Instagram is a tricky one for me. On the one hand, it can make me feel empowered. It gives me a platform to talk to thousands of like-minded individuals who somehow make me feel a little bit less alone. It brings me up and reminds me what a good place social media can be.
Buuuut on the other hand, it can make me feel like I am not working hard enough, or securing enough brand collabs or living the life I should be. It makes me feel fat. It makes me feel poor. It makes me feel small.
Aaaaaand before anyone says ‘well why dont you just unfollow the accounts that make you feel that way’. And yes, this is good advice and actually something that I actively practise. Every so often I will blitz my follow list and clear through the accounts that no longer speak to me. Whether that be that I don’t connect with the perfect behind the account, or I cannot relate to their content or simply that their endless trips around the world make me feel sh** about going into work on a Monday morning.
What I am talking about is the smaller, more subtle things that make you feel this way. The 6week gains post from your bestie, the brand collab that your fave blogger has secured, the holiday that your mate is jetting off on.
You feel so good for them, right?
So proud and comment the little fire emojis, right?
But there’s a small niggle at you. You wander why you don’t have a 6-pack or where your 5* holiday is. You wander why the brand didn’t pick you to collaborate with then you wear their clothes ALL THE TIME.
Little things that niggle away at you and take away a slither of happiness.
But my point is that it’s not real.
Okay bit of an exaggeration but what so many people fail to remember is that Instagram is just a highlights real. That 6-week gain post? She sucked in for hours, took 500 shots all with different angles and positioned the light perfectly.
The holiday you see is filled with carefully curated pics by the pool and may have been a total disaster behind the scenes. You literally never know.
Instagram is what people are choosing to present to you. They cut out the belly fat and okay, maybe I’ll just edit out this spot. They carefully curate the location, the outfit, the angle. They take over 80 photos just to present to you 1. That perfect 1, which they have chosen to show the world.
Lighting, camera angles and positioning can change the world. In one shot, I have belly fat that rolls over my jeans and makes me want to cry. In other shots, my legs look like they come up to my armpits, my head is held high and my hair falls juuuust in the right place. And you better guess which one I want to choose for Instagram.
Instagram is a highlights reel. It’s where we show our best selves and where we value aesthetic over reality.
And as much as I love an aesthetically pleasing grid, I cannot deny it’s affect on my mentality.
So let’s forget about perfect, and just focus on being ourselves online from now on, shall we?
Belly rolls, hormonal spots, sweaty armpits, the lot.
Let’s stop believing this instagram bullsh** and focus being real, rather than being perfect.