Iskra Lawrence shares side-by-side photos to show how easy it is to edit pictures - and how harmful it can be

Chelsea Ritschel

If you're regularly scrolling through Instagram, it has become rare to see an unedited photo - a fact Iskra Lawrence cleverly reminded her followers of with a side-by-side comparison photo.

The body-positive model uploaded a completely unedited photo of herself to Instagram alongside a photo that she altered in “two minutes” with photo-editing app Facetune to show the difference even slight editing can make.

“Spot the difference. The first pic on the left is me. The REAL me. No editing, posted up the pic exactly how it was when I took it. Pic number 2 on the right. Well this is the Facetuned version of me,” Lawrence wrote of her two-minute altering, before asking her four million Instagram followers to comment what editing they think took place.

The 27-year-old, who often uses her platform to promote body positivity, then reminded her followers that not everything we see online is real.

In the second photo, Lawrence subtly smoothed the skin on her face, chest, and stomach to remove blemishes and make her look flawless - minimal edits that may have gone unnoticed if she hadn’t also shared the unedited version.

She wrote: “This is what’s all over the gram (subtle editing) and images you’re consuming every single day everywhere you look. And without a side-by-side like this, many people believe that this is how people look ‘naturally.’”

The model then pointed out that, in reality, what we see on Instagram is the result of editing and 100 other almost-identical photos taken to get the perfect one - and that it can be “damaging” to pretend the images are unedited.

“So you’re scrolling through daily thinking am I meant to look like this? ABSOLUTELY NOT. THE REAL YOU IS GOOD ENOUGH!” Lawrence continued. “The real you is good enough so let’s start celebrating that and know that Facetune or photoshop will not make you happier or more confident. Finding the things you can be grateful for and love about yourself will.”

In addition to portraying unrealistic beauty ideals, studies have shown social media has a negative impact on mental health.

The emphasis on filters and editing has also resulted in a rise in teenagers looking to undergo plastic surgery in an effort to replicate their filtered selfies.

On Instagram, Lawrence's photo received close to 200,000 likes and hundreds of comments from people praising her for her honesty and transparency.

“Love this! Needed this… Thank you for sharing,” one person wrote.