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A woman's side-by-side TikToks show how easily videos can be edited to create unrealistic beauty standards

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A side-by-side of two screenshots of TikToks of a woman showing how videos can be edited.
Doina Ciobanu posts "social-media versus reality" videos on TikTok. Doina Ciobanu
  • Doina Ciobanu has been posting side-by-side edited and unedited videos on TikTok.

  • The posts expose how social-media videos can be altered to make people look completely different.

  • She said she hopes her posts show people that what they see on social media doesn't reflect reality.

It's no secret that much of what we see on social media isn't real.

But even the savviest social-media users often don't realize that videos can be edited as heavily, and as easily, as photos.

That's why TikTok user Doina Ciobanu, who had 68,000 TikTok followers and 853,000 Instagram followers at the time of writing, is using side-by-side videos to show people just how drastically you can alter a video before posting it online.

Doina Ciobanu posts side-by-side TikToks that show how people's bodies can be edited in videos

@doina

Not the best background as it’s too complicated and it “shows”, but you’ve seen in my previous videos it’s impossible to even tell that it’s “edited” 👀 #editing #model #beautystandard #mentalhealth #bodypositive

♬ original sound - Kiera Lyons 🕯🕰🗝

Ciobanu, 27, is a creative director and sustainability consultant, as well as a former model. She splits her time between Milan and London.

Ciobanu, who told Insider that she's struggled with eating disorders in the past, said she wanted to expose the ways videos can be edited after watching the online experiences of her 15-year-old sister and her sister's peers.

"I've gradually recovered from the negative, comparative mindset that once ailed me," she said. "The daily deluge of perfected, but manipulated, content tends not to impact me as much anymore."

"I have realized that not everyone is capable of judging what they're seeing and understanding that so much content isn't wholly genuine or accurate," Ciobanu added.

@doina

Another “camera” experiment for you 📸 TAG a friend who’s told you they “wished” they looked “as good” as someone else online👇🏻they need to see this

♬ Tokyo - Lo-Fi version - Leat'eq

"I worry that she's at an impressionable age where it's easy to compare herself to others and come away with a negative sense of self, because she hasn't developed a full suite of mental-strength skills at her disposal," Ciobanu said of her sister.

To Ciobanu's point, an internal Facebook study reviewed by The Wall Street Journal found that "32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse."

The outlet also reported that another internal Facebook presentation said that Instagram made "body image issues worse for one in three teen girls."

Ciobanu decided that the best way she could help her sister and others was by making TikToks that showed how easily videos could be edited to create standards of beauty that are unattainable.

@doina

Since so many of you found my previous example “too subtle”, here is a more extreme one. Also with this background you can’t even tell it’s edited 🥲 #editing #beautystandard #model #bodypositivity #mentalhealth

♬ original sound - Kiera Lyons 🕯🕰🗝

Ciobanu said it takes mere seconds to transform herself using editing apps

Ciobanu uses free video-editing apps to alter her videos for her posts. She typically makes her waist smaller and her legs look longer in her TikToks, some of which have been getting millions of views.

As she made the posts, she said she was surprised by how easily she could totally change her appearance.

"I've always thought of photo editing as easy and video manipulation hard, but that's not the case," Ciobanu said.

@doina

Tag a friend that needs to see this and be reminded to love themselves🥺💙 #editing #fashion #socialmedia #bodypositive

♬ original sound - Kiera Lyons 🕯🕰🗝

"These apps have become so good at altering a body or a face that what you see in my videos takes roughly three seconds to achieve," she added.

"It's disturbingly easy to create an 'alternative you,'" Ciobanu continued.

The differences between some of the before and after videos that she posts are subtle, which only emphasizes how easily people can post altered clips without others noticing.

Ciobanu said her goal wasn't to criticize social-media users, but to make them more aware of what they're seeing when they go online.

@doina

As the sound says, this is really why you shouldn’t trust and most importantly COMPARE yourself to what you see online. You never know who’s altered what🙏🏻💻 #fashion #socialmedia #beautystandards #bodypositivity

♬ Entirely different person - Cici Shoez

"The content is about education," she said. "A lot of people have come to understand that flawless skin in a photo can be a sign of makeup or Photoshop, but we also have to come to understand that all elements of any digital content aren't necessarily true to life."

"Don't get sucked in and feel bad because you think you don't personally stack up against what you see online," Ciobanu advised. "It likely looks very different in reality."

Read the original article on Insider

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