The new online honesty

online honesty

Imagine if we decided to be less perfect on Instagram. What if we only posted photos of our only-okay days? What if we posted with more honesty? Journalist Renate van der Zee is all for it.

Bente van de Wouw is a Dutch blogger, columnist, and an online editor at Flow. She is promoting ‘the new honesty’ on her Instagram @tobehonestnl. “I want to shatter this idea of the perfect picture,” she says. “I noticed that we are often dishonest online and that this can make people really insecure. We start to wonder why our lives aren’t so perfect, what are we doing wrong? It really is okay to show people the reality.”

The fact that so many people can relate to this is evident from the many responses Van de Wouw received to an article she wrote about an app that can edit your selfie to make you look perfect. She published two photos with the article, one showing what she really looks like and one that has been edited by the app. Suddenly, she had fantastic, unblemished skin and perfect eyebrows.

“So many people told me that they finally understand how everyone on Instagram manages to have such a perfect face!” says Van de Wouw. “I wanted to prove how bizarre this is, that you can look at a photo on Instagram and think: I can never look like that. And then it all just turns out to be fake.”

Van de Wouw also reports honestly on how she ended up having a burnout a couple of years ago. “Recently, I was on the beach and, although that may seem really nice, I sat there hyperventilating the entire time,” she says. “It’s not what it seems and I just tell people this. I’m also seeing more and more people who are honest on social media saying that not every part of their life is great. I follow someone on Instagram who posts stories like this: ‘Saturday evening and in bed at 7 p.m.; depression really isn’t much fun’. I find it great that she does this, I think: Finally, someone who’s honest about it. This isn’t that strange when I realize that I also have a crappy Saturday evening myself now and then.”

  • Read the full story ‘The new honesty’ in issue 31.
  • Follow Bente’s adventures through her honest illustrations on Instagram.

Text Renate van der Zee  Illustrations Bente van de Wouw (@tobehonestnl)

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