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In a time where everyone seems to be an influencer with perfect outfits, perfect poses, perfect lighting, and perfect bodies, Meijer reveals the not-so-perfect reality by sharing exactly what goes on behind each seemingly perfect shot.
The 26-year-old from Amsterdam is gaining attention for posting her flawless Instagram photos right beside her hilarious photoshoot bloopers. As it turns out, showing the side-by-side images have drummed up lots of attention for her Instagram account. Oh, and lots of praise for showing a realistic side to the somewhat toxic social media platform.
“Instagram can be a place where you leave sad and bad about yourself,” Meijer told the Daily Dot. “So for me to turn that around with the more candid pics and make people feel like they’re the same as the influencer they’re following was really cool to experience.”
Meijer reflected on the first time she shared a well-curated photo next to one of her outtakes, about a year ago. At the time, she wrote in the caption of the post that she wanted to “keep it real,” but at the same time, she was hesitant because she didn’t know exactly how her followers would react.
“I was very nervous for my first post,” she explains. “It was the first time ever for me to really post an ‘ugly’ picture next to a pretty one. I thought it was really funny but also I was scared people wouldn’t react that great and maybe would leave nasty comments.”
“[As it turns] out, I only got extremely positive comments and the post got the highest engagement I ever reached by far,” she said.
View this post on Instagram
So while waiting here at the airport in Berlin I figured no better way to spend my time than to keep it real. This is not gonna be some long emotional story (not that there’s anything wrong with crying and talking to yourself in the shower obviously) but just a little small reminder that every pic you see on my account is one in a hundred (or sometimes four hundred) and it was all about the right angle, right lighting and of course the right filter. Nothing perfect about me and nothing perfect about my life (except for @royatiya, and my parents❤️). Just a girl with big dreams who’s going to regret posting this in 1,2,3...
A post shared by RIANNE MEIJER (@rianne.meijer) on
Even though Meijer is a Cosmopolitan Netherlands Covergirl and an Instagram influencer with a huge following, she says she used to feel immense pressure to measure up to others on the platform.
“If you scroll back on my page you see I started out with only ‘perfect’ Instagram pictures,” she explained. “I felt the pressure because of all the beautiful girls I saw all day every day. It was the biggest relief to show the other side.”
Meijer said the biggest thing that helped her was unfollowing some of the accounts that contributed to that.
Meijer urges young girls to only follow accounts that make them feel “really happy.”
“Skip all the accounts that make you feel like you’re not good enough and try to find the ones that make you smile,” she explained.
Meijer also wants to see more influencers show the “other side” to their perfect photos as well. She thinks it would be great for “young girls to see the imperfect side” to help take some of the pressure off. She said it would give young girls the attitude of, “if she can do it, I can do it too.”
So far, her message has translated well. She said girls have reached out to her, telling her that seeing her behind-the-scenes moments has made them feel less insecure about themselves.
When it comes to getting those perfect pictures, she said it’s actually a lot of work. She oftentimes takes hundreds of photos before getting the “perfect” shot.
“It’s all about the right lighting and right angle,” Meijer said. “If you figure that out, it gets easier and easier.”
For now, Meijer is just focusing on her Instagram account and continuing to inspire others on the platform–but she would also love to publish a book one day.
And while the platform seems to only be about what’s on the outside, Meijer said that’s not the most important part.
“Make sure you’re happy about your inside, and it will shine through on the outside,” she said.
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H/T My Modern Met
Elizabeth VanMetre is a reporter based in Wyoming. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News, Yahoo Travel, and more. She hosts a local morning show in Wyoming.