“Swipe for reality.”
With these three words, Diana Sirokai and Callie Thorpe are sending a powerful message to women: Don’t believe everything you see on social media.
UK-based plus-sized models, social media stars and friends, size 16 Sirokai, from London, and size 24 Thorpe, from Wales, recently posted two powerful black-and-white photos on their Instagram accounts — one edited using Photoshop and the other left untouched – to show just how much of a difference the tool can make and how misleading social media can be.
Photoshop is a magical tool, yet these days its overuse on social media can lead to insecurities. Thorpe and Sirokai decided to bring everyone’s attention to it by asking a photographer to airbrush all the perceived ‘imperfections’ out of a photograph of the pair using Photoshop.
And, the stark difference will leave you gobsmacked.
“It’s no wonder women are laden with insecurities,” Thorpe wrote in her post. “For years we have been subjected to perfect airbrushed and often altered images across the media.”
Thorpe said she thinks they look “perfect just as we are” but wanted to show women that “it’s okay to look ‘normal’ to have cellulite, stretch marks and tummies that aren’t flat and toned”.
She continued that while Photoshop “has its place” in some industries, it can also be used to the “extreme”.
“Whilst Photoshop has its place and need in some parts of industries this is the extreme when it comes to editing,” Thorpe wrote on her instagram post with the pictures.
“It just goes to show how much we can really alter ourselves,” she added.
Sirokai echoed similar sentiments under her Instagram post, captioning the before and after shots: “Myself and @calliethorpe have asked our photographer @photo_karizza to use photoshop on us. I have to say we look Amazing both ways. The purpose of this was to show you all how magazines and the media takes editing to a different level. Models and celebrities do not even look like theirselves. We live in such a fake world its time to bring real back. Own who you are and slay ! #AConfidentYou.”
And really, what’s not to love about their message? Society has set too many unrealistic standards for women – and we’ll take any opportunity to knock those down.
Together the women have almost 7,00,000 Instagram followers, some of whom were shocked at the difference between the two images. “How did they even do this? I’m shocked,” one person wrote.
However, others praised the women, suggesting they look better in the unedited image.
“I think y’all are way more beautiful without the photoshop, y’all are straight goddesses,” wrote one follower. “I much prefer you with those wonderful curves,” wrote another.
“Actually, you look incredible in the original one.”
This was not the first time the ladies spread a body positivity message. In September, Sirokai shared an image of her body next to Kim Kardashian with an empowering note, “We are both women with different bodies.”
Her message? Everyone should love themselves; and that’s something that everyone can get behind.