Photoshop Fails: Influencers Who Created Unrealistic Versions Of Themselves For Social Media

By: Lilli Keeve | Published: Nov 18, 2022

It’s more than common these days to alter your appearance with some simple touches on a screen, but, sometimes, the result is even worse (or more noticeable) than the before photo. While it’s true that some harmless photo retouching never hurt anybody, just don’t forget that imperfections are part of what makes us human. 

That being said, let’s look at these 30 examples of influencers whose Photoshopping skills didn’t quite do the job.

Skinny Legs Or Just Sticks?

Not going to lie, this photo had the opposite effect on us – and it made us cringe. Picture this: you’re mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed and this image pops up. You’re probably thinking that those legs aren’t possibly real! Well, you’re correct. They’re Photoshopped.


Source: u/funpolicebendover/ Reddit

What’s even funnier about this photo is that her shoes are bigger than her calves. And legs. And thighs. She certainly didn’t think about how that would look, did she?! Needless to say, she didn’t fool us, and we’re more concerned about her unrealistic limbs than anything else. 


Economy Is For…Normal People

Flexing is cool just as long as you don’t get caught in the act as this guy did. This influencer, or social media connoisseur, was caught red-handed taking a picture from the economy section, but making it seem as if he was in first class. Dude, come on! At least be a bit more sneaky about this if you’re going to send a Snapchat. 


Source: u/Jah-Eazy/ Reddit

There are eyes everywhere. And internet trolls – lots of them! You better be careful next time because Big Brother is always watching (and ready to post your fails at any given moment). 

When Your Head Is Smaller Than Your Arms

What’s baffling to us is how people actually think this looks good. First of all, this head is pea-sized in comparison to his bulky arms. The kicker here is that none of this even looks realistic! Or, maybe that’s what this influencer was aiming for…unrealistic with maybe a tinge of realism. Plain and simple. 


Source: u/okay_but_what/ Reddit

Body proportions on social media have become a very hot topic, and, more often than not, the proportions of these influencers’ bodies just end up looking fake. This guy was definitely in that group. 

Photographer’s Version Vs. Model’s Version

This photo takes the term “graceful ballerina” to a whole new level. It’s sad that the ballerina felt so discontent with herself that she edited the photo she posted on her Instagram. We also were pretty shocked considering that we see nothing wrong with the original photo the photographer posted initially. 


Source: u/sicknessandpurgatory/ Reddit

It’s disturbing what some people deem as beautiful, when, in reality, the result seems even more extreme and unrealistic. It’s a cruel and judgemental world, especially on social media, but we just hope that people can strive to love themselves enough so they don’t have to do something like this.  

Don’t Forget To Blur The Mirror Reflection, Too

Wrinkles are a natural part of aging. However, many people use products to decrease signs of the aging process and all the wrinkles that come with it. The irony of this image is that the woman is promoting an anti-wrinkle cream, yet she neglected to blur her reflection in which she shows her clear-as-day wrinkles. 

Source: u/Magistraliter/ Reddit

This is a lesson that if you’re going to Photoshop your wrinkles, maybe don’t pose in front of a mirror where you forget to blur the real ones! Just yet another example of somebody trying to fix a natural result of being a human. 


Whitest (And Most Blinding) Teeth In The West

Nobody’s teeth should look this artificially white. Of course, it only could have been Photoshopped. The guy took teeth whitening to a whole new and clearly edited, level. We can’t help but feel blind after taking one glance at those pearly whites.

Source: u/thelostdemon/ Reddit

We also can’t help but wonder if his date decided to not see him again because she could barely look at him without averting her eyes. Folks, this is a lesson to never leave whitening strips on for too long, because the results are No Bueno. 


Unnaturally Big Eyes

Beautiful, big, and bright eyes are features to admire, but this lady took it too far. We warn you to not stare at this image for too long, or else you will be severely creeped out. She doesn’t even look human, but more like a frightening doll with massively piercing eyes.

Source: u/Its_Date_Mike/ Reddit

Without a doubt, this lady was inspired by Margaret Keane’s “Big Eyes” paintings. She obviously took her fascination way too far. Let this be a lesson, people. 


Skin Texture Makes Us Human

Our modern world is always exposed to photos of influencers and celebrities that have no basis in the real world – most of the time these people look extremely fake, but that’s what they want. Humans are full of flaws and imperfections, and that’s how it should be. We should try to own these things, not hide or obsessively fix them!

Source: u/January-J-Rose/ Reddit

Kim Kardashian is famously (or, infamously) known for Photoshopping her social media photos, almost to a fault. She’s gotten called out and criticized, yet she still does it. We get it…whatever makes you feel better about yourself, yet there should be a fine line between altering nearly every feature of your body and then posting it for the world to see. Often, people just feel even worse about themselves because they’re not Kim K. PSA: skin texture is a perfectly normal thing. 


Africa Or Asia? Even She Didn’t Know

These days, photos are typically edited to perfection that people don’t even know what’s real or not. In this case, the Sri Lankan influencer who posted this photo on Instagram obviously had no idea what the difference was between African and Asian elephants. 

Source: u/lionSLead00/ Reddit

This is a truly bad example of Photoshopping animals into one’s social media picture. She didn’t know her African elephants from Asian ones, but that’s really not the glaring issue here. What we’re wondering is: Why? Why did she feel she had to Photoshop elephants into her photo at all? Because it would get more likes and comments? Oh, right. That’s exactly why. 


Dang, Those Proportions Are…Not Real

In this day and age, unrealistic and unhealthy beauty expectations have reached a dangerous height. So, now people don’t even have fat or curves, but no ribs, too? This influencer shrunk her waist down too significantly to the point where we’re worried that her internal organs can even function properly.

Source: u/slm81/ Reddit

Those proportions though. Unrealistic to the max. We’re deeply concerned about the normalization of these popular body standards, as they will only continue to promote self-hatred and harsh body expectations for the followers of these influencers. A waistline that thin could only be the result of Photoshop. 


Slender Man Wears Skinny Jeans

We had no idea that Slender Man can rock some denim! Seriously, this guy’s legs are so thin, we’re concerned about what might happen if he were to injure them. There’s no way possible that this dude is a real human. That’s because he’s not…at least not his legs.

Source: u/NoCommunication5431/ Reddit

Even stick figures want to have new stylish pants. However, stick figures aren’t real humans and we can’t help but wonder if a “real” human would ever invest their money in these unrealistically skinny jeans.


Eyes So Piercing They Burn Holes In Your Hair

Ok, we’ll admit that this Photoshopped image isn’t as bad or extreme as the others on this list, but it’s not good, either. Her hair looks incredible, but…wait. What’s wrong with her eyes? We’re going to have nightmares about those piercing-into-your-soul eyes. 

Source: u/Romanbuckminster88/ Reddit

What’s really disturbing and damaging about this image, is how subtle the image alteration is. If you just saw this without zooming in and analyzing, you’d most likely think those were actually this influencer’s real eyes (aside from the burning holes in her hair part). 


An Exorcised Influencer

This photo wouldn’t have been that horrifying if she left her dang eyes alone. For real, we’re not joking when we say that if we saw his lady in real life we’d run the other way. She needs an influencer exorcism because there’s something unsettlingly disturbing going on behind her eyes.  

Source: u/Romanbuckminster88/ Reddit

The real – and sad – observation here is that her eyes are as big, if not bigger, than her actual face (which was already pretty enough, to begin with)! 


Delusions Of Beauty

Finding images of celebs and influencers that are misleading isn’t uncommon when you’re browsing the internet. It becomes severely harmful when you can’t even recognize the original person after they’ve edited their photo. 

Source: u/Sweatpant-Diva/ Reddit

In this particular instance, a Chinese celebrity Photoshopped herself so drastically that she looks like a completely different person. Trying to live up to toxic beauty standards is incredibly demeaning and invalidating. Just take notes on this side-by-side comparison photo of this celebrity. She almost resembles a ghost. 


New Face, Who Dis

Keep in mind that this influencer is a grown woman who morphed her facial features to look like that of a 12-year-old girl. Disturbing, much? She was already beautiful and then she decided to turn herself into a kid. This needs to stop. 

Source: u/DarleneAlderson1116/ Reddit

She has edited her photos so drastically to the point where she doesn’t even look her original age, at all. Why would she want to look like a young girl? This is a bizarre example of photo editing that goes too far. 


Anatomy…What’s That?

Here we go with yet another example of an influencer with no ribs. What is it with the body disfiguration trend? We can’t believe people actually get on board with this. Photoshopping has gotten to a dangerous place in our society, and this example is really upsetting. 

Source: u/morelinguine/ Reddit

This influencer took Photoshopping to a point where she doesn’t even resemble her true self and where her original anatomical features aren’t even present. These types of images keep promoting body dysmorphia and unrealistic body expectations for people. Loving yourself first with all of your imperfections is what’s most important. 


Hi, There. Are You A Sim?

Ok, this one we don’t get at all! He already has a perfectly chiseled jaw and seems handsome, so why add those creepy eyes to your face? The dude looks straight out of a Sims game. If you maybe thought only women are insecure about themselves, men are, too. Sometimes, they are even more self-conscious than females. 

Source: u/memeboat_annie/ Reddit

The added filters and unnecessary modifications make him less attractive. What would his date think when they see him in real life? They may be seriously disappointed that he didn’t look anything like his profile picture. 


A Real-Life Barbie And Ken

This influencer couple is the definition of being ultra-concerned with their online appearances. How amazing that you can actually not look anything like an actual human being! In fact, anything is acceptable in this image-obsessed society as long as you don’t resemble a flesh-and-blood person. Because that’s horrible and undesirable, clearly. 

Source: u/Ill-Cancel-6322/ Reddit

We are worried that these people can’t even move their facial muscles. They’re basically plastic Barbie and Ken, which was probably their goal before posting this image. All that botox and Photoshopping is going straight to their heads!


A Cheeto In Human Form

Remember Cheeto’s mascot Chester the Cheetah? He was one cool cat, but this woman is actually a Cheeto herself. There are too many orange and blindingly distorted facial and body features in one photo for us to not think she’s a Cheeto disguised as a giant human. 

Source: u/Sarahbeara1789/ Reddit

Everything in this image is overly enhanced to the absolute max, although she didn’t even manage to smooth down the flyaway hairs on her head. She was probably more concerned with making the rest of her body look exaggerated. And, those eyes. God, those eyes are scary. 


Who Needs Noses?

The very first thing we noticed in this extremely edited image was that this woman has no nose. Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch. How does she breathe?! How can she smell anything?! Maybe she should just Photoshop in a new nose for herself and fix the problem. 

Source: Bored Panda

Kidding. The glaring problem here is that she even edited this picture, to begin with, and made herself look fake and nonexistent. Not to mention, the overt use of saturation makes everything look washed out (including her nose). And, those eyes will for sure watch you when you’re sleeping. 


Where Does All The Food Go?

Forget that this girl doesn’t have a waist (or ribs), we want to know where the food that she eats actually goes. Unless, she doesn’t eat anything, which would explain everything. Oh yeah…it’s all Photoshopped! Surprise, surprise. 

Source: u/shljunki/ Reddit

This seems to be an extremely popular body trend: having small waists. The influencer seems happy, but her body probably isn’t. The funniest thing about this image is that somebody commented: “No actual trees were harmed in creating that tiny waist.” Jokes aside, these ridiculous standards need to be put to a halt.


Stuck In The Middle

Excessively airbrushed skin and face-tuned photos are a standard on social media nowadays. This isn’t funny anymore, although nobody was laughing in the first place. It’s not shocking considering the world is being run by influencers who Photoshop every little detail of themselves for public satisfaction and obsession. 

Source: u/deathstalker4/ Reddit

The woman in the middle clearly missed the memo, but, ironically, she’s the only one who doesn’t look 100% fake. Kim K, on the other hand, looks like she’s disappearing into the background and is only half-face-tuned. This begs the serious question: Was she even there to begin with?  


Mrs. Reed Richards

We couldn’t help but immediately wonder if this model was the wife of Mister Fantastic himself, Reed Richards, from The Fantastic Four films. Her legs are so stretchy and long that she could probably do some wild stuff.

Source: u/put_me_down_pls/ Reddit

Aliexpress is an online clothing website that sells skinny jeans for its consumers. We’re aware that many retail companies use Photoshop to edit their photos, but not when it comes to making their model look stretched out and extra tall. These are not magical skinny jeans. 


There Are More Realistic Drawings Than This

You’ve probably gotten to the point in this article where nothing surprises you any longer. There are photo editing tools galore and you can shrink any feature you want. This is a case study of what happens when you Photoshop your face beyond the point of perfection.

Source: u/ninriel/ Reddit

This is only one example, but it’s an alarming one. She looks like a cartoon character and her face looks drawn on. What could have been a nice and natural photo turned out to be a totally airbrushed portrait. We, too, can’t believe this influencer thought it was okay to post. Sheesh. 


What Is Wrong With Her Fingers?

While editing photos in a minor way is normal, going to extreme lengths in some cases is just something we have to question the motives behind. Not only does the girl on the right look incredibly fake and Photoshopped, but the fingers of the girl on the left has minds of their own. 

Source: u/maranka/ Reddit

Using the texture tool is a common thing for influencers to implement into their photos to make their skin tone look more even. However, the influencer on the left missed a little area that made her finger really weird looking. Guess the texture tool didn’t do everything it was intended to do. 


Aliexpress Does It Again

Here’s yet another example of the internet telling us that aging is gross and should be fixed. Look – an anti-aging product that will cure all of your worries! Ugh, when will it ever stop? People spend thousands of dollars on these sorts of products so that they can appear younger and more refined. 

Source: u/alma-s/ Reddit

Our good friend, Aliexpress, is here once again to tell you that there’s something wrong with you! What’s comical is that because they couldn’t even find a young model who looks like a senior citizen, they had to actually Photoshop her to look like a complete grandma. Yep, there’s an app for that. 


Fit In Vain

Fitness culture is an obsession, just like insane body standards. Although this influencer may have felt content with the results of her Photoshopped face, why didn’t she do that to the rest of her body? Maybe she truly just didn’t want the wrinkles or uneven texture on her face to show but appreciated the veiny shoulders and arms. Flaunt it if you’ve got it. 

Source: u/datman510/ Reddit

She does actually sort of look like Kim K, now that we’ve gotten a good look. Gym Kardashian, is that you?


Instagram Vs. Reality

Ok, it’s obviously gotten to the point where people even edit their biceps now. It’s clearly not even her own arm, so why think she’s fooling anybody? You know you can advertise a protein powder, be a fitness influencer, and still maintain some sort of authenticity? Oh, right. Authenticity isn’t a trend!

Source: Bored Panda

This influencer got called out hard because the photo of her, in reality, showed no biceps whatsoever. Just who do you think you’re fooling, honey? We hope she’s learned her lesson. 


Oh, Millennials!

Brands and consumer culture are really what make the world go round, especially for millennials. They’re more concerned with what they’re promoting in their photo than if it appears inauthentic or not. Take this influencer with her coffee cup as an example. 

Source: Bored Panda

Starbucks has made a name for itself as a “cool” coffee company, and it’s also become a trend of its own. What’s sad about this image is that she actually went out of her way to Photoshop the Starbucks logo on a plain coffee cup. We’re more than positive that she could afford to buy herself an actual drink from Starbucks…