Bree Lenehan is an Australian woman who began using social media to expose the truth behind the “perfect” poses we see online while scrolling through our phones. The influencer has a large following for her body-positive content that highlights the differences between “Instagram and reality” and warns her followers not to believe everything they see online, but rather, to embrace and accept their bodies as they are.
She exposes the reality behind side-by-side pics.
Instagram is obviously just a highlight reel of our lives, but it never hurts to be reminded of this every so often. A quick, casual scroll through Instagram will reveal a myriad of images of near-perfect and seemingly flawless women to whom we frequently compare ourselves.
However, there are at least a dozen less candid images that reveal the reality hidden in each exquisitely angled and edited image. That is Bree Lenehan’s mission on Instagram, where she frequently posts side-by-side photos, proving the reality behind an unstaged photograph.
Most of the photos depict Bree resting her hands on her hips and striking a pose before switching to her more natural shape. She also provides fitness advice and frequently uses her platform to post encouraging words for her followers.
Doing this, the Instagram influencer posts images intending to be an advocate for body positivity, emphasizing how people should not be discouraged by “flawless” images because they’re typically taken from a good angle after trying to suck in their stomachs.
The idea is that by showing both the outtakes and the winning shots, she can remind her audience that no one is perfect all of the time. “I want to be a safe corner of the internet that shows up authentically and use this platform to encourage you to be kinder to yourself,” she wrote in the caption of a picture.
She embraces natural features and defies any beauty ideals.
Many of us believe that the spectacular, frequently digitally altered images of people we see on social media are entirely real, and they make us feel bad about our own bodies. Photographs of flawless bodies and faces are also idealized representations of genuine beauty.
Bree’s profile aims to dispel these myths by showing off her stretch marks, cellulite, pimples, loose skin, and belly with the goal of convincing everyone that we are all humans with natural and flawed bodies, and that’s okay as it is.
“The way you feel is so much more important than the way you look,” she shared in one of her motivational posts. In this modern era, when we are all publicly assessed by others, the obsession with having the ideal body and skin is much more pervasive.
On the other hand, some people enjoy exposing their bodies without the aid of Photoshop or other image editing programs and aren’t afraid to let the world see their true beauty.
“We’re promised we’ll be happier and more confident if we lose weight, have perfect skin, and sacrifice special memories for a specific body,” Bree wrote. “What they never tell you is how you’ll still feel unhappy in your skin either way because your self-esteem has less to do with your body and more to do with the negative way you speak to yourself and the unrealistic expectations.”
Bree wants to inspire people to be confident in their own skin and to stop caring about what other people look like online every day. However, she also disproves the widespread misconceptions we all share outside of social media.
For instance, after trying on a dress in the dressing room, we might decide against buying it because we feel it does not look good on us. On this point, Bree stressed how seeing something in a different light can completely change how you perceive your body.
“I was never told that 80%-90% of women and (10% of men) have cellulite. That having cellulite, stretch marks, hip dips, belly fat, etc. is almost as normal as having knees and fingers!” Bree also stated, “We’re shown posed, filtered, perfected, edited, and carefully curated images online…But we’re not always shown the everyday, no makeup, living in slacks, oily hair, unedited, unposed reality.”
Bree prioritizes self-love above anything else.
Bree’s mission has been a success, as proven by the reaction of her followers, who have found a happy place by following this upbeat woman. Negative comments about our own bodies can make us feel bad and unsuitable in the eyes of others, but as Bree points out, idolizing other people’s bodies and appearance can be unhealthy and unrealistic.
This body-positive influencer wants to boost your self-esteem by example. Her upbeat posts and projects are intended to motivate you to love and accept yourself today and every day.
Self-love is important in all shapes, sizes, skin colors, body types, and beyond. We will finally be able to love ourselves and others more once we learn to accept our bodies and embrace their natural beauty.
Bree has learned to love herself and has made it her life’s purpose to assist others in doing the same. Although it may not be easy for everyone, she continues to offer suggestions on how we can be more tolerant and understanding. She shared, “The more we see normal women with normal bodies, the more realistic our expectations will be, and then hopefully more of us will accept ourselves too.”
Please note: This article was updated in November 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.