Danae Mercer, a journalist and influencer specializing in health and wellness, recently went viral for highlighting how misleading social media images can truly be with a little help from the right lights, cameras and angles.
In a Thursday Instagram post that has since been liked nearly half a million times, the former editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East shared side-by-side mirror selfies in a one-piece swimsuit.
In one image, Mercer angled her body to play up her back and thighs; in another, she squatted to show off cellulite and stretch marks.
Citing lighting as the “main difference” between the two pictures, Mercer pointed out that her “lumps and bumps are on show” in the second picture -- and explained why that’s realistic.
“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,” she explained. “The same thing happens on SOCIAL MEDIA, just in a different form.”
“It’s art and photography, and there is no shame in wanting to look FIERCE,” the Dubai-based blogger went on. “But I also want to remind you about how SO MUCH on here is FILTERED. POSED. PERFECTED.”
With that being said, Mercer urged her following of 840,000 not to compare themselves to others or their picture-perfect highlight reels shared the internet.
“You’re just seeing their snapshots taken in PERFECT LIGHT,” she stressed.
Mercer’s candid words of advice have since gone viral, as her honest post has since received over 445,000 likes online.
“You’re so real and amazing. A hell of a woman,” one fan wrote. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“You have no idea how much these posts have helped my self-esteem,” another confessed.
“I will strive to have your confidence. And thank you for all you do to change perception,” another echoed.
Mercer often uses her Instagram platform to make a splash and speak her mind, tackling topics like diet culture, photo editing and self-confidence.