The other night I was out at a bar with some friends and a buddy of mine asked me, as a blogger, what I thought about Essena O’Neill’s video on quitting social media. For those of you who have not heard her story I strongly urge you to go check it out. To summarize, Essena, an eighteen year old Instagram star, quit social media entirely after realizing the immense pressure it was putting on her as well as other millennials. O’Neill originally kept many of her Instagram images up, (she has since closed her account) but changed the captions to be honest about what went into taking her photos, with captions such as “took over 50 shots until I got one I thought you might like, then I edited this one selfie for ages over several different apps”.
(Image via Pinterest)
I think what Essena did is incredibly brave and is such a breath of fresh air when you start to think about what the effects of seeing these so called “perfect” girls with “perfect” lives can do to our self esteem.
Recently a friend of mine from back home told me that when he looks at my Instagram he is jealous of my “perfect life” and I found that kind of eye opening. In reality, when I photo an outfit and it looks “perfect” it is because I edited it in Photoshop and deleted the other 46 photos I did not like. Personally, I often edit my photos because I think that certain things can distract from my outfit, such as chest acne or wrinkles in my clothing. In my opinion, there isn’t anything wrong with that because I am not ashamed of who I am and I understand the difference between social media and reality. I am a normal twenty three year old who, yes, still gets acne (The below are two examples of before and afters of photos that I edited because of my acne).
Even more so, when I post a picture of a new plant I got or my morning coffee and it looks “perfect”, it is because I moved furniture around in my house for thirty minutes to get the right backdrop and the best lighting and looked up reference images on Instagram to be sure the angle I got is the best. I even included the below image to show you guys what things really look like in my living room when I take photos for the blog.
To me, posting on social media and my blog is meant to be inspiration for my followers. It is meant to show you pretty images of delicious things and cute outfits, but it is not my reality. I get acne, my house gets messy, I have bed head (come on who really “woke up like this!?”) and that is what I want everyone to know. Going forward, I will be making a conscious effort adding a footnote to the end of my posts that explains what went into the photos I am posting.
Tell me, what are your opinions on social media v.s. reality and the use of photoshop and other editing apps?