Why is it, that in my ‘Insta-perfect’ world with a following of thousands, I’m more depressed than ever?
To most people, my life consists of endless holidays and unlimited beauty products. My news feed is filled with pictures of make-up, media drops, five star safaris’, international holidays and a really good looking boyfriend from New York. And while all that is true, my life is different from how it appears on social media.
Before I created Passports & Pérignon I spent endless hours obsessing over the Instagram pages of my favourite bloggers. Chiara Ferragni’s body, the Song sisters’ wardrobes and the plethora of chia seed breakfasts became my unattainable obsessions. I tried to emulate their lives by getting fake eyelashes, spray-tans, Kylie Jenner shaped nails and of course, every blogger’s essential, an Yves St Laurent sling bag. While I looked composed on the outside, I felt something I was never brave enough to admit. Underneath the layer of Kroylan stage make –up and beginner style contouring, I was the same insecure girl who spent hours envying Kim Kardashian’s flawless face.
The thing that bloggers or social media influencers will never admit (because they stand to lose their appeal) is that their life is entirely a farce. We don’t eat fucking chia seeds for breakfast, in fact that picture perfect bowl was made especially for the Instagram photo and taken by a final year photography student who did the shoot free of charge, in hopes of publicity (most of us can’t afford to hire professionals).
While I might appear perfectly poised, that is the furthest thing from the truth. Currently, I am sitting in bed writing this story and wearing an oversized t-shirt, my comfortable panties and a pair of threadbare pajama pants that I cannot bring myself to throw out. Aside from the fact that this ensemble doesn’t match, I am covered in cat hair from my four cats and my hair (which is normally blow-dried to perfection) is on top of my head. My bare face would surprise most as I suffer from acne and despite how it looks on social media, I cannot airbrush it in real life. These are secrets only my closest friends know and the thought of letting others see it, terrifies me.
From having spent most of my days on Instagram, I can tell you this ‘best friend’ of mine is actually my worst enemy. The countless images of bloggers doing fashion shoots on rooftops has forced me to use three editing apps that also alter my weight and diligently count my calories (spoiler alert, I hate green juice and having to take a photos of my perfectly styled food before I can even take a bite).
Yes, my life is filled with glorious adventure but the thing my followers don’t see is the panic attacks I have on airplanes (I’m petrified of flying), how I deem an outing successful based on whether I get an Instagramable photo and how I’m not the strong woman I appear to be in my relationship. I might kiss my boyfriend lovingly in every picture and my captions are always painfully curated but what you don’t see are our fights about me being on my phone throughout dinner or how I stalk his ex-girlfriend and secretly hate her for being thinner or prettier than me.
My point is, my life isn’t a perfect display of flat lay photos taken in studio with books, Starbucks coffee and Louis Vuitton totes. My life is filled with mundanity, period pains, family fights, gained kilograms, traffic jams and health scares and although I may seem invincible, I am completely the opposite… but then, aren’t we all?
When I see a pretty girl in a crowd, I automatically feel threatened and when I see someone thinner than me, I painfully obsess over it for the rest of the evening. The point of this letter is to end the farce that we all know to be true… Instagram is ruining our happiness.
My ‘Insta-envy’ has reached new heights and in me admitting it, I hope that others, who are still employed in a corporate job they hate, might not envy my life as much as they do.
Next time you see me in public, whether it be when I’m dressed up or in the pharmacy buying tampons, I ask one thing of you….come up to me and say hi. Be the person I am working so hard to become, because despite how it looks, none of us is the girl in the picture.
To follow Genevieve’s journey through this crazy thing called adulating, follow her @passportsandperignon