In the words of my old pal Madonna, “We are living in a material world and I am a material girl” … except I don’t really love being a material girl, which can be a real predicament when you spend most of your downtime scrolling through Instagram and seeing countless new swanky outfits and shopping bags loaded with goodies. The more immersed I’ve gotten in the world of social media and blogging, the more I have felt this looming pressure to be picture-perfect online, which I’m sure I’m probably not alone in feeling, but man does it suck.
I have found myself, on more than one occasion, planning an outfit depending on whether I have already uploaded an Instagram in it that month or not, which when you only own three skirts that you like or a pair of leggings for bottom options can be a bit of a chin-scratcher. I genuinely am so interested to know where on earth all the bigger bloggers put all of their outfits?! Maybe it’s not on earth, it could be on Mars for all I know – seriously where do these people store all of their T-Shirts!? That’s not to say that this is all bloggers or influencers, I am a real sucker for IGTV’s styling one item of clothing in 273 ways, but it is still something that has shamefully pushed me to bundle some fast-fashion items in my cart a few times in the past. I have a leopard print skirt that I picked up in the animal print craze from Primark out of sheer panic to join the safari-style crew that still hasn’t made its way onto my feed.
Plus, I mean it’s not just clothing – let’s talk makeup and skincare for a second. I love flat lay Instagrams, LOVE them, but I am always baffled by how some people have countless new items perfectly positioned on a marble counter with fairy lights perfectly draped over them every other week. If that’s what people want to spend their money on then I applaud them but as a student, I do definitely feel a decent amount of pressure to cast aside the milk money and pick up a new Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lipstick if I want to ensure I’ll be picked out of the bunch to work with certain brands. I am also constantly worried about what I am going to use to make cute-yet-cluttered shots as lord forbid for me to put the same concealer in two consecutive posts!!
The same goes for travel. To all of you guys and gals out there that do get to whizz around the globe 6 times a year, I am super happy for you, genuinely that is incredible and I would jump at the chance if I could do that. To all of you guys and gals that still live with your parents in a small town in the middle of no-where (aka me this summer), please try to not worry about posting boomerangs of you clinking gin glasses in the Bahamas. I would, of course, love to do that and have definitely been super hard on myself this summer for having to cancel my trip to Barcelona and preventing myself having a feed filled with sunshiney holiday snaps, but it isn’t the end-all and be-all of blogging. I definitely think I would feel a lot more like a ‘real’ blogger if I could do that but since I’m heading back to uni in a few weeks, it just isn’t going to happen for me this year.
This is partly something I definitely put on myself, I think anyone would want to be a millionaire and have as many bits and bobs to make content with if it were possible and economically viable (I know I would for sure) but that just isn’t a reality for me right now. I also think I should probably point out that I don’t sit around pulling apart other people’s accounts to find out if they’ve worn their ‘ASOS Backstreet Boys Tee’ more than once, so in some regard, I am just being daft by putting this pressure on myself for a blummin’ photo. But I do still think it is super important to talk about in the blogging community, regardless of whether you’re brandishing the ‘Influencer of the Year Award’ or rocking your humble 500 follower count. While it is such an escapist thing to look at peoples accounts that do fit into the perfect-Instagram square lifestyle, that isn’t realistic for everyone, so here are a few things I want to work harder on to promote positivity online and show that living in the material world doesn’t always make a happy gal:
- Don’t worry about being an outfit repeater – Regardless of whether I’m slapping on the same skater skirt and jumper to take some snaps in or I’m switching up a newer item by pairing it with something pushed to the back of my wardrobe, I want to try harder to love my current wardrobe wonders. It’s better for my bank account and the environment which is two major ticks for me.
- IGTV Styling – Like I said before, I loveeee videos where people style an item of clothing in multiple ways, so not only am I going to try taking more inspo from these but I do want to maybe try doing some myself once I move into my new flat in September and have a bit more room.
- Flatlay funding – I am very guilty of picking up random magazines or flowers to make my flat lays look more aesthetically pleasing and I always, always regret whipping out my card once I get them back home. So, if I’m in desperate need of some bits and bobs the charity shop is going to hopefully be the first stop on my list instead of M&S.
- Explore what’s near me – Until the end of September I’m still going to be at home, with a serious lack of lovely places to take snaps so, instead of hopping on a train for 3 hours to get to a big city, I’m going to try looking at what is around me more and having a little nosey on the locations tag on Insta to see if I can spot some juicy spots that will be cheaper to get to.
And there you have it!! This might just be a problem I have, I’m not too sure really, but if it is something fellow bloggers have experienced I would love to know how you feel about it. Like I said, I do think it is something people should be speaking about more as I have definitely felt like a tiny fish in one very boujee pond before. That being said, thank you to all of the lovely blogs and Insta users out there that do embrace their natural flair with just a sprinkling of filters applied to it, it makes me feel a million times more confident to see that I’m not alone. Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead of you,
Lots of love, hugs and happy reading,
– E xx