Love Your Body

Side-by-side photos show 'social media' vs. 'reality'

A scroll through Instagram reveals countless photos of expertly posed bikini bodies. But model and lifestyle blogger Chessie King wants you — and her 244,000 followers — to know that simply isn’t the truth.

💃🏼|🙅🏼 Left photo: Favourited out of the 8 taken & posted. Right photo: Immediately deleted & forgotten about. Both photos unedited & seconds between them. I do so many of these but this one is my scariest & most exposing so far. I was going through my recently deleted folder ready to 'delete all' but saw the right photo & recovered it. I felt this sense of guilt that I'd deleted it & posted the left one. A year ago I would've been left feeling so unhappy by how I look on the right & deleted it forever like it never happened but it was a huge reminder for me today that Instagram can be such a 'perfection trap'. I'm clearly super happy in the right one after @brontekingg had cracked a hilarious joke, I don't hate it but the lighting isn't 'flattering' nor is the way I'm holding my body or the angle of it but it's ME. Both of the photos are me 🙋🏼 I am proud of how I feel about my body looking at these photos. I feel like I look healthy in both & look after myself but also live without controlling myself like I have done in the past. So your Monday Motivation all the way from Singapore: People post the best photo out of a bunch taken... I know it's said a lot these days but it helps me a huge amount too. If you see a photo of yourself in 'bad' lighting or an 'unflattering angle' just remind yourself how beautiful you are & that you're ALLOWED to look like that. We were not made to be Barbie dolls who LOOK insanely good 24/7, we were made to be humans who FEEL insanely good 24/7 💛

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The London-based presenter, model and lifestyle blogger is on a mission to shatter the illusion of those “perfect” body shots and promote positive self-image.

On Aug. 8, she shared side-by-side pictures of her “bikini bod” — taken just second apart — revealing the difference the right angles and lighting can make.

And this isn’t the first time the 24-year-old has posted photos that illustrate “Instagram” vs. “reality.”

We've all seen hundreds of these but they really do help me 1. Be honest with you & 2. Feel body confident in myself 💃🏼 I'll let you into a little secret... @mathewlcarter was snapping away like the amazing boyfriend he is & I stopped half way through to say I really felt uncomfortable. He asked why & I said I just feel like my legs look chunky. You see so many girls on their tiptoes 'posing' & I'm guilty of it too. It makes your legs look leaner & longer... but in reality, yes I am nearly 6 foot & I'm lucky to have long legs, but they are still the part of my body I feel conscious of. I know some of these 2 photo 'posing' 'natural' posts are done wrongly & they actually make you feel worse about your body, but a lot are done in the right way & really help me. Even though I preach body confidence & 'embracing the wobble' I still have moments where I feel like I want to hide my legs... but what's different is how I deal with it. I give myself a little prep talk & shake off that negativity & remind myself what they do for me! They carry me round every day & are strong mother f🍿🍿kers. I then just stopped 'posing' & smiled the biggest smile I possible could & it completely changed my mood. It's okay to find your 'pose' you feel comfortable in in photos, the tiptoe, the hip to the side, the one leg in front of the other... but it's even better to feel comfortable just standing flat foot on the ground, smiling like the grinch 🙋🏼 Rashie - @une_piece @seen_group 🍉

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When asked why she started sharing these shots, King said that there wasn’t anyone on Instagram to whom she could relate. “It didn't help with my body confidence. For an almost 6-foot-tall girl, who has always had a bigger build than my friends. I found the body shapes on Instagram unrealistic and unachievable for me,” she told TODAY Style.

Her goal? “I want my Instagram to act as a support platform and for girls to see me as an older sister figure, sharing my journey to help them.”

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Women strip down to embrace their beauty ahead of swimsuit season

Play Video - 5:31

Women strip down to embrace their beauty ahead of swimsuit season

Play Video - 5:31

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And it's partially for herself as well. “It's taken me a long long time to get where I am now with my body and self-confidence,” she continued.

“I think the more open I am on social media, the easier it is for me to accept my own body. Every time I show my 'wobbly bits' or my 'imperfect bits,' I feel a sense of freedom. I understand my body better than ever and want to share my experience with others, so hopefully it guides them to a similar place I'm in now.”

She has a message to other women who may struggling with body confidence: “You’re not alone. Those wobbly bits you have, I have them, too. Those imperfect bits you worry about, I do, too. We were not made to be Barbie dolls, who look insanely good 24/7, we were made to be humans who feel insanely good 24/7.”

Her openness, honesty and confidence are an inspiration, and a reminder that social media may not be real, but self love certainly is.

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