I know, I know… you thought Kim Kardashian was 100% real, and now I have to be the one to break it to you that she’s not! Here’s the short of it: this past week, Kim and friends were on vacation in Mexico. Their photos flooded Instagram, and revealed, as reporter Anna Lewis puts it, “like 95 percent of people in the world, Kim has cellulite.”

No big deal, of course.


…you’re known for faking the “perfect” skin on your social media profiles through Photoshopped and airbrushed pictures.

Then people take issue with your authenticity.

As one Twitter user put it, “The problem isn’t with @KimKardashian having cellulite, the problem is she’s airbrushed and photoshopped so much, we don’t know the REAL her”

Okay, you might be thinking, “Who cares?” And, yeah, you probably don’t really care one way or the other if Kim’s social media account is airbrushed or not. But this little story does raise important issues regarding social media and authenticity.

Once this story came out, Kim lost 100,00 followers on Instagram.


That’s how many people care about authenticity in social media.

As my friend Joel Comm says:

We are entering into an age where “real” is a currency. Being real is the new currency.

The facade needs to come down, and we need to connect on social like real people. And there are so many that are pretending to be something that they’re not.

Being real with your audience is incredibly important. People want to feel like they know you and can trust you. This trust between Kim and her friends was broken to some degree with the airbrushed photos incident.

Not only is being authentic the right thing to do… it’s also the smart thing to do. For example, did you know that

  • 63% of people buy from authentic brands over competitors that hide their true selves?
  • Or that 91% of consumers most value honesty about product and services?

Being real with your audience is – and will continue to be (even more so) – an absolute essential of business communications. That’s why it received an entire section in my latest book, Finally Human: Using Digital Media to Restore Culture and Better Our World.

Practical Steps to Get Started

Need some help getting started? We’re sharing four ideas for creating authentic social media content in this blog post. Want to talk more about social media and authenticity? Drop us a comment below, and we’ll chat!

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