Scrolling through my insta feed can often leave me feeling a little deflated. There are so many ‘IT girls’; you know the ones. I see so many gorgeous girls posing in Gucci belts, wearing their coat off of their shoulders, and looking all-round amazing. And it’s been this way for a while now. Most of my teenage years have been spent ‘looking up to’ these ‘perfect’ girls and convincing myself that I could be like them. Convincing myself that if my waist was a little thinner, if my teeth were a little whiter, if my hair were a little longer, if my skin were a little tanner. I spent so long trying to carve myself into this little mould that I simply couldn’t fit in and, eventually, I realised;
that isn’t me.
And that is perfectly okay.
In fact, that isn’t really any of us. Instagram (and social media in general) is brightened, cropped and filtered to what we perceive as ‘perfection’, but it is not real life.
And I am even guilty of this myself, just see my post from last year ‘Life Through TSG Vs The Real Me‘. I often filter out the crappy things of my life (unless I can turn them into a witty instagram caption that is) and I often embellish certain situations to make them seem better than they are. My photos are brightened, cropped and filtered just like the others, and I take roughly 50 photos before getting ‘the shot’. Many of these highlight something that I don’t like about myself, so I edit them until they don’t. No, I do not photoshop my body, but I do often crop out the things that I don’t like.
Is this me? Yes. But it’s only part of me.
This is the part of me that I choose to show to social media, just like the ‘IT girls’ that I follow (I apologise for lack of a better name for them). There will be parts about themselves that they don’t like too, and they will probably not get their photos on first try, and maybe will crop out the bits that they don’t like; it’s human nature, we all want to impress. Next time you look in the mirror and think to yourself ‘why don’t I look like the girls on my instagram feed?’, just remember: none of us really do.
In fact, you may well be somebody else’s ‘IT girl’. Did you think of a specific person when I said ‘you know the ones’ at the beginning of this post? Yeah, they probably have their very own ‘IT girl’ that they look up to and they probably have their very own insecurities and flaws. They may even look in the mirror themselves and wonder why they don’t look ‘that way’.
It’s sometimes very easy to forget that we know everything about ourselves, but not everything about everyone else. Social media can be dangerous sometimes because it invites us into people’s lives, and it’s easy to believe that they are showing you everything. But, the likelihood is, they are not. We are all our very own editors on social media; we choose what makes the cut. But the fact that an editing process even exists at all means that we do not show everything, even if we like to think that we are honest.
So, what am I saying in this post? Am I going to stop editing my pictures? Am I going to share second-by-second life updates? No. I am going to continue to edit my pictures to lighten and brighten and filter them and I am going to continue omitting things from my social media because we don’t have to share everything. We just need to realise that these people that we follow and look up to aren’t sharing everything either.
Realising this has made scrolling through my timeline much easier. I now feel support for these ‘IT girls’, rather than envying their features which seem unattainable to me; and it’s a much more positive outlook!
I’ve also started doing instagram my way. If I want to post 20 photos from a day out at the space centre, then that’s what I’m going to do. Your instagram doesn’t have to be full of Peggy Porschen and Elan Cafe, it can be what you want it to be. And if what you want it to be is Peggy Porschen and Elan Cafe, then that is completely fine too!
So, to end this post, I just wanted to mention some of my favourite gals to follow on instagram who have gorgeous photos, but also keep it real! I’ve followed Hannah F Gale for a while now, but her account is still one of my absolute favourites. Her photos are great and pretty, but her captions are also candid and hilarious! Hello Miss Jordan also has a swoon-worthy gram! But, I absolutely love the ‘behind the gram’ feature that she does on her instagram stories, where she details the honest (and often funny) experiences that she has whilst trying to get gorgeous photos in busy cities! And, last but not least, Chloe Plumstead is another favourite of mine. Like Hannah, her photos are beautiful and very aesthetically pleasing, but her captions are incredibly candid and honest! I love scrolling through my feed and finding her photos as they’re always gorgeous and her captions always make me giggle!
Thanks for reading!