Madison Beer's Unedited Acne Selfie Shows How Deceiving Social Media Can Be

"I promise you 99% of my time is spent at home in sweats, no makeup, looking nothing like my recent images."

It's something that so many of us do: compare ourselves and our lives to other people's social media pictures. But Madison Beer said that all this comparison is a trap—and decided to call out the problems of comparison culture in a series of Instagram Story posts.

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When the 22-year-old singer posted a selfie to Instagram in 2021, comments praising Beer for how beautiful she is quickly came in.

But some comments came from people who used the picture to compare themselves to her: "the fact i'm using my hair the same way but i look 100 times worse 💀," one person wrote. "i dream about looking this beautiful," another said. "i'd do anything to look like this," "why do i live, "I can't imagine being this beautiful 😍," and "HOW DO U DO THIS," were some of the other comments left on the post.

Beer Shares Selfie Revealing Acne

After reading through the comments, Beer posted pictures and notes to her Instagram Story to set some things straight. "I hate the culture we've created that makes girls think they have to compare themselves to one another… that someone else's beauty takes away from your own," wrote Beer. "I promise you 99% of my time is spent at home in sweats, no makeup, looking nothing like my recent images. i wish this was common sense."

Beer then shared a photo of herself with acne from four years ago: "Did I ever post this? Most definitely not," wrote the singer. The next photo Beer shared to her Story showed her with clear skin—the way we all "would've ever known/seen" her.

Instagram / @madisonbeer

Behind the Instagram Story

"No one looks like their Instagram profile all the time, no one lives the life they portray online. Everyone's trying to put their best foot forward. everyone's trying to impress each other," wrote Beer.

"There's so much you don't see. The two hours of hair and makeup. The beauty light I'm sitting in front of, the 700 pictures that i took before I find one I'm satisfied with. I cover up my own insecurities to protect myself from the damage it would cause to see other people pointing them out over and over in the comments section.

"It's all something we fall victim to—I'm not immune the way u think I am—I literally spent so much time rotting my brain by comparing myself to people on social media.. I still do. It's a trap i have to dig myself out of over and over," continued Beer.

Beer laid out the reality of what goes into a post and the dangers comparing yourself does to self-esteem so she could help "change the conversation into one that allows all women to coexist and be beautiful in a way that's more than skin deep."

Instagram / @madisonbeer

The Dangers of Comparison Culture

Comparison culture can have an impact on social media users' mental health.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, admitted to conducting years of in-depth research on the effects of its products, concluding that Instagram isn't helpful for teens' mental health. "We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls," reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in 2021.

Facebook data from 2020 found that 32% of teen girls said when they "felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse," adding that "comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves," reported the WSJ.

Beer's Advice

As for Beer, the singer stayed positive for her fans. "Life is so much more than physical appearance I promise u. the most boring vapid people are the ones who ONLY put stake on the outside," wrote Beers.

She finished her note with this reminder: "COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY. please don't let it fool you.

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  1. Seetharaman, Georgia Wells, Jeff Horwitz and Deepa. “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show.” Wall Street Journal, 14 Sept. 2021.

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