‘TheRealPeopleProject’ – A realistic and positive Aberdeen based Instagram that you should be following

It’s time for real people to go viral.

It is impossible to deny the constant stream of pressure these days for both women and men, boys and girls. These expectations and idealistic images come from so many sources within our everyday lives, such as media, advertisement and social media, as well as people's subconscious tendency to compare themselves to those around them. Victoria and Sophie are the creators of TheRealPeopleProject. They are two girls intent on destroying these ideas, and in turn allow people to embrace themselves. Their Instagram is dedicated to real people, built to destroy the idea of societal norms and to speak up against everyday pressures.

They were kind enough to answer some questions about the project – how it all started and how it has impacted them and others around them.

What made you want to create the account? What gave you the motivation to actually put the idea into motion?

Victoria The motivation behind the project was a lot of frustration and some red wine! Sophie and I were talking before and over Christmas a lot about the pressures that society face from all the “perfect” images that we see on Instagram, highly filtered and taken from amazing angles, telling people that they need to be better. We set up the project to bring some body confidence and self-love to Instagram, through showing images of real people, unfiltered and raw, with a little description about why they love their body, to bring self-love and quite frankly some humanity to Instagram!

Have you yourselves been on a journey of self acceptance and did this help you gain the courage to explore other people’s ideas of self worth?

Victoria For us, this whole project is a journey and a massive learning curve. From the response we have gotten so far, we can already see the diverse range of issues that people in this world face, and how every single person has similar struggles. I personally have struggled with body confidence, as with most people my age, and find that is project is helping me to establish full love of my body and all its flaws.

Sophie Yes! And I’m still on that journey now! Once realising how far I'd come and how much happier and healthier I was for it, doing something to help others along the way felt natural

Hi everyone, my name is Sophie, the other co-founder of The Real People Project! Growing up I was lucky, I looked at adverts and in magazines and I could see things that I saw when I looked in the mirror: thin, flat chested models. No-one body shamed me. But just as trends in those magazines moved on, so did the features of the “ideal” body type. Having a small bum and a less curvaceous figure became increasing undesirable which not only did I notice on social media and other platforms, but also comments made to me– especially by men. Through my later teenage years and into my twenties, remarks such as “you’d be hotter if you had better assets” were words I’d hear fairly often which made me increasingly insecure. Although these comments still hurt, I take them as a reminder that despite the change in the way others view me over time, none of that really matters. To me, my body type as well as every other is valid, beautiful and worthy of appreciation. I consider myself to be very lucky that I can say I’m not ashamed of having a flat chest and I’ve grown to love it very much. We are currently look for more real people!! If you want to get involved and share your story, link is in the bio! ❤️ . . . . . . . . #LoveAnyBODY #TheRealPeopleProject #TRPP #BodyPositivity #BodyConfidence #Selflove #Selfacceptance #SelfConfidence #SelfEsteem #LoveYourself #BeYou #NoFilter

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What do you look for in the people you interview?

Victoria All we want is real people! All bodies and stories are welcome! For the story, we just want to know what body confidence means to you! If you are interested in getting involved check out our bio in our Instagram: @therealpeopleproject

Sophie All we look for is someone willing to share their story to help promote conversation and inspire others.

Have you learnt anything about people or society in general from the people you have spoken to?

Victoria For me, I’ve learnt that everyone has completely different struggles, some of which I’d have never guessed! What that has taught me about life is to be nice to our fellow humans, as you never know what they may be struggling with, and it may not be what you are expecting!

Sophie I've learnt that being confident means something different to everyone and that body confidence is just one piece in a big puzzle that encompasses so many other social issues.

Hi everyone, I’m Victoria, one of the co-founders of The Real People Project! Sophie and I are going to kick off the project with our own stories! So I’ve read online that the poise above is called “the power stance” and we are told as leaders to stand that way to feel empowered. For me, body confidence is empowerment. It allows us to do the things that we want to do in life, and feel happy and comfortable in our selves. For as long as I’ve been aware, I’ve disliked my body – it shames me to say it- and until recently, this body dislike has been my norm. I disliked my broad shoulders and my short torso, which makes me stumpy. Yet those same broad shoulders and that “stumpy” torso allow me to go for runs, exercise in the gym and carry weight for my job in the army reserves. I’ve come to learn 2 things over the years. Firstly, body confidence is all about focusing on what your body can do rather than how it looks. Like how my smile can show people that I care, how my brain allows me to go to university and how my personality can allow me to make incredible friends. Secondly, I’ve learnt that how my body looks on the outside is so variable and unreliable – it changes from morning to night, whether I drink a lot of water or not, whether I’ve eaten a bloating meal or not, however who you are, that’s where the magic is – this is a constant. What is inside of you is the true you and you are enough. Body confidence is to be empowered by your insides and not dragged down by your outsides. Body confidence is being grateful for being alive. We are currently look for more real people!! If you want to get involved and share your story, link is in the bio!❤️ . . . . . . #LoveAnyBODY #TheRealPeopleProject #TRPP #BodyPositivity #BodyConfidence #Selflove #Selfacceptance #SelfConfidence #SelfEsteem #LoveYourself #BeYou #NoFilter

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What are your wishes/plans for the future?

Victoria For the future, we would like the project to become nation-wide and hopefully worldwide! We want lots of real people to share on our Instagrams, and ambassadors who can promote the project in their regions. We want to make this a movement empowering real people to love their bodies!

Sophie We plan on posting as many stories as possible to build our collection. We are also hoping to exhibit the posts in the summertime so watch this space!

Empowerment and confidence come from within. TheRealPeopleProject encompasses the idea that we need to start believing that we are the best versions of ourselves and the confidence and bravery that surrounds Victoria and Sophie's movement demonstrates that beauty comes from self-acceptance and self-love and in turn, how important these ideas are.

Follow their journey on instagram @therealpeopleproject, or submit your own story to be featured.

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University of Aberdeen