Illustrator Laura Callaghan Captures Our Obsession With Instagram Beauty

'Mirror mirror on the wall, why is life so terrible.'

Flawlessly contrived selfies, beauty hauls and inspirational quotes appear to make up the backbone of many women's Instagram posts - but one brilliant artist is calling bullsh*t.

London-based illustrator Laura Callaghan is turning the cliché on its head in a series of striking-yet-unsettling watercolour paintings.

The Instagram generation, characterised by Callaghan, are eye-popping in colour, taking selfies and engaging in beautifying rituals.

Except they're not really engaged.

Taking a closer look, Callaghan's women are bored, apathetic and almost-prisoners of the impossible beauty standards they're held to.

Scenes of neo-narcissism are also accompanied by the pseudo-positive quotes so ubiquitous on social media.

"Inner beauty can't shine through makeup, there's no beauty like the one that comes from inside you," reads the caption on an image saturated with women painting, shaving and injecting themselves 'beautiful'.

Others emanate an ennui stemming from daily drills of skincare, makeup and other so-called 'essential' female primping rituals.

"Forgot my eyeliner this morning and now my face feels bald."

"Mirror mirror on the wall, why is life so terrible."

"Is this a pimple I see before me #outdamnedspot."

"That feeling when they told you a bath would help you relax but really you're just sitting in a cauldron of your own filth."

'Aspirational', an art exhibition by Laura Callaghan is on at the KK Outlet in London from now until Thursday 30 June.