The Secret to Living Your Best Instagrammed Life
I recently came across a post on Instagram challenging the notion of displaying the perfect life against the imperfect life. It had me questioning the ideals we force on ourselves, and even others, when it comes to social media.
Instead of showing the glamorous getaways and the 5-star resort retreats, why aren’t our everyday struggles ever normalized? Why does a vast amount of shame and embarrassment coincide with the issues of reality we all grapple with? Why do we tuck them behind filtered landscapes and Facetuned selfies?
Here’s an answer: pressure.
The rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have cultivated this online bragging culture where our best lives need to be at the forefront of our social media accounts. We face the pressure of reaching this status quo of being this particular person we want everyone to think we are. While there are countless benefits to social media — connecting to everyone around the world in a second, sharing your art, building a community — it has its setbacks.
I’m not the first to say social media has influenced this need to create a flawless identity and life.
If you do a quick Google search of “Instagram mental health” and you’ll come across hundreds of articles and studies telling us what we already know — social media (if used constantly) is awful for our mental health. Personally speaking, it is difficult to stray away from comparing myself to the rich moguls, the perfectly toned models, the “always happy, never bothered” influencer whose job we aren’t sure actually is. The list goes on.
We know that these photos are constructed imaginaries formed by really good lighting and mere glimpses of what is assumed to be a great life.
Yet, we refuse to break the boundaries to redefine the Instagrammed™ life. We are also contributors (even believers) to personating our best selves in front of the lens. Our accounts are stocked with our best outfits, our best angles, our best… everything.
Now before I get dragged — I get it.
Why would I want to post a photo of me in the morning, bird nest hair and all? Why would I do that, when instead, I can show you a photo of me in my newly purchased red bottoms (ha, I wish) sipping a glass of champagne in front of the Eiffel tower?
However, instead of discouraging the latter, let me offer a different perspective: why not?
While our Instagrammed™ lives deserve space to exist and show off our best angles and moments, I believe our Non-Instagrammed™ lives deserve the same opportunity to also thrive.
By allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to the public eye and sharing our own realities of the not-so-glamorous existence, we push the agenda of normalizing, even praising, the mundane. Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean we need to post “bad” photos of ourselves or our lives just to be edgy and prove some point.
The beauty of photos and a creative outlet such as Instagram is that it allows us to visually express ourselves in any format i.e. wearing that bright red lipstick that makes us confident AF and showing off that post-gym bod we want everyone to envy. Taking it a notch further though, photography in itself has the capability to show off the “ugliness", the rawness, in a way that makes it beautiful.
The standard of beauty shouldn’t be a standard at all. Of course, beauty is subjective. So why can’t we apply that same notion to our photos on Instagram?
Show off that fancy red dress at that boujee gala, show off the makeup you ruined right after that crazy night, but all in all: be genuine about it. Fight the urge to hide behind this fabricated reality. You are beautiful by simply being you; that’s all that ever truly mattered.
Let’s celebrate all of it — the good, the bad, the Instagrammed™.
What are your thoughts on Instagram? Are you guilty of filters? (Don’t worry, I am too)!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
And as always, your privacy is respected and will never be shared.