I think we put a little too much pressure on “influencers”. We expect them to be “real”, but if they’re anything less than perfect, we fault them. I’m not speaking from experience, because let’s face it – I’m not that big of a deal – but I’ve been around long enough to witness it happen time and time again. The talk can get ugly.
I had a little bit of a breakdown over Instagram, recently. I’ve been doing this for 4 years at this point. I’ve invested so much time, energy, and money into it. I do my best to keep my feed a fairly accurate representation of my life. I try my best to take photos that I find beautiful, but real. Of course, most people don’t share everything (I certainly don’t), but I try to share more than just the rosy stuff. I’m a real person with real grief, real flaws, and (thankfully) real happiness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like the people who follow me really want to see that.
If we’re all just wanting to relate, why aren’t more people relating to my experiences?
I’ve been rewatching Sex and the City. The day after my Instagram breakdown, I turned on the episode where Carrie walks in New York Fashion Week… and the following dialog takes place:
Paul Denai (photographer): “I used to do all that high fashion shit, but the behind the scenes stuff I’m doing now is better – it’s more real.”
Carrie: “Real. Ick!”
I’ve looked around at so many accounts that are booming and I think I’ve finally figured out why they seem to be an overnight success: they’re selling a life that other people want.
So many of these accounts are a picture-perfect representation of #goals. You’ve seen them. They “sell” perfect motherhood, perfectly decorated homes, perfect cool-girl adventures, perfect on-trend outfits on perfectly toned bodies.
I’m so sick of perfect I could scream. I love beautiful photographs, but where do the photos of the regular lives belong? Don’t those have a place, too? Have we created an environment on Instagram where only the perfect can survive? When it comes to Instagram, where’s the line between a lie and a good salesman?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. When it comes to the ‘gram, are you only looking for those #goals accounts, or do you appreciate an imperfect window into the lives of others, too?
P.S. I’d like to add that I love looking at “perfect” accounts from time to time. It’s good to look those places for inspiration when you need it. What makes me crazy is when I see an endless stream of “perfection” represented and no “real life” to be found.