Meet Ursula Goff. She's pictured above on the left—and on the right.
Goff is a Kansas-based hairstylist who specializes in rainbow hair color; she's a self-billed "amazing technicolor synesthete." Her work is the stuff of Willa Wonka's wildest dreams, and as you might expect, she's used her own hair as a canvas, posting selfies of her work to Facebook and Instagram.
Two of those selfies recently went viral when Goff put them side by side to show what she looks like on a good hair day with a full face of makeup, and what she looks like without any makeup and her "frizzy hair," "terrible lighting," and her "making a dumb face," as she described herself in a recent video.
"I think it's important to note that lighting, angles, facial expression, and make-up make a huge difference in photography and presentation (especially in my case!)," Goff wrote in the Facebook post showing her two selfies. "Social media can make it easy to feel like everyone else is awesome and perfect all the time, but that's really never true. We should keep in mind that behind every pretty face or perfect lifestyle is a regular person, and that there's really no point in comparing amongst ourselves because this is all cultivated."
The post has received more than 27,000 likes and 15,000 shares, and Goff says it's been her most popular post both on Facebook and Instagram. It was originally inspired by Goff's desire to show that social media images involve "smoke and mirrors" but don't necessarily reflect reality.
"I think of all the young people out there, especially girls, who are influenced by media in this way," she added, "and I think about how badly I know I'd feel if I were a teen today, trying to cope with ever more perfect females all over the place, and how that would likely suck even worse than what prior generations had to go through."
"I hope it encourages other people to see that being yourself and being honest and saying what you think or what you feel can pan out," Goff said in
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.