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Why Is “Instagram Perfect” A Thing?

Instagram Perfect

Can we talk about something? Can we talk about the label, “Instagram Perfect?”

Why is “Instagram Perfect” a thing?

Meaning, you strive so hard to portray a perfect life on Instagram so that people envy you and wish that they had it all together like you do.

Except in real life, you DON’T have it together. None of us do.

So why, in this social media-driven world, are we constantly trying so damn hard to make our Instagram feeds “perfect?” A perfectly curated feed. Why?

Let me back up because this might seem like it’s coming out of nowhere.

I returned from my trip to Vermont last week and in the same day, I got asked two very similar statements and to be honest, they offended me. I’ll tell you why in a bit, but these were the two statements I got:

“It looks like you had a wonderful time on your trip! I hope that is genuinely true and not just how you made it look on IG!”

“How was Vermont? Was it as perfect as you made it look on Instagram?”

It doesn’t seem like offensive statements, right? Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it any other way than a compliment for my awesome storytelling and photo-taking skills but I took it offensively because I strive SO DAMN HARD every single day and with every single post to be real and genuine and it made me sad/mad that people would think I would try to fake something to make it look perfect.

This is a real problem.

Guys! Is this what you truly think of influencers? That we all fake it? Because that is a real problem. And it’s something I’m hoping we can fix or at least starting with my account.

Additionally, I’d like to put a blanket statement out there that I hope you know that everything I post is genuine and authentic. I’m sorry if you ever got the feeling that I was fake? Because I never have intended for ANYONE to think I’m perfect or that I travel to perfect places and never have any mishaps.

If you watch any Instagram stories, you KNOW my life ain’t perfect and you KNOW I share with you guys the good, the bad, the ugly. If something is sponsored, I’ll tell you (but just know I don’t take sponsored work lightly. I have turned away so many and I vett every partnership opp I get), if it’s not sponsored and seems sponsored, I’ll disclaim it and tell you I bought it with my own money and just want to share the love of something.

With that said, I’d be a hypocrite if I said I never sat in front of my phone wondering which photo would do best on Instagram or trying to take the perfect photo for Instagram.

Trust me, I do it — we all do. It’s how society is these days.

Your measure of success is measured by the number of likes an image receives. The more perfect the image, the more likes you get.

I guess my question is…WHY have we allowed ourselves to measure our success by A NUMBER on a SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM that we don’t own?

Shouldn’t measuring success be whether or not you are happy in life and happy with what you do? And how it shouldn’t always be a constant battle and frustration with how many likes you are receiving?

I hate to say this but I feel that social media has 100% killed people’s perception of life and success. When you work with a brand, their way to measure success for a campaign is how many pageviews you got, how many clicks you got, how many likes, etc.

When a brand chooses to work with you, they ask for numbers. How many followers, how many average pageviews, etc. They measure your success by numbers.

Measuring your success by numbers is 100% why we are so focused on Instagram perfect. I don’t really have an answer on how we can change that and how there are other ways to measure success other than your own self-contentment and happiness.

I wish measuring success can be based on how much engagement you get with DM’s. Oh, but the public can’t actually see that. Only the account holder can so therefore, if the public doesn’t see it, it’s not real and not a measure of success.

Don’t get me wrong, measurements of success by numbers has always been around. That’s how any business or company sees success (profit, loss, etc.) but I also feel that, as influencers, we can strive to not let numbers define us and define what success is and start to be more real on social media?

There’s a sort of responsibility as influencers to make a difference and change. We have the voice, we have the power. People are always watching us and what kind of message are we giving them if we are constantly showing perfection? That’s like the same concept as ultra skinny barbie-shaped models. They give the perception that this is how a woman should always be.

And we all know how that has turned out and how many decades later, we are now flipping the switch and embracing all body shapes and sizes — something we should have done forever ago.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

It’s funny to laugh at the videos that people show what gets posted on Instagram and then what is actually behind the scenes but I sometimes wonder why we must strive to show our imperfect lives so perfectly.

Is it because it gives people a sense of security or is it just a break from the chaos in their own life? I’m trying to figure that out myself too. I look at interior designer Instagram accounts all the time and think, “omg, that living room is perfect” or a fashion blogger’s account and say, “omg, how is she so put together all the time even when traveling?”

Let’s discuss!

I’d love for you to share your thoughts below. Do you think influencers are fake 100% of the time? Or is it more like 50/50? Why do you think they’re fake or what are they doing that makes things seem fake?

Why do you think we like looking at “Instagram Perfect” photos? What feelings does it evoke in you? What do you gain? What do you lose?

As an influencer, how do you measure success? If it’s by number of likes or numbers in general, why do you think that is success? Should we be trying to change this? Is it always going to be that way? Does it bother you? Do you think there is room to change this or do you think we’re too far gone in this numbers game to ever turn it around? Do you think we could ever convince brands that we aren’t all about numbers and what they see publicly? If there are no numbers to measure success, how do you think one would measure success?

I definitely have good and bad days. Some days, I laugh at how “little” likes I get for the amount of followers I have and then some day I’m like why do I fucking care and just post whatever I want. It’s a stupid game and I’m honestly sick of it. I think if influencers stuck together and created a community for imperfect Instagrams, we would all start to see that everyone is just about the same in life. Imperfectly perfect.


Tuesday 24th of July 2018

I keep getting pulled toward the allure of having that perfect curated Instagram feed, but real life keeps intruding - and the funny thing is that when it does, my interactions go way up, even if I lose a few followers. It's a decent trade off as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather have people laughing at and commenting on the ridiculous cat-with-my-pregnancy-belly photo I posted than mindlessly tapping like for a photo that probably took way too much effort to stage, take, edit, and post.


Thursday 26th of July 2018

Yep, I've noticed the same thing. Haha, when it's curated and a beautiful photo, people are less inclined to engage but then when it's a random photo taken off the cuff..people love it! Goes to show I think it's shifting a little bit...where people want to see REAL life.


Tuesday 24th of July 2018

Well, you KNOW my thoughts on social media, Instagram specifically! I travel 200+ days a year, and I never get comments like that (probably because I've worked as a travel journalist for nearly 15 years), BUT my best friend did tell me her sister recently said, "does Kristin actually like everywhere she goes? It sure sounds like," to which my friend replied, "no she does not! She's good at faking it." RUDE! The way I see it working in travel is that there's something good to find in every destination you go, even if it isn't your favorite. So I set out to find those good bits and promote them, rather than focus on any negative experiences. Doesn't mean my life is "Instagram perfect," but rather I'd create useful content others can use in planning their trips rather highlighting parts I didn't care for.


Thursday 26th of July 2018

I 100% agree. And totally rude for someone saying that you're good at faking it! Not cool. Sorry that happened to you too! We can only just keep telling ourselves that we are truly being authentic and let the haters think otherwise.


Tuesday 24th of July 2018

I definitely think you come across as super real here and on your IG posts and I love it. Keep on keepin' on.


Thursday 26th of July 2018

Thanks so much!

Cissy Young

Monday 23rd of July 2018

You are absolutely correct, Julie. I’d like to go back a bit when we were happy with how we looked, happy with what we had. Nowadays it’s all BS. The young girls are striving to look like these blank, skinny models and Hollywood bimbos. Not happy to just BE!! It’s really sad. Social media has really screwed up a lot of folks.


Thursday 26th of July 2018

YES! Exactly. :(

Lynette Aoki

Monday 23rd of July 2018

I live on the Big Island of HI (where the volcano is happening now) I read a lot of about social media and what it's doing to what you have just said. As far as fake? unsure? But when it comes to You, this I know for sure, You're Not! You are the Real Deal, and for that, I love everything about you; your stories, recipes and the likes. In truth, I don't appreciate what social media has turned our world into ( pre-teens, all the way up to our politicians!) Keep up the good work.


Thursday 26th of July 2018

Thanks Lynette. Appreciate your words of encouragement!