Ironically, This 33-Year-Old Who Exposes ‘Perfect’ Instagram Models Has More Followers Than Most Of Them (38 Pics)

Social media is full of flawless (self-proclaimed) models. They post pictures of their perfect bodies, using it as a marketing tool to sell us another diet, shake, or something else that is supposed to help us become as beautiful as they are. However, they’re not totally honest with us. And Danae Mercer is here to expose them.

“We’ve been fed perfection for so long. It’s only going to get worse, with all the built-in video editing tools that Instagram and TikTok have, where it’s easy to smooth your skin or shrink your nose in a single click,” Mercer told Funscrape. “So I think we need to shout about normal bodies and body image constantly. It helps us remember that social media isn’t real and that there’s a whole lot more to feeling good about ourselves than a 10-second insta snap.”

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Insta vs reality — or LETS talk LIGHTING. Because that’s the main difference in these photos.

In one, my bum is deliberately angled into the shadows. The softer light hides my cellulite and smooths most of my stretchmarks. It’s flattering.

In the other, I’m just casually squatting (lol) beside the mirror. My hips and thighs are in the sunlight. Lumps and bumps are on show.

There are a few posing differences (core tight, hips popped back, squeeeezzzinnnggg), but mostly this pic is about LIGHT working its magic.

When I worked in magazines, we shot at sunrise or sunset. On most sets, there were people holding SUN DIFFUSERS and REFLECTORS to help create the perfect FLATTERING balance of shadow and light.

The same thing happens on SOCIAL MEDIA, just in a different form.

Most insta-models know EXACTLY how to POSE and work their angles.

And they know LIGHTING too.

Like how SIDE LIGHT, diffused from a window, is the most flattering for abs but usually pretty harsh on the face.

It’s why you’ll often see a phone covering the face.

Or how SHADOWS can gently eliminate certain LUMPS and BUMPS.

All that is fine with me, honestly.

It’s art and photography, and there is no shame in wanting to look FIERCE.

But I also want to remind you about how SO MUCH on here is FILTERED.



And how you shouldn’t EVER COMPARE YOURSELF to a STRANGER on the internet.

Because cowgirl, you’re just seeing their snapshots taken in PERFECT LIGHT.

Your reality is a whole lot more varied, diverse, and human than that.

It’s more perfectly imperfect. Real. Raw.

And that’s a wonderful thing indeed.

You got this.

Image credits: danaemercer

Researchers agree that Instagram usage has been positively associated with self-objectification among young women for some time now. They point at the risks of internalizing societal beauty ideals and obsessing over comparing your appearance with those whose posts you see on the Internet and say that it can lead to developing serious appearance-related concerns.

Fighting against these unachievable beauty standards has set Mercer apart from the crowd and has earned her over 1.1 million followers on Instagram alone. “My Instagram feed is focused on making gals feel normal. I deal a lot with angles and posing, a bit with eating disorders, and loads with uplifting quotes that are designed to make women feel good,” Mercer told Funscrape. “It’s the sort of stuff that makes me feel better in a day.” There’s also a lot of her snaggle-toothed rescue kitty, Kiki. But we’ll leave that for you to discover yourself.


SQUEEZING VS RELAXED – OR, I don’t care how bloated you are, you need to eat.

Because your body DESERVES food.

Regardless of if you trained that morning.

Regardless of if you had pizza the night before.

Eat — gently, kindly, in a way that fills your soul or fuels your goals.

And remember that social media is only half the story.

Not even half.

Not even a blink in a moment.

Here I’m squeezing my stomach, arching my back, exhaling, holding everything in.

And bam, perfect insta pose.

But the reality is this:

When I get anxious, my bloating gets bad.

And my appetite goes away.

Both delicate, dangerous things for anyone who has ever struggled with disordered eating.

So on here, I remind you gals to eat.

And off of here, I hold myself to the same standards.

Just a reminder.

For you. For me.

For anyone that needs to hear it.

Take care of yourself ladies.

Image credits: danaemercer

Mercer is a health journalist based between Dubai and London and is very passionate about body confidence. “When I was 19, my mom died and I developed a pretty severe eating disorder. In the year that followed, I struggled with body image and feeling comfortable in my own skin. It wasn’t until I hit my 30s — I’m 33 now — that I started to really own all the parts of me – including my wiggles, jiggles, and things that previously made me feel self-conscious.”

Mercer said most of her love for herself comes from having a community of women around her. “I started posting this kind of content a year ago, and every time I do, I’m constantly reminded just how normal it is to have stretchmarks, cellulite, wobbles, whatever. How human it is. And how incredible it feels when you can be yourself in all the ways — and have amazing women letting you know they’ve got those things too.”


We know social media is a highlight reel. That it’s glamour. That it’s perfection.

We know it’s people showing their best sides, their happy moments, their proud bits.

But that’s not human.

Humans have vulnerabilities and softness and fears and hopes and fragility and CELLULITE and minds that have good days and bad days and ALL OF IT, humans have ALL OF IT.

That’s human.

So let’s change the conversation. Especially RIGHT NOW when everything is so unpredictable and scary.

Let’s dare to make this wild, turbulent world something more positive. Whether it’s one post, one comment, one bit of great and powerful and real rawness at a time.

You got this. . .

Image credits: danaemercer


Insta vs Reality / or why PERFECTION is DANGEROUS.

Perfection puts a wall up between us and others.

It does.


Especially for us PEOPLE PLEASERS.

Because it shows only our sparkly bits. Our STAGED bits. Our MASKS that we wear when we are quietly afraid no one will love us otherwise.

It proves we are good little girls.

Only here’s the thing:

PERFECTION builds that barrier.

Because ultimately, it’s only a half truth. A brief moment. A STAGED PHOTO.

And us humans, we are more complex than that.

We are raw and clumsy with belly laughs and cellulite and fears and

dreams so fragile we dare only to whisper them into existence.

So today, show someone your imperfect. Show them your real.

Let them see you for all the splendour and glory you are, and let YOURSELF be SEEN for the same.

Whether it’s simply rocking your WIGGLES at the BEACH or opening up about your HOPES.

Show YOU.

As someone who has only started embracing VULNERABILITY in her 30s, trust me on this:

It’s so much more incredible than perfection could ever hope to be.

It’s human.

It’s wonderful.

It’s real

Image credits: danaemercer


ME / ALSO ME – Because POSING is fun but sitting COMFORTABLY is even better.

Now let’s talk DIET CULTURE myths.

For years, I thought if I GOT RID of my CELLULITE, I would be happy. It has always been my hang up.

So I cut calories.

I dropped dress sizes.

I shrank.

And I waited for that joy, for that feeling of confidence.

It didn’t come. Not even at my smallest.

None of these things made me feel BETTER about MYSELF.

And now, now, years later, I am softer. Squishier. No longer starving.

I weigh more.

But my heart is lighter.

Because here’s the thing I learned the hard way,

The thing that diet ads never tell you:

BODY IMAGE starts on the inside.

It does.

Being comfortable with your cellulite? Your stretchmarks?

Your bits that wiggle and jiggle and fold here or crease there?

All that requires mental work.

Internal heavy lifting.

Where day by day, month by month, you remind yourself how INCREDIBLE you are.

And how your WORTH, your VALUE as a HUMAN, doesn’t CHANGE even when your body does.

Nor does anyone else’s.

So today, fight against the urge to measure WHO YOU ARE as a HUMAN against whatever is or isn’t happening with your body.

Extend the same kindness to other women around you.

And allow yourself the softness of a bit of self love.

Because you ARE wonderful. You ARE incredible.


Posed or relaxed, sandy or sweaty or sleepy or in any state.

You’re loved.

Image credits: danaemercer


Hands up if you can relate!

Buuuut jokes aside – BLOATING happens to me a LOT. When I’m hormonal. When I’m stressed. When I eat this or that. And most the time I’m OK with it, but sometimes, sometimes it hits me hard.

Today was one of those days.

But here’s where BODY ACCEPTANCE comes in. And here’s what I want to say to all YOU GALS.

Body acceptance tells us that even on our bad days — and we will have bad days, even Lizzo has bad days — we are still worth KINDNESS. We still deserve FOOD. We are STILL incredible creatures that can move and train and work and play and relax.

And that a bad DAY or a BAD BLOAT doesn’t MAKE US BAD.

Every time one of those negative pebbles of thought pops up (‘I’m disgusting’ ‘I’m a failure’ ‘Maybe I should just skip the next meal’), wrap it in the softness of self love.

Again and again until the SELF DOUBT wobbles drift off or fade away or are forgotten, if only for a moment.

This helps me on hard days.

This gives me strength on good ones.

And honestly, you gals do too.

I’m glad we’re in this together.

Image credits: danaemercer


Let’s normalize this. Let’s share the parts of us that are strong and fierce and posed, and the parts of us that are softer, raw, human.

A woman messaged me today saying she bought her very first bikini.

She always thought she was too wiggly, too ‘imperfect’, to own one.

But today she realized otherwise.

That gal went shopping.

Every week, women talk to me about shorts. About cellulite on their legs. About dimples in their thighs. And about how, how they CANNOT, cannot wear them. They cannot wear shorts.

Only this is changing.

THEY are changing.

WE are changing.

Day by day, second by second, we are switching what’s normal.

We are sliding into those shorts, buying those bikinis, speaking our MINDS and our truths, flaunting our brains, being all the wonderful, complex bits that combine together to make WOMEN and WOMAN.

This is just one instance, a glimpse. A little photo to remind you of a very, very big thing:

You are not DESIGNED to be perfect.

Your power lies in all that’s COMPLEX, all that’s NUANCED, all that’s MAGNIFICENT and, yes, all that’s gloriously NORMAL.

Like bum dimples. Like insecurities. Like confusions and hopes and great photos and bad moments and laughter and ALL.

We’re in this together.

Even if it’s just one ‘Instagram and also Instagram’ pic at a time. x

Image credits: danaemercer


Insta vs Reality / OR changing your BODY does not change your BODY IMAGE.

There was a time in my life when I was obsessed with being thin.

I skipped meals. Memories. Moments.

I was convinced if I lost those next 10lbs, if I hit this magical number in my mind, I would feel good. Strong.


I was convinced I would be LOVED.

And that maybe, just maybe, I would love myself too.

But here’s the thing:

Shrinking changed NOTHING.

Except some number on a scale.

Now I am heavier. Older.

And I have never felt more confident in my body or in myself.

It’s still a work in progress (always, maybe always), but I see my CELLULITE and don’t feel shame.

I see my limbs with all their bits in ALL THE LIGHTING and love what they can do for me.

And I see my heart, clumsy as it is, stumbling as it is, and I let it be. I let it exist without judgement.

So today, I want to remind you something it too me far too long to learn:

Changing our APPEARANCE won’t FIX what’s going on INSIDE.

We can train and sweat and eat all the greens, but if we don’t solve what’s happening in our hearts or in our heads, those thoughts will remain.

Those battles will remain.

Whether they are related to how we see our BODIES

Or how we view OURSELVES.

The work starts inside.

In our heads.

In our hearts.

In the quiet, raw, tender bits of our soul, that sit so fragile and so shy just crying out for love.

In all these parts, that’s where the true change happens.

And that’s something we can never really share in an insta/reality photo.

But we can certainly like all the same.

You got this girl.

Image credits: danaemercer


What you SEE versus what you DON’T – but also, CELLULITE is NOT UNHEALTHY.

It isn’t.

A well-intending gal slid into my comments the other day pointing out how cellulite will go away if you detox with green juice and cleanse all the things.

A less well-intending group of men commented on an article about my runny a$$ and how I needed to get to the gym.

So let’s just nip that one in the bud: Cellulite isn’t unhealthy.

It exists on over 80% of women.

It CAN increase with fat stores, and decrease in the opposite way, but it’s also simply linked to how women STORE fat – something we NEED to SURVIVE. We MUST HAVE IT.

I’m a health journalist. I’m a certified fitness trainer. So these things matter to me.

But more than that, I’m a woman that must exist in this WORLD.

In a WORLD where somehow companies have MARKETED and TWISTED cellulite SO MUCH that it is seen as abnormal, as a ‘flaw’, as unhealthy.

And if I have to experience these things, even in such an incredibly PRIVILEGED thin white body?

I can only imagine how exponentially worse it must be for more marginalized groups.

So let’s repeat it again and again: Cellulite is NORMAL. It is HEALTHY.

And it’s something I sure as heck hope we SEE a whole lot more.

We’re in this together girls.

You got this.

Image credits: danaemercer


Same girl. Same day. SAME WORTH. But we don’t see both these types of photos to the same extent on social media.

The online world is filtered. Here, TikTok, Twitter, wherever.

It’s a series of magic moments and perfect poses that have been reshot and filtered and adjusted until they embody the ideal.

This doesn’t just go for the stream of ‘ideal’ bodies. It goes for incredibly romantic adventures or cool crafts or perfect parenting moments.

All of these, all of what’s on display, is so often part of someone else’s HIGHLIGHT REEL.

And it’s easy to feel our REAL doesn’t quite measure up.

Only your REAL is magnificent. It’s flawed and complex and complicated, but it’s also HUMAN. It’s also authentic and raw and YOU.

And that? That is far more incredible than anything social media could ever hope to display. .

Image credits: danaemercer


On social media, we tend to only see ‘GOOD’ angles. And, hey, only really show them too.

It’s human, because we want to look FIERCE and feel FIREY and have all those great HAPPY FEELINGS.

All that’s ok. That’s perfectly ok.

But today I just wanted to remind you:

What you see posted on here?

What you see filling your feed right now?

All those workouts and those incredible recipes and those people doing amazing things with their amazing partners in their amazing quarantined homes?

It’s filtered.

It’s a whole lot of ‘good angles’ and curated pinpoints of perfection.

So remember that as you scroll — especially if you start to slide into that dangerous game of comparison.

Tell yourself as you go along:

Social media is a HIGHLIGHT REEL more than it is REAL.

And you’re doing just fine.



Image credits: danaemercer


Image credits: danaemercer


HEALTH isn’t a size. It’s not a number. And it sure as heck isn’t an AESTHETIC.

I wish I could go back and tell my younger self this. Because there was a time I dieted and trained and starved away most of that cellulite. Health, REAL health, was the last thing on my mind.

The same happens to so many of us when we get our GOALS twisted in our minds. When we confuse what REALLY MATTERS with what some society has said SHOULD BE.

So today, I want to challenge you to focus on WELLNESS, not WEIGHT.

Look at what your body CAN DO FOR YOU, instead of just WHAT it ‘should’ LOOK LIKE.

Explore how you FEEL when you move, meditate, rest and recover, in whatever unique and beautiful way RESONATES WITH YOU.

Remind yourself, as many times as you can, as often as you need to, that HEALTH is not a LOOK.

It is much greater, much stronger, much BETTER than that.

And darling, so are you.

Image credits: danaemercer


Social media tends toward the perfect. By SPEAKING UP and STANDING TOGETHER, we can change this. Let’s normalise normal bodies. Let’s show our good angles and raw angles and everything in between. For ourselves. For our hopes and fears. And most of all for each other

Image credits: danaemercer


Me also me, because abs and bloating can happen in the same body, and angles can hide cellulite, and all that’s ok. Today I want to shoutout to all the women working on loving their bodies, because that stuff is hard af and I’m proud of you.

Image credits: danaemercer


Don’t COMPARE YOURSELF to a stranger on the internet.

I’ve worked in media and magazines for over 10 years. And in publishing, it feels normal to see curated ideals of dream lives, dream bodies.

But social media tells us a different story.

It says every girl is the girl next door.

Every goal is casually achievable.

And suddenly every supermodel on a superyacht becomes the norm.

Part of us knows this ISN’T true.

Part of us forgets.

So today I just wanted to remind you:

Don’t compare yourself to a stranger on social media.

Don’t compare yourself to hundreds of highlight reels.

Not in the way your body is shaped.

Not in the way you handle emotions or challenges.

Not in the raw fragile parts that make you who you are.

Because what we see on here is an echo chamber of perfect angles and hand picked truths.

And humans are far more complex, far more nuanced, far more perfectly imperfect than that.

You got this.

Image credits: danaemercer


Is giving yourself a WEDGIE while standing in soft SHADOWS the secret to a GREAT BOOTIE PHOTO?

Well, not entirely, but it sure as heck gets you 2/3 the way there. Add in a bit of hip popping and back arching and you’re en route to that perfect influencer BELFIE.

For real though: briefs and bikini bottoms pulled up high on the hips and thighs appears really flattering in a photo. It’s CRAZY UNCOMFORTABLE for obvious reasons, but great for those instasnaps.

And it’s SO COMMON. Keep an eye out and you’ll see most bootie pics shot this way.

So! There you go. Enjoy taking some fierce photos of yourself if you fancy. Or just store this bit of ‘insta VS reality’ knowledge for any moment when you slide into that awful social media comparison game.

As always, remember this platform (and, hey, magazines, videos, the whole professional lot) is highly filtered.

Your bum is great.

No wedgies required. . . .

Image credits: danaemercer


We do not have to be PERFECT to be worthy of LOVE.

It took me years to learn this.

In a way, I am STILL learning this.

Still discovering how important being VULNERABLE is to connecting with other people, and how critical it is to be OURSELVES, not just the glossy, shiny, glamorous version of a mask that we can pretend to be.

I remember the first time I spoke with someone about my eating disorder.

There was part of me, a large part of me, that worried they would no longer love me.

Because who could love something so broken?

Yet when I opened up, my world changed.

I found support. Strength in others. Kindness in others. And a kind of acceptance that I didn’t even know I needed.

And I remember what it was like to be with someone who only loved my body when it looked a certain way. Thin. Fragile.

How that began to tear bits of me apart.

How that began to whisper I would never truly be worthy of love.

And how wrong, SO very WRONG, that voice was, that situation was.

This Valentine’s Day, this month, this YEAR, I want you to repeat this again and again to yourself: you are WORTHY of love.

Broken bits. Strong bits. Posed. Imperfections. Whatever weight. Whatever size. Whatever shape or style or form. All of YOU.

Because humans are complex.

YOU are complex.

And that, that is powerful, wonderful, LOVABLE indeed

Image credits: danaemercer


How to have a beach body: Have a body. Go to the beach. Bam. Around 98 percent of women have cellulite – goodness knows I do. But social media is curated. I’ve been on this platform for years and only recently have started to feel confident enough to share, well, a bit more of the raw side. So here’s just a little reminder today that for every perfected image you scroll past on Instagram, there are dozens that have been rejected. The same goes for magazines, adverts, and even TV. You’re beautiful. Now get that body to the beach.

Image credits: danaemercer


TW – NEW YOUTUBE – Eating Disorder relapse – My story

There’s so much I want to say.

Most of it I talk through in this video (link in bio): How it’s so common to have disordered thoughts around food; how it’s normal to battle healing; how sometimes we deny we have a problem for days and weeks and years.

How getting better is worth it.

How you’re not alone if you find yourself wobbling in a grey area where body image and mental health and external pressures collide. I relapsed once, four years ago. It happens and it’s horrible and yet. Yet. We are resilient.

How it will be ok.

And yet I’m not quite sure how to say so many things, now more than ever.

Because I’m realizing eating disorders are more complicated than I ever knew.

And that there are entire communities who are left out of the healing, the research, the representation.

Maybe you’re stumbling through these things too.

Maybe you’re that girl.

So for now, let me say this:

If you’re struggling, know that recovery is possible.

If you’ve recovered, remind yourself constantly your why.

And if you’re feeling alone, know that you are not.

Not now.

Not ever.

It will be ok.

It will be ok. . . .

Image credits: danaemercer


TW – NEW YOUTUBE – Eating Disorder relapse – My story

There’s so much I want to say.

Most of it I talk through in this video (link in bio): How it’s so common to have disordered thoughts around food; how it’s normal to battle healing; how sometimes we deny we have a problem for days and weeks and years.

How getting better is worth it.

How you’re not alone if you find yourself wobbling in a grey area where body image and mental health and external pressures collide. I relapsed once, four years ago. It happens and it’s horrible and yet. Yet. We are resilient.

How it will be ok.

And yet I’m not quite sure how to say so many things, now more than ever.

Because I’m realizing eating disorders are more complicated than I ever knew.

And that there are entire communities who are left out of the healing, the research, the representation.

Maybe you’re stumbling through these things too.

Maybe you’re that girl.

So for now, let me say this:

If you’re struggling, know that recovery is possible.

If you’ve recovered, remind yourself constantly your why.

And if you’re feeling alone, know that you are not.

Not now.

Not ever.

It will be ok.

It will be ok. . . .

Image credits: danaemercer


BUMS often have CELLULITE. Thin bums do. Juicy bums do. Fitness bums do. And NONE of this is a PROBLEM.

I get DMs daily from gals saying they feel like they need to FIX their cellulite.

They see the dimples as something to be sweat and trained and dieted away.

That maybe if they rub enough avocado-oil-coffee on their skin and do 20,000 squats then their tushies will become badonkadonks of steel.

And while exercise can sometimes reduce the appearance of cellulite, sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes those lil jiggles and wiggles are just part of what make us US.

We rarely see it in FITSPO PHOTOS because it’s pretty easy to hide: throw on leggings, take photographs in shadows, stand in certain poses, and bam. Perfect peach without one fold in site.

So today I just want to remind you:

Your bum is great.

Your body is great.

And your motivation for exercise, for movement, should never stem from a place of punishment.

Now get out there and rock all that your mama gave you. Cellulite, stretchmarks, dips and bits and all.

Image credits: danaemercer



I wish I would have known this sooner.

This year, I let myself be vulnerable.

Not just with my body, although that’s part of it. Showing the ‘imperfect’ sides. Showing the parts of myself that still feel complicated, wobbly, nuanced. That was vulnerable.

But also taking RISKS is vulnerable.

Opening up to friends, REALLY opening up to friends, that’s vulnerable.

Saying when someone hurts me. Setting my boundaries. Standing up for what I believe in.

All that’s vulnerable.

But what I’m learning is this: Vulnerability is the most powerful thing we can feel, do, embrace.

Vulnerability is the flip side of bravery.

And this year, next year, I’m all about the scary battle of embracing strength.

Image credits: danaemercer


Swipe right. This image was SO hard for me to share. SO hard. I nearly pulled out of the campaign several times (just ask @waleedshah about all the phone calls . It shows my bloating at its worst, my stretchmarks, my bad side. And yet. It’s me. Real, flawed, human, but pushing through it all. I’m so thankful to be pa

Image credits: danaemercer


Stretchies saying hi. You can be healthy and have stretch marks. You can be strong and have wiggly bits. These things do not define you, your fitness, or your ability to get out there and achieve your goals. Here we go ladies. . . . .

Image credits: danaemercer



Repeat after me: I will NOT COMPARE MY REAL to someone else’s HIGHLIGHT REEL.

We’re spending a lot of times on our phones right now.

And a whole lot of perfection is staring right back up at us.

Here’s just one example: The classic FITSPO / BIKINI kneeling pose.

My core is tight, hips popped back, bum squeezing, arm overhead, legs toward camera. It looks a bit cray from the side but it’s super flattering.

PLUS I’m shooting at sunrise, which has far softer, nicer light than midday.

All that creates one of those great little INSTA SNAPS.

Only it’s not how I’d actually sit.

In real life, I sit, well, like a human.


If you want to try the pose, GO for it. Rock it. You take those fierce photos.

If you don’t want to try it, also cool.

I just wanted to remind you today that social media is filtered.

Movies are filtered. Magazines are filtered.

None of it is a standard against which you should compare yourself.

YOU, as you are, with your own sunshine and smile and heart and soul, that is pretty darn incredible.

And I’m glad you’re here.

I’m glad you’re real.

Image credits: danaemercer


Got CELLULITE? So do I. But in the right LIGHT it’s hard to tell.


In harsh, direct sunlight, dimples and lumps and bumps tend to show. And that’s cool, because they’re NORMAL and HUMAN.

In soft sunlight, like diffused light from the window, or gentle sunrises, dimples and lumps fade away. Which is ALSO COOL, because that’s STILL HUMAN.

So if your snaps don’t look like those in the magazines, don’t worry.

Don’t worry one bit.

There’s a whole lot of great posing and incredible lighting and plenty more that goes into those snaps.

Just a lil reminder today.

You’re wonderful. Soft light. Harsh light. Smooth skin or dimple bumps or wiggly lumps or incredible BRAINS and all.

Go girl.

Image credits: danaemercer


BEFORE and AFTER transformations are so gosh darn easy to FAKE. And dodgy brands, like those selling DIET TEAS or DIET JABS (the newest horrible thing to hit the market) often do exactly that.

So before I get into the ANGLES and the technique and all that razzle dazzle, I just want to say this:

Be careful.

Especially to the teens on here, or those of us who have struggled with disordered body image.

Be careful.

Dodgy companies will use dodgy methods to try to sell you things you don’t need.

Things like teas that make you poo or SHOTS that mess up your body or pills that make your heart race.

HEALTH goals are incredible.

There are LOADS of GENUINE FITNESS transformations on here too. Plenty of REAL ‘before and afters’, which are shared by folks who are proud at all they’ve achieved. Those are incredible. I always have and I always will APPLAUD HEALTH as an act of self love.

This post isn’t about that.

It’s about the BEFORE AND AFTERS with DIET ADS. Or with DETOX TEAS. Or with the most recent onslaught of SKINNY SHOTS. And all the awful, awful fakery that wraps themselves around products more concerned with MONEY than with WELLNESS.

It’s about learning to be careful.

And to view the internet with a critical eye — especially where money is involved.

Now if you’re curious about HOW I took these PHOTOS, here’s what I did:

Pulled my bottoms up higher (longer leg line).

Arched my back (waist looks smaller, bum bigger).

Popped into my hips.

Squeezed my core.

Played with light and shadows to hide my cellulite.

Swapped into more flattering clothes.

And BAM. Before to After in 10 seconds flat.

Try it if you fancy. It’s pretty much a back workout.

So there you go.

Glad you’re here.

I hope this helped.

Please don’t ever buy a skinny jab.

We’re in this together.

Image credits: danaemercer


TW – NEW YOUTUBE – Eating Disorder relapse – My story

There’s so much I want to say.

Most of it I talk through in this video (link in bio): How it’s so common to have disordered thoughts around food; how it’s normal to battle healing; how sometimes we deny we have a problem for days and weeks and years.

How getting better is worth it.

How you’re not alone if you find yourself wobbling in a grey area where body image and mental health and external pressures collide. I relapsed once, four years ago. It happens and it’s horrible and yet. Yet. We are resilient.

How it will be ok.

And yet I’m not quite sure how to say so many things, now more than ever.

Because I’m realizing eating disorders are more complicated than I ever knew.

And that there are entire communities who are left out of the healing, the research, the representation.

Maybe you’re stumbling through these things too.

Maybe you’re that girl.

So for now, let me say this:

If you’re struggling, know that recovery is possible.

If you’ve recovered, remind yourself constantly your why.

And if you’re feeling alone, know that you are not.

Not now.

Not ever.

It will be ok.

It will be ok. . . .

Image credits: danaemercer


Fix SADDLEBAGS instantly with this SIMPLE TRICK!

Or not. Or don’t. The trick is easy (it’s posing – hips back, knees rotating in, core tight, shoulders up). But let’s forget that for just a moment.

I want to TALK about SADDLEBAGS.

I learned I had saddlebags when I was 13. Even at my thinnest, this fleshy part of my thighs has never gone away. I can pose it out, but those saddlebags are still there.

For many years, I knew my saddlebags were a BAD THING.

I didn’t question why.

I just KNEW IT.

Only that was DIET CULTURE talking.

It wasn’t me.

And babygirl, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE YOU.

Because SADDLEBAGS sits right alongside thunder thighs or turkey legs or bat wings in the list of awful words meant to demean a woman’s body.

Just because these words EXIST doesn’t mean we have to GIVE POWER TO THEM.


Not when we’re caught, relaxed, laughing and unposed, in a photo.

Not when we try on clothes that don’t fit.

Not when our bodies change and fluctuate with the soft shifts of weight.

Not any of these times.

Our bodies are GLORIOUS. They are the homes we have built. We do not EVER have to try to burn them down.

Instead, let’s treat ourselves with kindness. Let’s remember that SO MUCH of the SHAME we feel around our SKIN has been forced upon us by a $72 billion diet industry.

And that we are POWERFUL. Strong. Capable. Smart and intelligent and silly and soft, and SO much more than some stupid sticky word would try to suggest.

So here’s to saddlebags.

But more than that, here’s to shrugging off the baggage diet culture tries to drown us with.

You got this girl. .

Image credits: danaemercer


Hands up if you can relate!

For real though, my bloating has been all OVER the place lately.

Part of it is my lovely lady time has come (oh hello period bloat! And allll the water retention!). Part of it is because I’m doing a plant-based challenge for the month (aaaand so many veggies in my belly!). And part of it is just, well, me. My gut. My tummy. Parts of me I’m still trying to understand and heal but even as I do, I treat with LOVE and KINDNESS and FORGIVENESS.

Because our bodies are wonderful. Our bellies are strong. Our minds are galaxies. And all of that, all of that is enough to make me feel, oh yes,

Image credits: danaemercer


Me / also me, because how much more wonderful would social media be if we stopped worrying so darn much about perfection.

Just catching sunsets and sharing giggles

Image credits: danaemercer


Me also me

In a society that profits from self doubt, loving yourself is a rebellious act.

I remember buying my first anti-cellulite scrub and stretchmark-reducing lotion when I was a teen. How crazy is it that even then, we already know to hate the lumps and bumps that over 80% of us have? And that we must pay to fix these ‘imperfections’?

Here’s just a little reminder that pretty much all of us have wiggly bits and good angles and less flattering poses. And that’s ok – even more than ok. That’s part of the glory of being human.

So go on. Embrace your inner rebel.

Image credits: danaemercer


CELLULITE is so darn COMMON. So WEAR that swimsuit. Rock that bikini. Get out there and roll with the full wonder of all that you are. And don’t let any little lumpbumps make you second guess for a single minute.

Over 80 percent of women have cellulite. That’s a HUGE number – and yet we are told it’s bad and wrong and subtly, so subtly, taught that it is shameful.

Some of us learn these lessons as little girls. Yesterday I shared a YouTube video that wants to teach exactly that. It featured a slight child deciding she was TOO BIG, so she exercised and weighed herself and ate carrots and weighed herself and climbed stairs and weighed herself.

Some of us learn these lessons as adults, when brands try to SELL TO US and make money from SHAME. From creating flaws that don’t exist, or from turning incredibly common bits of bodies into things that must be fixed.

Wherever you learned these lessons, know that they are wrong.

Your cellulite is NOT an error. A glitch in perfection.

It’s incredible. Unique. A stamp mark of who you are. A sign that your body is functioning and alive and doing the same thing as over 80% of other women.

So today, babygirl, get out there and rock your cellulite.

Celebrate your dips and rolls.

Embrace your curves or your straights.

And most of all, do whatever makes you SMILE.


A song of limbs and heart and soul.

Don’t you forget it.

Image credits: danaemercer


LIGHTING changes PHOTOS – But also, it doesn’t change a THING ABOUT YOU.

First, the technique:

In the shadows, my cellulite disappears.

In the harsher direct window light, it pops out to say hello.

And this is pretty common.

It’s the same thing as sunrise / midday.

At sunrise, soft side light tends to whisk away lumps and bumps. By midday that light is top-down and pretty aggressive. Cellulite and stretchmarks are on full display.

And now, the actual message:

Next time you start to compare yourself to a stranger on social media, remember this.

Remember how lighting can be manipulated to create ‘perfection’.

The same for angles. Posing. Squeezing. Camera position. Mirror types. Oil on the skin. And so on, and on, and on.

So don’t compare your thousands of angles, your billions of moments, to their PERFECT SECOND SNAPSHOT.

You, lovely lady, you’re great in all lights.

You’re wonderful from all angles.

And you’re incredible in all moments.

Because you’re already you.

And that’s more than enough.

Image credits: danaemercer



Around 80 to 90 percent of ALL WOMEN on the PLANET have it.

So why do we mostly see pics like the left, and so few like the right?

My inbox is full of messages about cellulite.

Because many of us, for SO long, thought it was a FLAW.

And many of us still do.

So we don’t wear the shorts.

Or the bikinis.

Or we buy swimwear wraps not only when we feel fierce in them, but because sometimes we feel ashamed without them.

Or we scrub our skin with lotions and potions

And google ‘how to fix orange peel flesh’. But here’s the thing:

It’s NOT. A. FLAW.

It’s not.

Something that sits on over 80% of women isn’t an ‘oops this is a mistake!’

Even if brands and magazines have sold us that line for so long.

Cellulite is normal. Healthy.


I have it.

Most females have it.

And if you have it?

You don’t need to change a thing.

Not one bit.

Because your body, my body, our bodies, with all their cute lil dimples and curves and edges, they’re wonderful.

Jiggly and wiggly,

Raw and human,

And perfectly imperfect indeed.

Image credits: danaemercer



Because, baby girl, it is NOT.

It exists on upwards of 80 percent of women.

It happens on gals who train all the time. Gals who don’t. Tall gals. Short gals. Gals with big muscles or little muscles or fierce regimes or relaxed ones.

It is literally THAT COMMON.

Yet we are told and taught and whispered and instructed that it is a bad thing. Something to hide at the beach, to smooth away with photoshop or store-bought creams, to tuck into tights but NEVER show in shorts.


I’ve had enough.

And I think many of us, MANY of us, we’re in the same boat.

So today, today I want to remind you,

Especially now, in this time where a GLOBAL PANDEMIC has somehow turned into a WEIGHT SHAMING CONVERSATION:

If you have wiggles and jiggles and nice body dimples, do NOT stress.

Most of all, do NOT punish your body.

Cellulite is so gosh darn normal. So common.

So, in a way, perfectly imperfect.

Just like you. Just like all of us.

Image credits: danaemercer


Image credits: danaemercer

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