‘Perfection is the exception'
Why does everyone feel compelled to fake it on social media? Cropping, editing or even deleting, most of the content on social media is curated. And while the majority of users shamelessly accept and join the ‘perfect’ world that is Instagram, there are some voices out there that are trying to keep things real.
Katie Gee is one of these voices. As an acid attack survivor, she previously opened up to Marie Claire about her incredible recovery: ‘the face I see in the mirror is one I’m proud of. When people stare at me, I stare right back. I’m proud of my scars.’
So when a media outlet described her scars as ‘horribly disfigured,’ Katie decided to launch a social media campaign that celebrates beauty diversity and inclusion. Sharing a picture of herself showing her scars, she used the hashtags #SettingTheStandard and #ScarsOnShow as a way to redefine what we consider beautiful.
‘Not everyone is trying to be perfect,’ she explains. ‘Perfection is the exception; no one really looks like the pictures they post on Instagram. I want everyone to post a real-life photo, nominate friends and spread the word.’
And that’s exactly what is happening. After a mere four days, thousands of people on Instagram have used the hashtag #SettingTheStandard. ‘I’ve seen photos of people in bikinis who never wear bikinis. I’ve seen people who have their scars out and people with acne who usually always wear makeup,’ Katie reveals. ‘I didn’t think it would catch on but I’m so happy it did. It shows how messed up everyone is by social media.’
Katie herself admits to still thinking twice before posting. She uploaded a picture in bikini to the gram and captioned it: ‘I wanted to upload this photo but didn’t because I thought the skin graft scar on my leg was too prominent. The more I see people’s pictures the more I really want to carry #SettingTheStandards on – the people of insta need help. We are all a little effed up.’
A big deal because she rarely ever wears bikinis, but it’s the growing support that keeps her going. ‘I’m definitely going to carry on and see how big it can get,’ Katie says with ambition. She is even considering creating a #SettingTheStandard Instagram page to capture the success of the campaign. Sounds like another brilliant initiative.