45 Photos That Demonstrate The Expectation To Be Perfect Online Is An Illusion

By Bruna L

In the online world of social media, perfection is not only desired but it’s usually required if you want your profile to survive and thrive, especially when it comes to Instagram! You must have a perfect life online; otherwise, people won’t want to interact with you. We all know an ideal life is simply not possible, though, and this kind of thinking can be extremely harmful. That’s why some influencers have come up with the hashtag #instagramvsreality to show the world what goes on behind the cameras. They provide perfect examples that prove that all of the perfection we see online doesn’t come naturally and actually requires quite a bit of work! So, if you ever felt pressured to have the perfect online presence, you don’t have to worry anymore. Check out these 45 honest Instagram vs. reality comparisons!

Little ghost

With Halloween so close already, we can’t help but feel the urge to decorate our entire house with the spookiest decorations! Sometimes, not even our pets are safe from the Halloween craze and end up like the doggie below!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/rsl.xo

Of course, he was having none of it and tried to put up a fight, but it’s impossible to get away from a stubborn owner set in showing off their ghost dog for Halloween! We don’t know about spooky, but these pictures are definitely the most adorable things we have ever seen!

Lazy boy

We can all agree that cats are one of the biggest internet sensations out there! For some reason, these fluffy little creatures have captured the hearts of pretty much everyone online – It’s impossible to go anywhere on the internet without crossing paths with at least one of them!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/acorlett1

Now, if you want to become a famous influencer, you need to attract people to your social media page, and there’s no better way to do that than with a cute picture of your cat! Unfortunately, cats are moody creatures and may not always be up for a surprise photo session!

Love of leaves

Raking leaves can be considered a pretty tedious task, but if you remember the salad days, you probably know just how fun those big piles of dry leaves can be! And better yet, your dog knows too! Jumping in piles of leaves is just as fun to them as it is to kids!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/gritstonesausage

It’s no surprise that some owners would like to save the sight of their beloved pets having fun for eternity! And if it lands a few likes on Instagram, even better! Unfortunately, dogs are always full of energy, and taking the perfect shot requires a lot of patience!

Messy living room

When it comes to Instagram, having a seemingly perfect life is a must if you want to be popular and have an active online community. That, of course, includes having the perfect house as well, especially if you’re into interior design and things like that!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/72_messyhouse_happykid

But, if you’re married and have kids, keeping the house perfectly tidy is an arduous task most of the time. It’s impossible to keep track of all the clothes, shoes, and toys everywhere, but if you think about it, that’s totally fine! That just means a loving family lives there!

Sea of leaves

For some reason, kids love jumping in big piles of dry leaves! There’s no explanation except they are curious and imaginative creatures that love spending time having fun anywhere, even if their backyard is not the most sophisticated playground!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/amyanneconstant

This is the perfect opportunity for a proud parent to take thousands of pictures of their kids having fun and playing with all their energy! And, if you’re patient and have a little bit of luck, one of those pictures may be good enough for Instagram!

Cat in the sun

Who doesn’t love cats? They are adorable and, despite what some people may think, they’re actually quite loving and loyal pets! Once they get used to you, they’ll become your best friend forever, going as far as climbing on your shoulders for love and attention if you let them!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/elena.pelle

That’s the perfect opportunity for that adorable picture you’ve meant to take forever! Unfortunately, some cats seem to be allergic to cameras, running away the moment you point your cell phone at them! You can still take your picture, but the results will be less than flattering!


We all have that friend who just loves to talk all the time! It doesn’t matter if it’s their turn or not. They’ll just keep rambling about nonsense non-stop. It may seem quirky and exciting at first, but it tends to get old fast!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/cia.lorentzon

If you know what we’re talking about, then you can probably relate to the dog above! While he and his owner look pretty cute in the first picture, the second one is much funnier! What do you think the owner said? Maybe it was bath time!

(Literally) Behind the cameras

It’s challenging to take pictures of your home when you don’t care too much about tidying the place up. If you don’t pay attention and clean up nicely, the whole world will see your mess and might have something to say about it! Oh, the horror!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/bridieblaze

With this one simple trick, though, you will be able to take as many pictures of your house décor as you want! What trick is it? Well, just take all the mess in the frame and shove it behind the camera! Genius work!

Windy day

It’s not uncommon to take pictures in the hotel you’re staying at when you’re traveling. Some buildings were built precisely with this in mind! Breathtaking views and lovely balconies are the perfect combinations for a good picture, after all!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/taliaihnat

Unfortunately, some things need to be taken into consideration before snapping that shot. For example, if the day is windy and you have long, untamed hair, you better be patient; otherwise, you’ll look a mess in all your photos!

Just like mama

Nothing makes a mama prouder than when her daughter starts to emulate everything she does! From the way she speaks to the way she dresses, daughters love to copy it all! It’s not uncommon, then, to have full-blown photoshoots to show off this bond.

Image Courtesy of Instagram/elmiefairchild

Of course, kids will always be kids, and while some pictures will be the cutest thing ever, others will be funnier and goofier! That’s always a good sign, though. This just means the kid is having a blast and wants to show the whole world how happy she is!

Birthday shenanigans

Despite not showing it, cats genuinely love all the attention you give them. That’s why most cats out there simply adore when their owners throw birthday parties for them! They may look like they hate the little hats and all the fanfare, but we guarantee they love every minute of it!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/adilemanuti

At least, some of them do! Despite having a delicious birthday cake in front of them, the cats above seem to be much more focused on whatever is happening outside the kitchen window! Maybe it’s a raccoon or another cat. Either way, what a waste of cake if they didn’t dig in in the end!

Christmas TV

If you celebrate Christmas, you know just how loved this holiday is! We have Christmas movies, songs, clothes, decorations, and more. You cannot turn your TV on without being blasted by the Christmas spirit, be it the holiday sales at your local supermarket or Santa Claus and his elves.

Image Courtesy of Instagram/brit_sherman

It’s all over social media too! People love taking pictures during this period and showcasing their intricate decorations and fancy dinners around. Just be careful not to snap your picture at the wrong moment, otherwise, the world will know you love cheap reality shows!

Brotherly love

Ah, the love between two siblings! Nothing in this world comes closer to the bond people develop with each other when they grow with their brothers and sisters around! Of course, not everything is roses when it comes to that kind of love!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/sandratoohey3

No one wants to show that on Instagram, though. At least, not until now! Pictures showing kids with their brothers or sisters are popular, especially when they are perfectly cute together. But, they get much more interesting when they show the true nuances of sibling love!

A perfect family

No matter how much you try, the perfect family simply doesn’t exist. We definitely cannot expect flawlessness from every family unit, no matter how loving or caring they are. Knowing this fact, social media still tends to push us to seek unattainable perfection!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/alexandria_kokx

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a family picture that’s not focused on presenting its members as perfect beings. Moms and dads get tired too, and kids are not always the cute, well-behaved little angels we see all the time online!

“Delicious” juice

One thing that feeds so much of social media is travel pictures. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling for work or for pleasure. No one can help but take at least a couple of photos of their most recent journey!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/anwarsuganda

Sometimes, though, your trip won’t be as pleasurable as the pictures have others believe, especially if you’re an influencer or model promoting a brand that constantly needs to document your life. Sure, everything looks perfect. Can someone please bring some sugar for this juice?

Goofy boy

Of all the animals humans have domesticated over the years, dogs are definitely the goofiest ones out there, and there is no denying that! Sometimes, they may look majestic, but it only takes a second for your fluffy boy to turn into a little mess.

Image Courtesy of Instagram/ollie_the_samoyed

Don’t believe us? Well, just look at the picture above! The loving couple was taking pictures of their little family, and while they did manage to snap a good one for Instagram, their furry baby soon became too excited and ended up making a cute fool out of himself!

Smoke on the water

Did you know tea is a great beverage if you want to improve your health? That’s right! It boosts your immune system, helps with inflammation, and can even protect you from heart disease! It’s a great option if you’re looking to substitute coffee!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/the.marchesawrites

That’s why it’s not hard to find pictures on social media of people drinking it, discussing its nutritional properties, and sharing their favorite brews and brands! Of course, if you want to take a picture of your tea time, make sure to wait until the smoke sets!

We’ve all been there

Salads are one of those things that we either learn how to like while we’re kids, or we’re going to have a hard time getting used to it as adults. If you know what we’re talking about, then you understand the plight of the dog below!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/mododevidaperra

Apparently, the dog decided it was a great idea to eat its owner’s plants. The whole scene was so cute the owner took a few pictures. The result was what everyone would expect – a disgusted dog spitting leaves everywhere! We’ve all been there, buddy!

Hard-working girl

Seeing women working on jobs that are not considered inherently feminine is a breath of fresh air in today’s society. These accomplishments must be celebrated, and what better way to do that than with an amazing picture for social media?

Image Courtesy of Instagram/valeviewrenovation

It can inspire other girls and women to follow their dreams even if they don’t exactly fit with what society expects! Of course, it’s essential to show that not everything is a fairytale, too! Hard work pays off, but it’s exhausting as well!

Yoga hurts

When you see those gorgeous yoga pictures all over social media, you usually think about peacefulness and relaxation, right? In reality, it takes years to become proficient enough to master all those problematic positions and movements! You better get ready to stretch like crazy if this is your goal!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/valeriam_movimentobenessere

That’s right! Like any other exercise, yoga needs a whole lot of practice if you want to get on the same level as the professionals! Different stretches are essential, and so is strength and breath control! What are you waiting for? Get your mat and start practicing ASAP!

The climb

If you’re an outdoor kind of person, there probably isn’t anything more satisfying than going on an exploration! Hiking and climbing are probably your favorite activities, and you always get rewarded with beautiful views whenever you go on one of your expeditions!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/gallivantingbean

Being this kind of outdoor person is even better if you enjoy posting on Instagram! You’ll never run out of great pictures to awe your friends, after all! What they probably don’t know is how much you have to work for those pictures! Climbing is fun, but it’s incredibly tiring!

The perfect setup

Most of the perfect photos we see on social media don’t come together by coincidence. There is a lot of work put into them to make them as beautiful as they seem in the final shot. Complex setups and filters are applied to make the final product as Insta-worthy as possible!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/lucien_et_moi

For example, look at the pictures above! The first one is the one that was deemed good enough to post online. Looking at it, we wouldn’t believe the amount of work that was required to make it look that good!

Alpaca attack

Not many people can say they get to hang out with alpacas for a living! The ones that do have all the right in the world to brag all over social media with their cute pictures and their furry friends!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/beckyhesford

Especially when feeding time is such a blast! We don’t know for sure, but hand-feeding alpacas seem to be a really cool thing to do! That is until the rest of the herd notices you and attacks you to get a taste of that delicious snack in your hand!

Delicious Pumpkins

Animal pictures, especially household pets like dogs and cats, are trendy on social media! And that’s no surprise, considering everyone and their mothers have a pet of some kind, and they all want to share their cute buddies with the world!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/praddouille_aussie

We can all agree the dog above is the cutest little thing, but if you look at the behind-the-scenes picture, you’ll soon realize he is not as well behaved as he seemed at first! Apparently, not only are the pumpkins beautiful, they are delicious as well!

Naughty dogs

Dogs are man’s best friend, or so the saying goes. But, if you want to take a nice picture with your furry pals, maybe they won’t be as friendly as you have hoped at first, especially if they’re the energetic kind!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/madlovephotography

Anything can distract a dog, and if they’re overly excited about being out and about, things get even direr! Good luck taking that perfect Instagram picture you’ve been dreaming of! Your dogs won’t sit still long enough for that!

Fun on the slide

There are few things parents love more than to parade their kids on social media, even if they’re not really doing anything special! We don’t judge them, though – Kids need to know they are loved and what better way to show you care than to be the proudest parent out there?

Image Courtesy of Instagram/alliedemes

Unfortunately, sometimes things backfire a little, especially when your kids are having fun! It’s almost impossible to get them all to sit straight and look cute when there’s a huge slide they want to play on! At least you’re all having a great time together!

There goes the lollipop

There is a belief in the movie industry that you shouldn’t work with animals and kids if you want to be successful. Apparently, their cuteness will draw all the attention! Looking at the pictures below, you can’t really say that statement is a lie.

Image Courtesy of Instagram/savyandsons

And while both pictures are adorable, only the first one is deemed Instagram-worthy. The reason for that is apparent – No matter how lovely your daughter is, lollipops shouldn’t go in the nose! That’s just kids being kids for you, though!

Little kissy

Nothing in this world compares to the pure love a dog provides its owner. They don’t really ask for much – just some food, water, and the eventual walk in the park. In exchange, they’ll be your best friend and protector for as long as they live!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/jennaleanneflower_

There are no negatives when it comes to the love your fluffy baby can give to you, except taking pictures! If your dog is anything like the one above, you won’t have many chances to get close to them without being showered with kisses!

Horsing around

Be it a silly dog or a cute cat; people just can’t get enough of their pets! But these are not the only kind of animals people enjoy having around! Lizards, birds, frogs, rabbits, and horses are also super common and just as loving as your average furry friend!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/deborahvulas

At least, the horse above is! Known for their poise and majesty, you probably wouldn’t believe us if we said a horse loves playing around with its owner, and this one certainly does! Good luck trying to take a nice picture with him when he’s like that!

Angry baby

When it comes to new parents, there is one thing they love to do all day, every day, and that is to take photos of their cute mini-mes. Babies can be the cutest miniature models to use in any setting, but if they don’t love something, they’ll let you know.

Image Courtesy of Instagram/jamieeeee18

Unfortunately for this baby’s mom, the kid is not having any of it! They seem to just hate this photoshoot entirely! We can’t really blame them, though. Who would want to sit inside a bucket of dead flowers and what appears to be milk? Ew.

Best buddies

If you’re into horse riding, you know how important it is to bond with your mount. Not only does it allow for a better and safer experience while riding, but you’ll also end up with a pet as loving and loyal as any dog out there!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/brokxsport

And what’s better than a dog? Another dog, but huge! Horses love playing around with their owners just like dogs! Each one of them has its own personality, and some of them can be quite mischievous, too! Just look at the one above!

No more pictures today

Some people may not agree, but kids can be really cute when they want to. Parents love that, of course, and usually take this opportunity to take pictures for social media! After all, who wouldn’t want to showcase their adorable babies everywhere?

Image Courtesy of Instagram/nikkil1109

Unfortunately, young kids tend to get tired quickly, and the moment they do, you can bet they’ll let you know! Usually, it happens during a photo shoot, too, causing situations like the one above! Can we blame the baby, though?

Edible flower

Flowers are not only are beautiful, but some of them also have a delicious smell as well, which makes them the perfect decoration for your house if you have the time to take care of them. But, do you know who also loves flowers? Your pets!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/hugo.thedalmatian

That’s what this influencer realized once they tried to take a cute picture of their dog with a lovely pink flower. While they did get it in the end, it was hard to keep the dog from eating the flower!

Beach malfunction

If you don’t live close to the beach and go on vacation, you know you are going to take a few photos to show all your friends that you are having an amazing time. But we have to be honest. The beach can be a hard place to capture a perfect photo.

Image courtesy of jolieverhoaf/instagram

You can’t fight the forces of nature. If a wave wants to seep in and ruin the photoshoot, there is not much you can do to stop it. We have one question, though: Why does it look like she is about to go shopping downtown?

Gymnastics fail

If you think about it, Fall is the best season to exercise outside, especially if you live somewhere with mild weather all year round. It’s never too warm or too cold, and there’s no spring pollen everywhere to trigger your allergies!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/loloesb

You better pay attention to what you’re doing, though, because if you fail, things can get quite painful! Just focus on the exercise at hand instead of taking pictures, and you should be fine. Otherwise, you may end up face-planting on the ground! Ouch!


If you’re married and have kids, family pictures are a must on your social media! Everybody loves to see a big happy family doing activities, exploring places, and sharing new experiences together. You are sure to get some likes with those!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/shianne.barton22

Sometimes, though, taking pictures can be a little ordeal, and accidents may happen along the way! If you want to take a cute picture like the one above, for example, you might want to check where you’re going! Safety first, everybody!

After the hike

If you’re not really into exercising because you think it’s boring, maybe you just haven’t found out about hiking yet! If you go on a hike, not only will you get to exercise your body, but you’ll also experience nature firsthand!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/officially_topher

Not only that, but if you’re into taking pictures for social media, you can easily stumble upon beautiful sceneries that are perfect for that unique picture you’ve always wanted! Just remember, hiking is hard work, and resting is important! Just maybe don’t show that on camera!

Cats will be cats

We all know how cats are, right? One moment they are being extremely cute looking at us with those big, innocent eyes, and the next, they are pushing mugs and decorations out of cupboards while maintaining eye contact, no shame whatsoever!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/neko_and_simba

That’s pretty much what happened above! Just look at the interesting stare the cat sports in the first picture. He was always planning on destroying that décor piece! Flickering lights, a soft, biteable cork, and a delicate glass bottle are every cat’s paradise, after all!

Chilling out at the beach

If you live close to the beach, then you know just how much dogs love hanging out there! There’s plenty of space to run around, sand to dig, and water to play in. It’s basically a dog’s paradise! Sometimes, your dog loves it so much you can’t help but snap a picture of him being cute!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/faya_the_dog

Unfortunately, if you want an Instagram-worthy picture, you better be quick because your dog won’t sit still for long, that’s for sure! Not only that, but all the distractions will make him look super funny instead of super cute, as you can see above!


Not only are dogs perfect for being household pets, but they can also be great company if you enjoy hiking or just exercising in general. Most dog breeds out there are always full of energy, and bringing them along is not only fun but also fantastic for their health!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/eli_jcb

If you want to save a particular moment in nature with your friend, there’s no better way than to take a picture! If you have a curious dog, though, it can be quite impossible! That’s just the phone, you silly doggo!

Goofy vampire-cat

Color coordination is a great way to make your Instagram pictures more appealing. If you think about it, a little bit of color theory goes a long way to turn an average scene into a beautiful picture that will land you hundreds of likes!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/ohanamrtumnus

And that does not apply to clothes and interior design only! By using filters and props, every picture can become perfectly harmonized! Of course, if you’re taking pictures of your cat, you need to make sure he’s not being his goofy self first!

Angry boy

Cats may be loving and loyal, but there is a reason people think they are moody and angry all the time – They usually are! It doesn’t matter if they love you or not. They’ll only play when they want to and not a minute sooner!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/_supernovacat

You better not try to pet and play with them if they’re not interested! You won’t hear the end of it with their annoying meows, and worse yet, if you tease them too much, they’ll have no problem scratching you! So, beware of your cat’s mood swings!

Loving dog

One of the reasons dogs became such a massive part of human history is because, among other things, they are experts in showing love! Some of them may be better suited for guard duty, while others are better at helping humans in their everyday lives, but all of them are loving doggies no matter what!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/daphnetheminidachs

The dog above is no exception! He may be tiny, but his heart is certainly big! So, when his human picks him up for a little photoshoot, it’s no surprise what all he wants to show is how much he loves her! Nothing like a bit of dog smooch to brighten your day!

Looks can be deceiving

If you want to sell anything, you better be ready to learn how marketing works. Not only do you need to know what people want, but your product needs to be appealing as well! For that, all you need is some strategic product placement and staging!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/wlbdesigns

Take the image above, for example. Looking at it, you may think it was taken on a beach somewhere, and if you have this piece of decoration, you too can experience the beach right from your home! The truth is, this picture was probably taken miles away from the sea!

Don’t judge a book by its cover

The way we choose to present ourselves to the world does not always represent who we really are. Sometimes we tend to hide our inner selves for one reason or another – maybe we’re trying to fit in somewhere or walk with a certain crowd!

Image Courtesy of Instagram/elenaannamayr

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you prefer to post pictures looking fashionable or just chilling at home reading a book, dressed in a hoodie and sweatpants. The people who care about you will love you regardless, and that’s the beauty of it all!