I’ve spent a few posts this month talking about growing your Instagram community, but this post is a post that I’ve most wanted to write. The criticism that many bloggers and Instagram lovers fall into – that our pictures are all overly styled – has gained so much momentum, with many people turning away from Instagram. I agree that there are many bloggers who appear to style all of their photos, perhaps style much of their on-line persona to fit the personal brand they are trying to create for themselves. Instagram is such a visual space – it’s where I go for inspiration, to add a little more sparkle to my day. I want to see pictures that look good. A blurry photo is not going to cut it for me. Neither is a photo of you showing baby vomit on your top. It’s just not what I find inspiring. And I one hundred percent acknowledge that not everyone is going to be inspired by what I post.
Posted on Instagram: Nothing in particular happened, but it all seemed to happen at once. This afternoon, right now. I want to cry and run and give up. But I’m taking a deep breath and I’m going to run a bath with lots of Lush goodness
Posted on Instagram: Kitchen skincare essentials thanks to The Aromatherapy Company. I love the Therapy Kitchen hand wash and hand lotion (both with lemongrass, lime and bergamot) what do you use in the kitchen? (These are the only products we’ve ever used in the kitchen, they work, they last for ages and smell amazing. Lemon and lemongrass scents are my favourites and yes they’re stored in that basket on the counter all the time. And it’s not sponsored or gifted).
This is not to say that I don’t often wish I had a brand new home to set-up, or that I could get rid of the carpet in this rental of ours, or that we could start building our forever home NOW on that huge piece of land we bought in Fiji. I do but I’ve learnt to keep things in check. Fads don’t excite me as much, and I understand that every fad and trend isn’t for me (for my style, for my budget or my philosophy). Sometimes it takes a deep breath and a reminder that I do not need to constantly be shopping and buying things to be a blogger or Instagrammer. For those of you who know me, you know that I’m only purchasing an item a month and don’t you think even for a minute that it didn’t cross my mind what that goal would and could do to my blog and Instagram. Of course I considered it! I wouldn’t have new shoes every other week to blog about. And then I laughed at myself…because that’s all I could do. I had a good laugh, analysed the situation, sense prevailed and I stuck to my goals.
Posted on Instagram: So so sick and home alone. What are your sick day guilty pleasures? (I didn’t think it was necessary for people to see me blowing my nose. I was tired, irritable but I needed prettiness around me. I do silly things when I’m sick like wear my husbands knits and cry. That’s normal in my house.)
Posted on Instagram: As you do… (Taken in Lae, Papua New Guinea. THIS is the type of thing that happens to me all the time, and it might look contrived to those who don’t know me, but really…this is me. And this photo was taken by someone else and given to me.)
I think we (including me) need to have enough self-confidence and smart to be able to look at pictures and remind ourselves that that’s all they are – pictures. I try to always share inspiring photos (or what I think are inspiring photos) even on ‘bad’ days. The caption on the photo often explains that it’s been tough but the photo more often than not is a ‘nice’ one. That’s my real, that’s how I choose to live my life and get through the tough times. That’s what my un-styled life is and looks like. All hell might be breaking loose but you can count that I will put a wonderful dinner on the table, which Miss 10 sets beautifully every day and alternates between cloth napkins and serviettes based on what she feels – not who’s coming to dinner. That doesn’t mean I don’t deal with the hell that’s breaking loose, I do, but I deal with the mess through talking. Taking a picture of Miss 10 giving me attitude, or of me crying with mascara down my face isn’t going to inspire anyone, it certainly isn’t going to inspire me. I make the conscious choice to share a picture of us in our happier times and open a discussion and conversation about the difficulty in parenting 10 year olds. That’s my normal. That’s my un-styled life.