I am working on a piece for my portfolio on the topic of Instagram v reality and thought I would blog about it too from my cheese induced coma, it’s been a while!
This time of year is reflective, full of hope for a new year (and decade!) but equally full of sadness over those we have lost and disappointment over unfulfilled resolutions. I was definitely going to be a size 8 skinny minny by this point in the year, more like double in reality but you know, cheese is life.
I normally hate the limbo week but this year we have embraced it and had lots of sofa days. My five-year-old asked me if I was ever going to move from the sofa today and there is a real possibility that I won’t, we are loving The Snail and the Whale and I feel a re-watch of Rocketman later coming on. So, sorry buddy, but maybe not unless it involves a cheese raid of the fridge.
We have been so busy the last few months, doing absolutely nothing is bliss so the dishes and dust can wait, they will still be there tomorrow, unfortunately.
So back to the point, I really enjoy an Instagram scroll, it really can be sensationally beautiful and a front row ticket into the celebrity’s private lives. A firm favourite, Giovanna Fletcher, keeps it real and showcases home life. Her postnatal baby hair issues are all of us.
It is also so refreshing that Chrissy Teigen has the normal husband rants we all have; despite being married to John Legend but there is also so much that is pretentiously fake.
“Oh, don’t mind me, I just woke up in my matching underwear with perfectly tousled waves and impeccable make up. I just happened to have a professional photographer waiting by my bedside to capture the moment of natural beauty,” said every Kardashian ever.
What would be more useful to us plebs though is those price tags that appear as you move over the screen so you could see what might be achievable and what definitely isn’t. Hair extensions £700; arse extension £20,000; make up covering imperfections £200; surgery to fix said imperfections; £30,000.
I have nothing against surgery, quite the opposite, but why can’t we admit it? “I didn’t like my face, so I got a new one as I had the money to do it from my self-made billion-dollar empire?” No shame in it at all, you go Glen Coco!
Showcasing our best life, or version of it is not a new concept. Think of an overly edited selfie like the modern-day equivalent of a very flattering painted portrait. Fooled a king or too into marriage based on an unrealistic representation prior to meeting, right?
I am not worried for my children in the world of Instagram though as I feel a revolution rising. The younger generations are seemingly a lot more body confident no matter their size or shape. In my early 20s, at a curvy size 12 (curvy, I’d kill for that body now), I wouldn’t want to wear a skirt that showed my “fat” knees. A lot of my slim friends were and are the same. Fast forward ten (ish!) years and my 20-year-old sister and her friends will happily host a party with lingerie as a theme and embrace their different shapes and sizes, posting photos across social media and having a blast.
Confidence is sexy and attracts us to our friends and partners way more than chiselled abs and our own perception of a perfect body. My top five friends and girl crushes have confidence that radiates out of them, you want to be a part of their exciting existence.
So, take Instagram for what it is, entertaining, beautiful and at times a completely false representation of a perfect life that no one actually has. We have never showcased anything that paints us in a bad light going right back in history, so why do we need to start now?
Take it all with a pinch of salt and know that behind every perfectly clean shot of a kitchen is a Monica cupboard. Behind every perfectly photographed child is a bribe or snot-stained shoulder. And behind every perfect pout, heartache and self-doubt like the rest of us. Life is hard for everyone and if we pretend it isn’t for five minutes to showcase a representation of the best bits, hey we are only human.
Here’s a photo that wouldn’t normally make Instagram but is perhaps a perfect representation of George’s stubborn character at times, enjoy!