for women. Sigh.
So, how do we know this photo is Facetuned (badly) and isn’t just well-angled, like Georgie’s? Take a look at Sarah’s stomach. Her sides are scooped out (and blurry BTW). Her ribs are smushed. This is anatomically incorrect. And how do we know this isn’t just her body? Well, here’s an easy little trick. Your bellybutton is actually level with your hip bones, so it basically sits at the widest part of your torso. The smallest part of your waist is actually right under the rib cage. Here’s the big mistake people make when they try to give themselves super cinched waists: they put the smallest part of their waist too close to their bellybutton instead. It gives you more of an hourglass figure, but unless you’re wearing a few pairs of Spanx, it’s just not possible. You can fake it by putting high-waisted stuff up on your hips (see above) but as we can see in this photo, Sarah’s waist indents are both too low and NOT at the bikini bottoms like Georgie’s is. Also, her waist is the same size as her head. Not possible without a corset because of, you know, organs. Why do influencers want to pretend they don’t have organs?
Here’s a throwback photo of Chrissy Teigen, for an example:
This is her real stomach. You can tell because the smallest part of her stomach is under the ribs, while her bellybutton is at the widest part where her hipbones are. See how much higher up her waist indents are than Sarah’s? Even check out the above photo of Georgie Clark. In BOTH photos, even the posed one, her bellybutton lines up with her hipbones. Sarah tried to sidestep this by removing her hip bones entirely, but you guys are too smart for that BS now.
My rule with most celeb or influencer photos is that, if something looks off, it’s probably because it is. Take, for example, the giant leg craze of last year (simpler times, truly). We did a whole article on celeb-fave app Spring that gave everyone very scary Jack Skellington legs, but there are always a few ways to tell it’s being used. 1) The person looks like Jack Skellington, or this lovely 9-foot-tall Kylie monster, featured above. 2) Their feet are ENORMOUS from the stretching (LOL). 3) The background is stretched along with them (Kylie is on a boat, so it’s harder to tell, but check for it anyway). And 4) if all else fails, and you REALLY NEED TO KNOW whether this photo is real or fake, you can always bust out some anatomy skills and see if the person is disproportionately too tall.
View this post on Instagram
Just a little reminder for Monday… you are beautiful from any angle, lighting or pose. You can see just how quickly I can change how my body looks from knowing: 1️⃣ Where the light is most flattering 2️⃣ What pose looks the best for my body 3️⃣ Which angle compliments my skin These are all tricks that every influencer and model has learnt so when you see “the best” shot on here… just remember it’s a snapshot of their real life and it doesn’t mean that’s the reality of what their body looks like. P.s does anyone know why when I post these videos on here it strips my tan? It takes the saturation out of my videos! So annoying 🤬
These videos from Georgie are everything. We already talked about how important posing is, but here’s another video that shows the importance of good lighting! It’s all an illusion, guys. Everyone has fat, cellulite, and rolls no matter how thin or fit you are—it just is what it is. So how can you tell if lighting is hiding imperfections? Well, pay attention to where the sun and shadows are. If the shadows are soft rather than harsh, if the person is outside, or if it’s golden hour, chances are it’s just good lighting that’s making them appear so flawless. (You can read more about lighting here.) But this is why you don’t look like a supermodel under the fluorescent lights in your bathroom when you’re getting ready for the day. Because Georgie is a badass, here is another amazing photo of her in harsh lighting, with cellulite and stretch marks, not sucking in her stomach. Be nicer to yourself.
View this post on Instagram
It’s taken me a while to get here but Reality vs Reality ☺️ I posted a picture of my stretch marks a few days and YES I was sucking in (it’s like I can’t stop myself sometimes because my body’s been under so much scrutiny as a female for years!) I’m trying to unlearn this now as sometimes I do it without realising… how sad is that… that women can be doing normal everyday things and be uncomfortably sucking in all day because of the scrutiny her body has been put under?! Anyway, under this picture of my stretch-marks and me sucking in… A girl commented “How can I get a flat stomach like you?” I quickly replied and said “I’m sucking in to the point I can’t even breath 😂 “ Which then so many of you gorgeous people said… “We want to see the real shot then!” With all of your encouragement, kind words and amazing messages (even sharing my content) has really given me the confidence to finally post just my reality 😍 it’s a liberating place to be at and you’re all the people who’ve helped me get here. So THANK YOU, I don’t deserve you all but I’m bloody glad I have you all supporting me. Even if you can relate to just one of my posts or one caption has helped you then it’s worth it for me. 💕 #selflove #normalisenormalbodies
View this post on Instagram
just bringing a bit of reality to your Saturday morning workout sesh 🔥💪🏼 ⠀ ⠀ Do you find yourself thinking one of these photos is “healthier” than other? Why is that?⠀ ⠀ I have known my body for decades. I have known that dieting and exercising towards this “ideal” body shape has lead to unhappiness and toxic cycles of binging. ⠀ ⠀ And so I know now that my body is meant to look this way. We are in homeostasis. We are happy. ⠀ ⠀ You know your body and you know best . You have no obligations to let the social misconceptions of others change who you are . ⠀ ⠀ We are absolutely enough. ⠀ ⠀ @gymshark #gifted ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #bodyacceptance #gymsharkwomen #gymshark #workoutoutfit #workoutclothes #matchingset #bikeshorts #backrolls #bighips #bodyneutrality #idealbody #antidiet #antidietculture #midsize #allbodiesaregoodbodies #effyourbeautystandards
Christine is another body-positive model that I follow, and you totally should, too. This picture shows how choosing clothing that fits well and hits you in the right spots can make a huge difference. Take the first pic of Georgie—she looks way smaller because her underwear is up on her hip bones, cinching her waist further. Here, Christine shows us the difference something as simple as pulling your pants up to your waist can make. You’ll probably notice all the celebs and influencers hike their pants high up on their hip bones for this same effect, too.
There are things on Instagram that I find really toxic, like creating a new body with Facetune. And there are photography tricks that I think are fine, because it’s at least your body, just showcased in a very specific way. But the bottom line is that none of these things are reality or what these people look like on the daily.
I hope this has been helpful and made you feel better about the content that’s being shoved down your throat. No matter how thin or perfect celebrities seem in photos, I promise you that it’s 99% bullsh*t—we didn’t even get into all the plastic surgery, makeup, hair stylists, and body makeup (yes, body makeup) that celebs also use!
What are little tricks and giveaways that tell you a photo isn’t real life? Do you compare yourself to the models, celebrities, and influencers you see on Instagram? Did you know how much goes into taking the “perfect” photo? How do you feel about the difference between posing vs. completely giving yourself a new waist via Facetune? LMK!
Image: Meital Anlen / Unsplash
Idk about you, but whenever someone mentions the word “fiber” I think of digestive issues, constipation, and Metamucil—none of which sound very Instagram-worthy to me. Although fiber is a hot topic within the health and fitness community right now, a bright orange container of Metamucil just doesn’t look quite as good as a green juice does on your Insta feed. And, if it’s not on your Insta feed, well, dare I ask, does it even exist? As a result of fiber’s far-from-sexy reputation, we don’t hear about the importance of fiber in our diet nearly as much as we should. Of course, thanks to all the fitness influencers lacking day jobs, fiber has officially become trendy due to these mysterious GG crackers and the aesthetically pleasing meals these influencers have created using them #DoItForTheGram. So because I couldn’t scroll through my feed, wondering what are GG crackers one more time, I decided to do the research.
So What Are GG Crackers?
GG crackers are a Scandinavian cracker that don’t look the most exciting on their own. Fortunately, the aforementioned fitness influencers have come up with some creative ways to make these crackers look and taste good. These infamous crackers each contain 4g of fiber and are each only 20 calories. So like, even if you wanted to binge these (which idk who would) you’re not gonna gain weight. Although, if you do decide to binge them, you’re def gonna need about eight bottles of water, because they’re drier than me while watching Venmo John make out with every girl on Bachelor in Paradise.
Why Do I Need More Fiber, Though?
Cause I’d bet my now-seemingly-worthless college degree on the fact that you’re not getting enough in your normal diet. Besides helping you feel full and aiding in weight loss, fiber has additional health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and improving blood sugar levels. Possibly even more important that that, according to a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the risk for breast cancer risk was 12%-19% lower among women who ate more dietary fiber in early adulthood. Furthermore, for each additional 10 grams of fiber intake daily during early adulthood, a woman’s risk for breast cancer dropped by 13%. Of course, the study does say that it is most impactful when the fiber comes from fruit and vegetables…but I mean, every gram is still making you better off regardless. I’d recommend putting a spread on the crackers with a fruit or veggie on top, but hey, I’m no Dr. Oz.
Do GG Crackers Work?
I’d say so—I didn’t conduct an experiment with control groups or anything cause like, I’m not a scientist. But, I can tell you that I’ve been eating them for the past few months and my observations all point to yes, they work. They have definitely made me feel more full, which coming from someone whose stomach is normally a bottomless pit, is for sure a win. And, not to brag, but in my time consuming them I have in fact lost like, two pounds. Maybe it’s cause the crackers are just soaking up the two pounds’ worth of wine I consumed this past weekend? Idk, but like, whatever, I’ll take it.
How Can I Make Them Edible?
There’s tons of ways to incorporate GG Crackers into legit every meal. There’s currently a bunch of crazy recipes on the interwebs telling you how to reinvent them—like, one where you can even crumble them up and make pancakes! I’m not saying they’re gonna be Aunt Jemima status, but it’s something. An even more simple breakfast option is to put egg and avocado on the crackers, and maybe even add a piece of cheese if you’re feeling naughty. Another delicious option is to add cream cheese, lox, and capers, and it’s like you don’t even miss the the bagel! Okay, no substitute on Earth is as good as a bagel, but it’s still pretty f*cking good and a hell of a lot healthier. For lunch, try tuna fish or chicken salad on the crackers. For dinner, you can make your own “GG pizza” with sauce, cheese, and seasoning. Easy af and healthy af, just the way I like it. Might as well even put your creation on your Insta story cause you’re like, soooo trendy now.
View this post on Instagram
As we say goodbye to the weekend ????????, it’s time to think about the week ahead ????. Did you indulge this weekend? Do you feel like it’s time to get back on track? ???????? Whether you’re seeing this before bed, or first thing #MondayAM, let this plate of #FFactor deliciousness serve as some inspo ✅ This plate packs at least 16g of belly-filling fiber, and while #fiber may not be sexy, it sure makes you look and feel that way ????????. The #FFactorDiet encourages people to eat at least 35g of fiber???????????? per day! Fiber revs up???? your metabolism, keeps you feeling full for hours⏰ and ushers toxins, fat and calories out of your body????????. Fiber let’s you lose weight without hunger— and without slowing down your metabolism so you can actually keep the weight off for good????????????????????????. Fiber up, People, you can do this! #SmartPeopleEatFiber #Motivation #BestDietEver #HealthyEaing #FiberDiet #FFACTORAPPROVED
Where Can I Get GG Crackers?
Apparently they’re available at Whole Foods, but to me this is like the legend of Big Foot; people claim they’ve seen them, but whenever I go out searching they’re nowhere to be found. I order mine on Amazon because like, not to brag, AGAIN, but I have Amazon Prime. This means I can get a huge value pack delivered within two days, rather than wasting two days searching for them at all of my local Whole Foods.
I’d suggest getting on board with GG crackers now before they’re sold out on Amazon. Betches everywhere have been ordering countless packs of these magical crackers in hopes of better bodies and cooler Insta feeds. Just spread a little almond butter right on top your crackers and you’ll totally forget about the fact that you’re not eating real bread.
Images: GIPHY (2); @f_factor / Instagram;
Everyone wishes they could be an Instagram influencer, and if you say you don’t, you’re either on the wrong site or lying. But, like, who has the money or time or willpower? Turns out, looking good on Instagram might not be as impossible as you think. We wanted to get to the bottom of what fitness influencers eat, so we spoke with fitness influencer Mariam Chubinidzhe, aka @newyorkfittie, about her diet and exercise habits.
Hi there! So quick info on me: My name’s Mariam Chubinidzhe, I’m 22 years old, a born and bred New Yorker. I started my Instagram account June 10, 2015 (I was 19), just 10 days shy of attending my first ever Kayla Itsines boot camp in NYC. I originally started with the username @bbgmar—mostly for accountability. When I left to Amsterdam for my study abroad junior year of college, I changed my username to @newyorkfittie, since the BBG program (Bikini Body Guide) was not the only form of exercise I did.
How did you get a big IG following?
I honestly don’t know. LOL. It kind of happened when I moved abroad and through an organic progression. Back when I started my account, people would post for like, #motivationmonday or #flexfriday or #womancrushwednesday, and I’ve been honored a few times by a few of my close girlfriends I met off Instagram to get reposted! So that definitely brought me followers—but now honestly I post when I want, I chat with almost everyone who DM’s me. Since law school started, I think I must have lost about 1500-1800 followers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It’s their loss.
Bad on my fittie grinddddd! Yesterday afternoon I got to hit the bag with my amazing girl gang @ @rumble_boxing (first time in soooo long!) and then I ran to @projectbyequinox to have my ass kicked some more by @peterkrauswi ???? Yesterday was crazy leg heavy with burpees & mountain climbers, but I loved every second ???? Thank you Peter for such an awesome class & for being so down to earth!! It was awesome meeting you ????
What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks?
So, onto my typical day of eating. I try to stay fairly clean, so it might be like a 80-20% scale? Depending on the season (finals season), I might be cleaner or not as clean, haha.
Breakfast is either hot oatmeal or overnight oats with fruits, maybe crumbled Square Organics protein bars, a nut butter, almond milk, etc. Or eggs with veggies! Lunch is probably a salad daily. I love packing it with veggies and a simple lemon, olive oil, and red wine vinegar dressing. Dinner depends on where I am. If I’m at school, I’ll probably get a fish or a grilled chicken; if I’m home, it depends on what my mom makes/what I cook. It’s usually a type of meat with veggies and quinoa or sweet potato. My snacks are usually a protein bar, maybe a protein shake if I’m at home and can make one, carrots and hummus, celery, and a nut butter, apples, nuts.
Are there any food groups you avoid?
I’m currently trying to avoid dairy. I used to eat cheese and yogurt and milk all the time. Now I’m onto nut milk (mainly almond), and I avoid cheese unless it’s an older cheese or goat cheese. I don’t have yogurt as often as I used to. I typically have Icelandic skyr or a coconut milk yogurt. I tried to avoid gluten, but my willpower is not that strong.
How many days a week do you work out?
If I’m on a proper schedule, which I’m not right now, I work out 3-5 times a week. In the summer/winter it could be daily. But being in law school, I’m trying to still work out a balance. It try to at least once a week go to either Rumble Boxing or Swerve Fitness, maybe try other random classes here and there. I also loveeee yoga! I go to either Yoga to the People or I do my own flows at home. If I go to other studios, I love Y7 and Sky Ting Yoga.
Happy International Yoga Day & Summer Solstice! I had the amazing pleasure of waking up at the crack of dawn, seeing the most beautiful sunrise & starting my day in the hustle-n-bustle that is time square! ???? Major love to the @biolage team for helping me #liveRAW & for stretching it out with my friends (hi @bloom, @maeultra, @sbtorrens, @5teffy, @mk.nyc.fit) ???????? And another amazing thing that happened this AM – I ran into my yoga professor from this past semester (remember how I said I took yoga for credit? ????) and she said “I knew I’d find you here” ☺️ #solsticetsq #internationalyogatoday
What’s your philosophy about diet and exercise?
My philosophy is to listen to my body. I used to be very strict when I first started working out regularly, and I realized it didn’t make me happy when I lost some weight. I felt like I was missing out on stuff like brunch or dessert with friends, so I go with a more everything in moderation—because too much of anything can be a bad thing. I don’t have a cheat day, but if I’m craving something I’ll go for it. I try not to make a day of it—like let’s say I’m at brunch, I liveeeeee for avocado toast and an egg, so I normally get that. But if I go out for dinner, pasta is great. I won’t say no to dessert unless I’m full! It’s more of intuitive eating.
What’s your favorite workout?
My favorite workout…hmm. I love Rumble Boxing, because I love hitting the bag and feeling like a badass, and I also love their floor section, because BBG is circuit training and it’s just fun. You can totally switch it up and make it fun. I love bike riding—not like indoor cycling, but actually getting a real bike and biking around Central Park. I don’t do it often, but when I lived in Amsterdam obviously I biked everyday (thank god too, otherwise I would’ve gained so much more weight than I did). And I love love love yoga. Yoga is definitely my thing that I always go back to with such happiness.
Do you have any tips for taking a good Insta where you look really skinny/fit?
LOL I still don’t even know how to take good photos sometimes. I guess once you get really comfortable in your skin, you don’t think about it as much. Obviously, there are days I feel extremely bloated, and I have tinier friends and I try to stand sidewise versus frontal because I have wider hips, but sometimes IDK. I’m a typical girl. I expect you to take 10,000 photos and hope that at least 4 good candids can come from it. If you take one or two photos of me and I take 1,000 of you, you’re dead to me. (I’m kidding! But I’m not. But I am.)
Images: Marion Michele / Unsplash; Mariam Chubinidzhe / Instagram