Carolyn Stritch standing outside of a Disneyland castle and the separate photos of her and the castle to show how she went on a 'fake' trip.

theslowtraveler/Instagram Remix by Samantha Grasso

Woman fakes a Disneyland vacation to make a point about Instagram ‘perfection’

It was the face-manipulating app FaceApp that got her thinking—what else could she change?


Samantha Grasso


Posted on Mar 21, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 9:04 pm CDT

Instagram star Carolyn Strictch has followers in a fit after she “took” herself on a trip to Disneyland, only to later reveal that she digitally edited images to make a point about social media perfection.

On March 10, U.K.-based Strictch shared on the platform that in celebration of herself “turning 22” years old, she was treating herself to a trip to Disneyland.

“I’m off to Disneyland to Instagram the hell out of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I’ll be putting myself to bed nice and early tonight: I’m flying tomorrow and coming home Monday (need a magic carpet, not an aeroplane),” Strictch wrote. “I’ll be by myself, but so what? It’ll be my very own fairytale. Human possibilities vastly exceed our imagination!”

She later posted a photo of herself standing in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, not another person to be found in the background.

However, days after the first post, Strictch revealed that she looked much different than the woman in the photo—10 years older, in fact. In a blog post detailing her trickery, Strictch said she had used face-manipulating phone application FaceApp for the first time, and marveling at just how much different she looked, she wondered about the possibilities of social media manipulation and feigning a “perfect” life.

Her post, titled “Why I hacked my own Instagram account,” details just how easy it is to hide imperfections, and reveals that she wanted to challenge the way she portrays herself online, as well as the effects of that portrayal.

“I don’t usually FaceApp my face or pretend I’ve been places I haven’t. But I never read by the window—those windows, beautiful as they are, make my flat freezing cold. Sometimes that coffee cup I’m holding is empty. I suck in my stomach. I rearrange the furniture. I photoshop out dirty marks made by bashing furniture off the walls,” Strictch wrote.

Strictch’s social media experiment is reminiscent of a project by Zilla van den Born, a Dutch student who faked an entire backpacking trip through South East Asia to show the ease in distorting reality.

“Instagram is really good at escapism, the aspirational, the inspirational. So I try to get those things into pictures I post…But there’s a line. In this project, I crossed that line, went way, way over it so I could work backwards and figure out how far I can reasonably go and still make work that’s both responsible and good,” Strictch concluded.

Read Strictch’s entire post here.

H/T Business Insider

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2018, 3:40 pm CDT