'Pull back the curtain': Instagram influencer exposes techniques models use in photos to look slim, toned

Danae Mercer posts side by side images to show how lighting and posing can change a photo.
Danae Mercer posts side by side images to show how lighting and posing can change a photo. Photo credit: Instagram / Danae mercer

An Instagram influencer is on a mission to expose the way social media models use lighting and angles to change their appearance in photos, in a bid to promote body-positivity.

Influencer and journalist Danae Mercer, 33, uses her knowledge from working on magazine photo shoots to expose how subtle camera tricks can completely change how a person looks.

"The danger with social media is we feel like it's more 'real life' than what we now see in magazines and on TV," Mercer told Insider. "But it isn't, not really. It's incredibly filtered."

On her Instagram feed Mercer posts images of herself posed and then relaxed in an effort to reveal just how much of a difference such photography tricks can make.

She then captions the photos with explanations of how she posed, reminding her followers how filtered and fake Instagram photos are. 

In a side-by-side of herself posted to Instagram on Friday, Mercer explains how she used lighting to fully erase cellulite from her bottom half.

"Most insta-models know exactly how to pose and work their angles, and they know lighting too," Mercer wrote. "Shadows can gently eliminate certain lumps and bumps."

In another post she details how to go from bloated to abs in 30 seconds, telling her followers to find great lighting, arch their backs and put one foot in front of the other. 

"But wouldn't it be more wonderful if we looked more relaxed?" she adds at the end of the caption. "More just chilled wobbly bits and people actually standing on both feet not on tiptoe, and our hips just in a line not popped back all crazy style."

Mercer says her work in  magazines has allowed her to have a broad understanding of how to look good in photos and while she doesnt have anything against people using these tricks, she wants transparency.

"My main goal with my 'how influencers get X'-type videos is to educate and pull back the curtain, and remind people that what we see online is incredibly filtered, posed, and perfected," she says.