This Model Lost Thousands Of Instagram Followers For Posting These Photos

Not everyone can handle the (Instagram) truth. After the dramatic exit of social media star Essena O'Neill from Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Tumblr on the grounds that the platforms promote inauthenticity, model and Instagrammer Stina Sanders resolved to share "realistic" (and often unglamorous) photos with her 13,000 Instagram followers for one week.

#tbt a year ago today dream team!! @ktalikowski @courtoncamera33 😈

A photo posted by STINA SANDERS (@stinasanders) on

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The 24-year-old typically posts shots of herself modeling, vacationing, or hanging with her photogenic French bulldog and/or her boyfriend (if you're feeling a twinge of jealousy, that's the point), but for the sake of experiment, Sanders recently posted photos of her chipped pedicure, psychotherapist visit, and upper-lip-hair removal instead. All without filters, naturally.
"I wanted to see what would actually happen if I stopped posting glamorous photos, and shared stuff that you wouldn't normally even share with your friends, stuff that is taboo, stuff that was quite crude, all that kind of stuff," Sanders told People. "Personally I think Instagram is so fake — the amount of filters, the airbrushing — so I thought it would be interesting."

What happened is that Sanders lost thousands of followers, the count dipping below 10,000. The numbers of likes her "honest" photos received, on the other hand, were much higher than average, and the pics garnered comments from women who thanked Sanders for showing her experiences with personal hygiene and mental health issues alike (historically, most of Sanders' commenters have been admiring men).

De-fuzzing Monday! 🌳

A photo posted by STINA SANDERS (@stinasanders) on

In the wake of recent media coverage, however, Sanders' follower count has now soared to 37,400. Still, she acknowledges that her new, un-glam aesthetic — which she intends to continue to include in her Instagram — isn't for everyone. "Social media is an escapism for most people," she shrugged. "As much as we claim to not care what someone has had for breakfast or [about] their latest holiday snap, we would rather see that than a horrific selfie." That may be true for some Insta-voyeurs, but others are glad to see that even a model's feet are less than camera-ready after a long run. Instagram celebrities: They're just like us.
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