A menudo en Instagram parece que todo es maravilloso: los planes, la vida de la gente y hasta sus cuerpos. La modelo y periodista estadounidense de 33 años Danae Mercer lleva tiempo en esta red social publicando fotos en las que trata de demostrar que la realidad, en ocasiones, está muy alejada de esa narrativa en la que todo es perfecto, y que eso no significa que esté mal.

Una imagen en la que muestra cómo puede cambiar el cuerpo de una persona en función de la luz y la pose ha alcanzado en los últimos días una gran repercusión, acumulando más de medio millón de likes desde el pasado 25 de junio.

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Insta vs reality — or LETS talk LIGHTING. Because that’s the main difference in these photos. In one, my bum is deliberately angled into the shadows. The softer light hides my cellulite and smooths most of my stretchmarks. It’s flattering. In the other, I’m just casually squatting (lol) beside the mirror. My hips and thighs are in the sunlight. Lumps and bumps are on show. There are a few posing differences (core tight, hips popped back, squeeeezzzinnnggg), but mostly this pic is about LIGHT working its magic. When I worked in magazines, we shot at sunrise or sunset. On most sets, there were people holding SUN DIFFUSERS and REFLECTORS to help create the perfect FLATTERING balance of shadow and light. The same thing happens on SOCIAL MEDIA, just in a different form. Most insta-models know EXACTLY how to POSE and work their angles. And they know LIGHTING too. Like how SIDE LIGHT, diffused from a window, is the most flattering for abs but usually pretty harsh on the face. It’s why you’ll often see a phone covering the face. Or how SHADOWS can gently eliminate certain LUMPS and BUMPS. All that is fine with me, honestly. It’s art and photography, and there is no shame in wanting to look FIERCE. But I also want to remind you about how SO MUCH on here is FILTERED. POSED. PERFECTED. And how you shouldn’t EVER COMPARE YOURSELF to a STRANGER on the internet. Because cowgirl, you’re just seeing their snapshots taken in PERFECT LIGHT. Your reality is a whole lot more varied, diverse, and human than that. It’s more perfectly imperfect. Real. Raw. And that’s a wonderful thing indeed. You got this. x #instavsreality #womenirl #womenshealth #popsugarfitness #instagramvsreality #posingtips #cellulite #strengthmarks

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En la imagen, Mercer muestra a través de dos fotografías cómo la realidad tiene muchas caras. En la imagen de la izquierda, con la luz adecuada y una pose forzada, parece que su cuerpo no tiene ninguna marca y su piel es tersa y perfecta. Sin embargo, como ella misma cuenta y cómo se puede apreciar en la foto de la derecha, la realidad es muy distinta. “La luz más suave oculta mi celulitis y suaviza la mayoría de mis estrías”, cuenta en la publicación de Instagram. “Quiero recordaros cómo todo tiene un filtro aquí. Planeado. Perfeccionado”. Aunque la periodista, que trabaja como freenlance en diferentes medios internacionales, aclara que para ella no hay nada malo en querer lucir bien, sí es importante “no compararse jamás con una persona desconocida de Internet”.

Esta es solo una de las muchas imágenes que Mercer ha publicado en los últimos años en su Instagram, que siguen más de un millón de personas, para responder a los cánones de belleza irreales y las inseguridades que provocan. En otra publicación, en la que también muestra cómo la pose puede ocultar algo tan natural como la celulitis, hace hincapié en la necesidad de “cambiar la conversación”. Según cuenta en el post, en las redes sociales “las personas muestran sus mejores ángulos, sus momentos más felices y aquellas partes de las que están orgullosos. Pero eso no es humano. Las personas tienen vulnerabilidades, miedos, esperanzas, fragilidades, celulitis y mentes que pasan tanto días buenos como malos. Todos pasamos por ello. Eso sí es humano”.

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We know social media is a highlight reel. That it's glamour. That it's perfection. We know it's people showing their best sides, their happy moments, their proud bits. But that's not human. Humans have vulnerabilities and softness and fears and hopes and fragility and CELLULITE and minds that have good days and bad days and ALL OF IT, humans have ALL OF IT. That's human. So let's change the conversation. Especially RIGHT NOW when everything is so unpredictable and scary. Let's dare to make this wild, turbulent world something more positive. Whether it's one post, one comment, one bit of great and powerful and real rawness at a time. You got this. . . . . #bopo #normalizenormalbodies #selfloveclub #iweigh #whstrong #cellulite #strengthmarks

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Desde su perfil también trata de concienciar en redes sociales a través de su propia historia. En una publicación de Instagram explica cómo la imagen irreal de cuerpos que veía en la televisión o en las revistas la hicieron pensar desde los 13 años que no era normal que tuviese celulitis. Según detalla más extensamente en un vídeo publicado en febrero de su canal de YouTube que acumula más de 4.000 suscriptores, la obsesión por obtener un cuerpo perfecto fue yendo a más y desarrolló trastornos de la alimentación. Con tan solo 19 años, Mercer había perdido en menos de tres meses más de una tercera parte de su peso. Por ello, anima a todo aquel que “cuente calorías de una manera obsesiva” a buscar ayuda profesional.

Muchas veces se señala a las redes sociales como un lugar en el que se produce un culto desmedido al físico. Pero también es cierto que existen muchas cuentas, como en el caso de Danae Mercer, que ha aprovechado la capacidad de llegar a la gente de las redes para denunciarlo. Las iniciativas de cuentas en las que se representan distintos tipos de cuerpos han ayudado a popularizar la idea de la “belleza real”, como en el caso de Any Body (Cualquier Cuerpo) @any.body_co, una cuenta conjunta de dos amigas y modelos australianas. En ella, comparten fotos para mostrar la diversidad de una talla 36 y una 46 juntas.

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BEFORE and AFTER transformations are so gosh darn easy to FAKE. And dodgy brands, like those selling DIET TEAS or DIET JABS (the newest horrible thing to hit the market) often do exactly that. So before I get into the ANGLES and the technique and all that razzle dazzle, I just want to say this: Be careful. Especially to the teens on here, or those of us who have struggled with disordered body image. Be careful. Dodgy companies will use dodgy methods to try to sell you things you don’t need. Things like teas that make you poo or SHOTS that mess up your body or pills that make your heart race. HEALTH goals are incredible. There are LOADS of GENUINE FITNESS transformations on here too. Plenty of REAL ‘before and afters’, which are shared by folks who are proud at all they’ve achieved. Those are incredible. I always have and I always will APPLAUD HEALTH as an act of self love. This post isn’t about that. It’s about the BEFORE AND AFTERS with DIET ADS. Or with DETOX TEAS. Or with the most recent onslaught of SKINNY SHOTS. And all the awful, awful fakery that wraps themselves around products more concerned with MONEY than with WELLNESS. It’s about learning to be careful. And to view the internet with a critical eye — especially where money is involved. Now if you’re curious about HOW I took these PHOTOS, here’s what I did: Pulled my bottoms up higher (longer leg line). Arched my back (waist looks smaller, bum bigger). Popped into my hips. Squeezed my core. Played with light and shadows to hide my cellulite. Swapped into more flattering clothes. And BAM. Before to After in 10 seconds flat. Try it if you fancy. It’s pretty much a back workout. So there you go. Glad you’re here. I hope this helped. Please don’t ever buy a skinny jab. We’re in this together. x #angles #posingtips #selfconfidence #beforeandafter #instagramvsreality #instavsreality

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CELLULITE is so darn COMMON. So WEAR that swimsuit. Rock that bikini. Get out there and roll with the full wonder of all that you are. And don’t let any little lumpbumps make you second guess for a single minute. Over 80 percent of women have cellulite. That’s a HUGE number – and yet we are told it’s bad and wrong and subtly, so subtly, taught that it is shameful. Some of us learn these lessons as little girls. Yesterday I shared a YouTube video that wants to teach exactly that. It featured a slight child deciding she was TOO BIG, so she exercised and weighed herself and ate carrots and weighed herself and climbed stairs and weighed herself. Some of us learn these lessons as adults, when brands try to SELL TO US and make money from SHAME. From creating flaws that don’t exist, or from turning incredibly common bits of bodies into things that must be fixed. Wherever you learned these lessons, know that they are wrong. Your cellulite is NOT an error. A glitch in perfection. It’s incredible. Unique. A stamp mark of who you are. A sign that your body is functioning and alive and doing the same thing as over 80% of other women. So today, babygirl, get out there and rock your cellulite. Celebrate your dips and rolls. Embrace your curves or your straights. And most of all, do whatever makes you SMILE. Because you are a GLORIOUS CELEBRATION. A song of limbs and heart and soul. Don’t you forget it. Bikini @heiress_swimwear #selflove #bodyacceptance #normalizenormalbodies #cellulite #strengthmarks

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Let’s normalize this. Let’s share the parts of us that are strong and fierce and posed, and the parts of us that are softer, raw, human. A woman messaged me today saying she bought her very first bikini. She always thought she was too wiggly, too ‘imperfect’, to own one. But today she realized otherwise. That gal went shopping. Every week, women talk to me about shorts. About cellulite on their legs. About dimples in their thighs. And about how, how they CANNOT, cannot wear them. They cannot wear shorts. Only this is changing. THEY are changing. WE are changing. Day by day, second by second, we are switching what’s normal. We are sliding into those shorts, buying those bikinis, speaking our MINDS and our truths, flaunting our brains, being all the wonderful, complex bits that combine together to make WOMEN and WOMAN. This is just one instance, a glimpse. A little photo to remind you of a very, very big thing: You are not DESIGNED to be perfect. Your power lies in all that’s COMPLEX, all that’s NUANCED, all that’s MAGNIFICENT and, yes, all that’s gloriously NORMAL. Like bum dimples. Like insecurities. Like confusions and hopes and great photos and bad moments and laughter and ALL. We’re in this together. Even if it’s just one ‘Instagram and also Instagram’ pic at a time. x #selflove #bodyacceptance #bodyconfidence

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Same girl. Same day. SAME WORTH. But we don’t see both these types of photos to the same extent on social media. The online world is filtered. Here, TikTok, Twitter, wherever. It’s a series of magic moments and perfect poses that have been reshot and filtered and adjusted until they embody the ideal. This doesn’t just go for the stream of ‘ideal’ bodies. It goes for incredibly romantic adventures or cool crafts or perfect parenting moments. All of these, all of what’s on display, is so often part of someone else’s HIGHLIGHT REEL. And it’s easy to feel our REAL doesn’t quite measure up. Only your REAL is magnificent. It’s flawed and complex and complicated, but it’s also HUMAN. It’s also authentic and raw and YOU. And that? That is far more incredible than anything social media could ever hope to display. . . #selflove #iweigh #whstrong #instagramvsreality #bodyconfidence #posing #toldya

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SQUEEZING VS RELAXED – OR, I don’t care how bloated you are, you need to eat. Because your body DESERVES food. Regardless of if you trained that morning. Regardless of if you had pizza the night before. Eat — gently, kindly, in a way that fills your soul or fuels your goals. And remember that social media is only half the story. Not even half. Not even a blink in a moment. Here I’m squeezing my stomach, arching my back, exhaling, holding everything in. And bam, perfect insta pose. But the reality is this: When I get anxious, my bloating gets bad. And my appetite goes away. Both delicate, dangerous things for anyone who has ever struggled with disordered eating. So on here, I remind you gals to eat. And off of here, I hold myself to the same standards. Just a reminder. For you. For me. For anyone that needs to hear it. Take care of yourself ladies. x . . #bloating #posing #edawareness #socialmediavsreality #eatingdisorderrecovery #eatingdisorderawareness

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Don’t COMPARE YOURSELF to a stranger on the internet. I’ve worked in media and magazines for over 10 years. And in publishing, it feels normal to see curated ideals of dream lives, dream bodies. But social media tells us a different story. It says every girl is the girl next door. Every goal is casually achievable. And suddenly every supermodel on a superyacht becomes the norm. Part of us knows this ISN’T true. Part of us forgets. So today I just wanted to remind you: Don’t compare yourself to a stranger on social media. Don’t compare yourself to hundreds of highlight reels. Not in the way your body is shaped. Not in the way you handle emotions or challenges. Not in the raw fragile parts that make you who you are. Because what we see on here is an echo chamber of perfect angles and hand picked truths. And humans are far more complex, far more nuanced, far more perfectly imperfect than that. You got this. x . Outfit @womensbestwear @womensbest . #selflove #bodyacceptance #instavsreality #instagramvsreality #posing #bodyconfidence #feminist

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