She’s the rare influencer who lives up to the #NoFilter hype. Danae Mercer, a Dubai-based health and fitness journalist with 788,000 followers on Instagram, is blasting social media with before-and-after images that expose the fakery behind online fame.
Her mantra? If you’ve got it, flaunt it — cellulite, that is. The former editor-in-chief of Women’s Health Middle East has devoted her skin-baring social media platforms to discussing women’s issues, particularly related to body image.
Often beachside and bikini-clad, Mercer’s signature Instagram posts feature side-by-side images of her real, curvy bod versus an intricately staged version in which the 33-year-old influencer appears much slimmer.
“LETS talk LIGHTING. Because that’s the main difference in these photos,” she wrote, alongside two images.
“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,” she explains. “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.”
“I’m definitely guilty of knowing my ‘flattering’ poses and only doing those,” one follower admitted in the comments, “so I try to be sure to show the more raw photos as well!”
She continued, “Instagram was starting to have a negative effect on the way I look at myself for a few different reasons (my height, my weight, the fact that my boyfriend loves me but sees this same s–t day in and day out and how do I compete) and you said it exactly … You shouldn’t compare yourself to a stranger on the internet.”
“Basically God put you in my path at the perfect time. I’m awesome the way I am,” she concluded.
Mercer, who is in recovery from an eating disorder, uses her YouTube channel to talk in depth about her experience with restricted eating and the stages of recovery.
The self-proclaimed “cat mom” is also a vocal advocate for aging shamelessly.
“I turned 33 yesterday. I’m (still!) not married. Still no babies. Still only one kitty. And I REFUSE to be EMBARRASSED,” she said in a recent post. “Women are taught to feel SO MUCH SHAME around growing older.”
She continued, “Every year we are here, every day we are here, that is a GIFT. I am SO THANKFUL for everything life brought me this year.”