You can’t always take what you see online at face value because, let’s be honest—there’s likely a whole lot of staging that goes on before people post photos on social media—especially when those people are celebrities who know there are a lot of eyes on their photos. Nonetheless, we often allow ourselves to believe that what they post is reality, and that can set up some pretty lofty expectations for us regular people. Well, comedian Celeste Barber is here to challenge those celebrity Instagram posts by showing everyone what reality looks like, and the results are hilarious.
She’s gained a huge following—I’m talking over 2 million followers on Instagram—for her parody recreations of photos posted by Kendall Jenner, Beyonce and more.
Using the hashtag #CelesteChallengeAccepted, she’s creating photos that challenge the unreal depictions people see in the media and on social media.
Barber says she never intended the photos to resonate on such a level.
“I never started out for it to be a body positive thing or be like, ‘fuck yeah’. It was always like, this is how celebrities get out of the pools [and] I’m like no, this is how you get out of the pool,” she told the Guardian.
But, now that folks have pointed to her as a feminist who’s challenging the idea of the typical depiction of women, Barber couldn’t be prouder.
“I totally identify as a feminist, but I’m even more so now without knowing I was one,” she told the Guardian.
According to the New York Times, a 2015 study conducted by Dove showed that women are more than twice as likely to say that their conception of beauty is shaped by “women in the public domain” and social media, but the influence is not always a positive one.
And in a 2014 Dove Study, 78 percent of women said that the portrayal of women online was unrealistic.
“Body-shaming has sadly become a normal part of today’s online interactions, but sometimes we do not realize the role we are playing in that conversation—only 9 percent of women admit to participating in negative behavior on social media,” Jennifer Bremner, Director of Marketing for Dove, said in a statement.
That’s where Barber comes in.
She’s here to show what it really looks like to show off your abs, pose seductively in a t-shirt, and so much more. And tons of people online love her for it.
“You are my hero,” commented one Instagram user.
“You just totally make my day,” wrote another.
If the internet can brighten your day and make you feel a little better about yourself—even just by making you laugh, then we’d call that a win. Thanks, Celeste!