The Fake World of Instagram

There’s a lack of honesty in social media about running a business. I keep being congratulated for how well I’m doing. But the truth is I am drowning.

Only a part time second job and carefully nurtured savings are going to save me in 2016 (again) and that’s a fact. But who wants to hear about that when you’re a fashion designer?

It’s only when I touch base with other people at the same level as me that I am reminded we are all in similar situations. I don’t think I know anyone personally who is making a full time living out of what they are doing creatively. And weirdly there is some comfort in that. It’s not just me.

My concern over the image portrayed on social media of the fashion/photography/modeling industry is the damaging effects we pass on to consumers and other would be industry professionals.

Last year Essena O’Neill famously quit Instagram. A selfie is never a ‘caught in the moment’ snap. We all KNOW this. But she said it. People spend hours trying to catch that killer natural shot, perfecting poses, adding filters. Nothing is as it seems. Everything about these images and the lifestyle they apparently project is a lie.

I have now taken to unfollowing or muting accounts that show a continuous stream of selfies, product placement and suggestions of a luxury lifestyle. I am quite literally sick of it. Not because I am jealous and I want it, but because none of it is real to begin with. I want to see what it’s really like, how people really are. It doesn’t fool me.


Part of Essena’s response to her Instagram persona was to re-edit a number of image captions to show the truth behind those snapshots. Everything else was removed. Though her Instagram account is now dead her new website does include a selection of these images. I don’t think anyone who takes selfies actually believes the image just happens. But it is damaging future generations who somehow believe this is all real.

I work on a lot of fashion shoots. I know what really happens in the studio and in the editing suite.  I know how many images were taken, I know how different the final images looked when they were finally published.

To a certain extent that’s okay. Product images are never as they look in the studio. I know this and anything set up in the studio is enhanced to a certain degree. Thankfully as far as I am aware, most of the photographers I work with keep their editing to a minimum. Lighting enhancement and cropping are a given. Body alterations are not.

But selfies apparently taken as a snapshot over dinner, or out on a walk – or people PAID to mention products is fake. I challenge anyone to post up the first snap they take, unedited, un-modeled. No filter is one thing. No editing is quite another. As an experiment I am following the #nofilter hashtag on Instagram. I have yet to see an unedited, #nofilter tagged image. Ironic?

There are very few pictures of me out there in internet-land. To get each of the 5 selfies I created purely for my business pages, I probably took about 20 of each to get one that I thought was acceptable. And then I added Instagram filters. I’m okay with them. They are purely there to identify me. And I take very few lifestyle images of my day to day existence. Because why would I? If that is all you are interested in why are you following me?

And why are you chasing this ridiculous dream? Are you scared of what people will think of you without the editing? If you dislike what you look like that much why are you posting selfies? So many questions. The mind boggles.

For all things Falcieri Designs check out my website at




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