July 23, 2020

If our Instagrams were (Actually) Honest about our Feelings.


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I am 100 percent guilty of using social media to portray an image that is not always who I am.

And I am sorry for that. I am sorry for perpetuating a world where we are not authentic.

Yes, I am a happy person overall; yes, I think there’s nothing wrong with highlighting the fun places we go, or our travels. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is images like this one (above) that I posted a few days ago. The problem is that my first inclination was to caption it with something meaningless, unapproachable, and disingenuous to how I was feeling that week.

Here is what I ended up writing:

“Let’s get real:

This last week, I was a hot mess. This picture was one of the only times I wasn’t in jammies. I was juggling a lot of different responsibilities as well as those little assholes called hormones.

I felt bloated and just down on myself in general. So I bought hair extensions to try and ‘treat’ myself (I clearly have no idea how to wear them), and they are painfully obvious in this picture.

I caked on makeup more than normal and, though I had a blast and enjoyed my pee-colored wine, I don’t want to paint a picture of ‘look how simple and perfect my life is.’

My life is wonderful, but it is not perfect. (As is true for us all.)

I love my job more than I can explain, but my days off are sacred as well. This was one of those much-needed days off. When I look at this picture, I can see a girl who had a rough week…but I doubt you can see that. And so I figured it would be better for me to be honest and tell you that, rather than some meaningless caption (although you probably stopped reading this a while ago ).

So yeah, I recognize how hard I’m trying here; I recognize all the little flaws that bug me but screw it. I also recognize that you all probably had no idea I had a shit week. Or that I hate those extensions. Or that I hate myself for buying them and continuing to try and wear them because they’re so damn fake looking.

At first, I was happy because I thought I had an image where I looked ‘put together,’ and then I woke up this morning and thought about what that really means…and how it’s such bullshit. So before you judge someone (or judge yourself) based on images, try to keep that in mind.

We all shart ourselves (don’t lie, it happens to the best of us), we cry, we buy horrible hair extensions on a period-induced whim, and you know what? None of that shows up on your newsfeed

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.”

I remember thinking that this caption was “dramatic.” I went back and forth multiple times, trying to decide whether I should swap it for some “punny” sarcasm about wine or a sweet Rupi Kaur quote about self-love. 

After I decided to word vomit how I was actually feeling that week, I was met with something incredible. There was an outpouring of people who appreciated that I said that. I was told that the image did, in fact, show a completely different thing than the chaos brewing within me.

I still hate that I wanted to show that I was “put together” when I wasn’t, but I learned a valuable lesson that day. I know I am a work in progress, but this is the first step in dismantling the bullsh*t on social media.

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