Stripping Down - My "Real Life" Struggle with Instagram

I live in Los Angeles, and let me tell you the fake is real! Since I started living here I've bought into this idea that everything I present must be perfect; the perfect outfit, the perfect job, the perfect date night, or whatever it may be. I came to a point in my life where I just realized that I was exhausting myself trying to present a perfect life.

Why? Well, honestly because of my job. Do you know how hard it is to be passed up for a job because you meet a quota of followers? Or compare your body with the girl who has the job you want? Do you know what it's like to put on makeup every single day just in case someone takes a photo of you because you have to make sure you're Instagram ready no matter what?

I do, and perhaps you do too. This is the world we live in nowadays. Social media is an extremely affective marketing tool for businesses and brands so of course it's important. Is it worth altering your life over, however?

That's the question I asked myself when the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2017. My husband was pissy with me because I made him stop at least 5 times on the way to the party to get a photo of the brand new fur coat I had saved for the occasion. I set down my drink and picked up my phone to edit my photo, making sure the lighting was right, the color matched my theme and, most importantly, I looked skinny enough.

I was pretty happy with the photo ended up posting. I was having a great time - the picture expressed that much. Being safe New Years partiers, we stayed at our friends house that night and sneeked out the next morning. My husband, got a chuckle out of how I looked that morning (we partied pretty hard). He jokingly snapped a photo, the ugliest photo I had taken in quite some time. My hair was a mess. My makeup was everywhere. I was wearing his pants and no shirt, just an over-sized sweatshirt. Oh, and I still had my heels. People literally stared as we walked to the car.

I thought, "this is funny!" More importantly I thought, "This is real." I made my biggest New Years resolution right then - I'd start being more real on social media, in my blog, on my YouTube channel, in my life.

There's nothing wrong with beautiful photos on social media, especially if that's your job or hobby like it is for so many people. Honestly, I can't deny that Instagram is a HUGE part of my career. I say this all the time to hosts who are starting out, a future employer will look at your Instagram account before they ever look at your work. It's TRUE! Like I previously said, these devices are attractive to businesses who want to get the word out about their product, so I'm not trying to knock social media as a whole. I still DO work hard to post pretty outfit pictures (I sat down on a public sidewalk for this one), and photos that highlight my career because I understand the game. But I'm also going to showcase the struggle, the screw ups, the pain because THAT is real life.

I included my first video of the year with this post to point out that I am done being perfect, at least all the time. I still like to get dressed up, I still like to wear cute clothes, I still like to share my life - but from now on you're going to get all of me, not just the photoshopped me.

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© 2018 by Heather Gardner.