Behind the Screen: A Project Dedicated to Truth

NDSU senior Novacek started Behind the Screen to bring attention to our human flaws, something she felt was missing behind the perfection of social media.

Posting on social media consists of only posting the most flattering photo with the perfect filter and the most fitting caption. Which is OK, take pride in posting a good quality photo, but we as a society never seem to post what makes us human.

NDSU senior Madison Novacek was tired of feeling ashamed about her flaws and stuck in the cycle of comparison when she created the Behind the Screen project.

The inspiration behind the project came to her late at night, when she was scrolling through social media and found herself comparing her life to the lives others portray online.

“When we are flipping through and see everyone’s edited and unflawed pictures it can really become this mental state of comparison,” Novacek said. “Which then leads to insecurity, which then leads to this societal norm that we need to keep those (flaws) hidden and that’s just not true.”

She then reached out to the talented Lydia Nicholson, the photographer behind Two Pines Photography and Design, and asked if she would come aboard the project to take photographs. Nicholson is a natural light photographer, which means she will edit certain aspects of the photo but not the humanistic qualities that define you as a person. Lydia is giving her time and talent to the project for free to help Madison open up the conversation about “flaws.”

Their goal is to end the stigma of social media and promote the conversation about our imperfect qualities and self-acceptance.

Novacek (pictured here) and Two Pines Photography and Design created the Behind the Screen project to bring flaws to social media.

Novacek was first to share her Behind the Screen moment, opening up about scars and body “flaws” that she finds herself feeling insecure about.

I was nervous and I didn’t want to look at (the pictures) after the shoot and it was really cool,” Novacek added. “They are not my best photos on my social media, but they’re the most honest.” 

After she shared her story, she received a multitude of support and uplifting words along with messages from people wanting to become involved with the project.

The Behind the Screen project is a tool for people to liberate themselves from the chains of physical or invisible insecurities and scars. There is no pressure to get involved with the project, and in fact, readers are encouraged to take this step on their own time.

The articles will be posted through “The Odyssey”’s website and Facebook page, along with Two Pines Photography and Novacek’s Instagram. How to get involved with the Behind the Screen project is simple: just message Novacek or Nicholson through social media or through email.

For those who don’t want to directly get involved with the project, you can upload your own story to social media using the hashtag #behindthescreen. Also, according to Novacek, other ways you are able to help is through staying mindful of what you post on social media, encouraging others in positive ways and reflecting on the reasons to why you are posting.

The Behind the Screen project is an inspiring outlet to not only free yourself from the negative stigma of social media, but also to let others know they are not alone in their insecurities. This project is about awareness support and is welcoming anyone who feels ready. It’s time to open the conversation about what we all hide Behind the Screen.

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