Rebecca Vineyard
September 19, 2015 9:50 am

How many times have you scrolled through your Instagram feed, looking at pictures of seemingly delectable brunch plates and twee DIYs and gotten down on yourself for not having the same flawless existence as your friends? Well, in the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi: “It’s a trap!”

According to Cosmopolitan, what you see on Instagram might just be, well, pretty fabricated. We don’t want to call your friends liars, but let’s just say that for every snapshot of an impeccably organized closet or selfie sporting the perfect cat-eye liner there’s probably more than meets the eye.

That’s precisely what Thai photographer Chompoo Baritone is proving with her new photo series, which takes a wide shot of a picture, then superimposes the Instagram interface over the small section that would actually become the photo you’d see as you scrolled through your feed. For example, one image depicts a woman from her head to her thighs as she executes a pretty impressive headstand.

However, the wider shot reveals that a friend is actually holding the woman’s feet, her own feet planted far away as she leans over excessively in order to not be captured in the shot.

While we always knew that framing was key with our Instagram photos, it’s still pretty surprising just how much composition influences what people see, and subsequently read into regarding our lives. Another of Baritone’s photos features a Macbook carefully set on a bed with a couple artfully placed knickknacks. What that portion doesn’t reveal is the pile of clothes at the foot of the bed, some background clutter, and two cats.

Finally, an adorably crafted pair of shelves sporting succulents and other plant life is all fine and good, but the wider shot reveals that a cute DIY project can still be surrounded by a total mess:

Baritone’s insights come hot on the heels of the Socality Barbie page, a more deeply satirical Instagram account that seeks to point out the same insight: the way people “live” on Instagram isn’t real life, and while the images may be pretty, they’ve become too curated to still be interesting.

So, the next time you want to Intagram your zen day at the beach, maybe take a wider shot that includes your soda bottle or the umbrella of the nearby family. Sure, it won’t seem as glamorous, but you’ll be doing it for the sake of showing that you are, in fact, real.

(Images via Facebook.)