New year, new me.
It’s a crock.
Now look, before we get all twisted around, hear me out.
I’m all about changes (obviously- I’m making eleventy billion posts about bettering myself). I’m all about being the best you that you can be. Let us not pretend, though, that you weren’t perfectly fine last year. I guarantee, unless you murdered someone last year, you were alright in 2016. You don’t need a new you. A new attitude, maybe. A new set of goals, sure.
It’s easy, especially with the rise of social media, to look around and compare your life to the feeds flashing in front of you. It’s easy to see these perfectly posed photos of delightful, not-at-all fussy children in perfectly pressed white linen and think that you need a life change to keep up. You don’t have to change yourself and your entire being in order to fit the Insta-curated life of your dreams.
It’s all a facade, kittens. People don’t candidly wear $1500 dresses to bake with their kids in their spotless kitchen with the flawless natural lighting for the perfect photo op. Normal people don’t keep butcher paper-wrapped peonies in their front seats, propped perfectly against their Celine bags, pushed back enough to display both mirrored Ray-Ban aviators and a Mercedes-Benz key. Most women don’t don $200 moto yoga pants in formal makeup after a 10:00am Tuesday workout sipping a chai-latte-kumbucha-green tea-macha-chia seed-whatever in a large #Starbs cup.
That is simply not real life. It’s beautiful, but it is staged.
I read two articles this week comparing Instagram and its curated accounts to what both authors have dubbed “lifestyle porn” (read those articles here and here). I can’t imagine a more fitting descriptor. Take a pretty picture, sure. Get your bright mural wall selfies on all day. Pose your rose-gold Apple watch against your marble countertops if you want.
Just don’t think you need that to keep up with whatever social media pressure you’ve put on yourself. Keeping up with the Instagram Joneses is impossible for people who aren’t professional Instagram Joneses because the Instagram Joneses are a mirage. It’s not the Jones’ life you are seeing: it’s the Jones’ job.
Life is more than peonies and bar carts, and you have to take these curated feeds with a grain of salt. They are beautiful, but they in no way depict a real-life setting. Use these feeds for inspiration, not for #lifegoals: they are not #lifegoals because they simply do not display #reallife.
Again. I’m all about that pretty Insta (I mean, I wish I had one- mine is a bunch of quotes and Louie). It’s just not at all a candid representation of someone’s life to be made into life goals. Social media goals? Damn right. Just don’t fall into the myth that this is the way life looks, or the way things need to be. This is a job, not a life. They work very hard to make pictures that pretty. That’s why they’re paid the big bucks.
You don’t need to weigh 100 pounds to be badass. You don’t need a $5000 outfit to be badass. You don’t need Whole 30 or Tone It Up or David Yurman to be badass. If you got all that, badass. If you don’t … still badass. You. Are. A. Badass. Period. Regardless of the consumer stuff.
All that said, if I could support myself via a pretty Instagram feed, I’d arrange flowers in whatever vehicle you asked, all day long. What can I say? I’m a sellout.