Keeping Instagram in Perspective

So you know when you’re scrolling through Instagram, looking through people’s photos, and suddenly you find yourself thirty minutes later lost in beautiful people’s images feeling like absolute crap? We’ve all been there and we’ve all felt it – that terrible feeling of comparison that comes from being surrounded by the best clips of people’s lives.

The conversation about what really goes into Instagram is not a new one. It’s honestly become kind of a trend to get REALLY honest about what actually goes into photos, the reality behind what you’re really doing when you post, et cetera. Even though people are talking about it, the hit that social media takes on your mental health hasn’t lessened. Because of this, I wanted to share a little bit about how I cope with not feeling good enough when comparing to other people on social media.

As a practicing blogger and avid Instagrammer, I KNOW the work that can go into taking one simple photo. Seriously, trust me when I say that the mass majority of photos you see by Instagram influencers are carefully styled and staged. One thing I do to remind myself of this is put myself in their shoes when imagining how they took the photo.

For example, in photos I see, I picture the person in the photo saying, “Okay, does my bag look cute here?” “Should I move my legs?” “What about if I pose like this?” and so on, the same way I would when I set up for a photoshoot.

For every picture you see on Instagram that makes you feel bad about yourself, try and take a step back and consider the art of the image – it may make you think that you aren’t beautiful like them or that you could never look like that, but truthfully even the people in the photo don’t even look like that! They walk down the street just like everyone else and see a cute spot, stop their boyfriend or friend and ask them to take a photo. And they take dozens. And then they edit them. And they smooth them. And they make them just right. I know this because I do the same thing!

As an example, I wanted to give some context and behind the scenes of the images I used for this blog post to show you guys how much thought and effort really goes into this kind of work.

First things first, I woke up and got ready for brunch with my friend Mali, and put on an outfit I had styled out the night before. I spent, honestly, about forty five minutes getting ready before Mali picked me up. We had a lovely brunch and after, I told Mali that I wanted to take some photos for this blog post I wanted to write. We stopped outside the restaurant and tried to take some, but I didn’t love the lighting or location. So WE DROVE – out of our way – to a very trusted photo spot I go to frequently. No, we didn’t just happen upon this spot while walking by and I didn’t just look like this. We probably spent 15-20 minutes (don’t I have patient friends?) taking photos around this area, posing, checking photos, retaking photos, et cetera to get a couple good ones. In total, we took 125 photos. From those 125 photos, I selected probably 10 that I felt comfortable and confident in.

For the integrity of this blog post, I selected a couple images to show you guys that I absolutely DID NOT plan on posting for a multitude of reasons – I felt like I looked too this, or too that or for some reason I just didn’t like the way I looked in them.

I didn’t like this one because I thought my legs looked funny!
Another “no” because I didn’t like the way I looked
The classic “fixing your hair shot” – probably about 60 million of these from today

The in between shots where your body isn’t perfectly posed or you’re making a funny face – those 115 shots that I ended up not liking – THOSE shots are the reality of life. Seriously. Even the most beautiful girls you see have reject thoughts that they throw away or that make them feel too this or too that. It’s just human – no one is perfect, although one perfectly curated photo can make it seem that way.

I hope this gives you guys some good insight into the truth behind those amazing photos we all see. Just a reminder to keep everything in perspective ❤️

Effortlessly,

Emma

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