"I'm presenting the whole picture."
Vanessa Carlton is the latest celeb to speak out speak about the dangerous effect social media can have on a person's body image. The singer, 35, shared two very different photos of her stomach on Instagram, along with a powerful message about the "faux perfection" of selfies.
"[G]iven what I've been seeing online and knowing the way young girls and boys are affected by what they see, well, I feel moved to do this," she wrote, adding that perfectly-curated social media snaps are "never the whole picture."
The first photo shows Carlton's taut tummy next to another picture, taken on the same day, of her hunched over with a few stomach rolls. (More proof that everyone gets them!) The singer said she hoped the two side-by-side images would demonstrate how different poses, angles, and lighting can be used to manipulate the images you see on social networks like Instagram.
"People that post photos of their bodies and faces online, have almost always taken about 9 photos in hopes of getting that perfect angle," she pointed out. "Then you see it and you think 'wow she looks amazing', meanwhile the girl that posted it is frantically checking her 'likes' and comments. I've done it myself."
Carlton added that she's proud of her body for what it's been through, including an appendectomy and a Caesarean section when she gave birth to daughter Sidney, 1. "I'm presenting the whole picture," she said. "I'd say I earn both of these shots."
She then encouraged young people to remove themselves from the "cycle" of seeking approval from others. "[A]ll you social media devotees know that life online can be adorable and funny and connected and it can also be a manifestation of deep insecurity and faux perfection."
She summed up by acknowledging that she needs to remember to take her own advice: "This is a message to myself, too."