Model Stina Sanders raised a fair few eyebrows on social media when she started posting numerous ‘real’ images online, but it is a choice she stands by.
The London-based model lost thousands of followers on Instagram with her fresh approach, but when her story went viral those numbers skyrocketed.
The Independent reports that the social experiment lost her 5,000 followers in total, but four months on Sanders has argued she will continue challenging stigma.
Speaking to the Independent she said:
The experiment has given me a lot of opportunities but the only thing it’s really changed is the perception that people had of me before. The stigma of being a model makes a lot of people stand on their back foot with you. I like to think I’ve challenged that stigma and shown that no-one, including models, are not perfect, nor do they think that they are.
Putting real photos online was daunting at first but then I had a quiet word with myself and asked myself, ‘who doesn’t suffer with anxiety, gross feet or look a little bit rough sometimes?’ I feel a lot more confident now because I’m not trying to pretend to be something that I’m not.
Despite the experiment officially being over, Sanders, who has modeled for the likes of Nike and Loreal, has continued to share honest photos anyway.
I enjoy posting real images as well as make-up photos, I think the balance is important. Poking fun of yourself and showing off your glad rags is (in my eyes) how social media should be.
‘m so glad I did it because the experiment has not only raised important issues like mental health, it’s also shown everyone that things aren’t quite what they seem.
People should accept their body for how it is. I’m an athletic build – I’ll never be six ft tall with big boobs. It’s important to understand that we’re all different and we’re all beautiful in our own way, inside and out. Someone will always want something that you have, whether that’s external or internal.
Here’s hoping Sanders’ message continues to reach the far corners of the web and attitudes will continue to be challenged.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.