By: Hannah Rowston
Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and thinking: how long have I been doing this? I need to redecorate my house.. Actually, I just need an entire new wardrobe. Why am I not on a yacht in Mykonos right now? Everyone is in Mykonos!!!! My thumb hurts… Oooh, puppies!
If so, then you likely have a case of Instagram Influencer Envy (a disorder completely made up, right now, by me). It’s okay. I have it too.
Since Instagram’s first post in 2010, the social media app has changed the course of the society that we live in. Becoming “verified” is a new form of social status, “getting likes” can trigger a dopamine high, and posting a photo can become your career. Not only that – but you can make millions. MILLIONS! Over posting a photo!
Even though it’s only been 7 years since the app launched, the ancient days of pre-instagram life feel like decades ago. What did I possibly do with my time before mindless scrolling became a thing? How would I have ever learned how to master winged liner, or style the perfect beach waves, or that crushed velvet was going to be huge for fall without all of my favorite style influencers and beauty bloggers guiding the way? I’ll give you a hint: I would probably have a little less influencer envy… (and I probably would’ve saved that $50 that I spent on FitTea).
What started as simple tool to connect and share with others has turned into some next level keeping up with the joneses (or Kardashians, rather). I find myself constantly feeling unworthy, not pretty enough, not well traveled enough… you get the picture. And then Diana wrote this blog post, and she finally said the one that that everyone needs to hear more often: YOU. ARE. ENOUGH!
And then I got to thinking. If so many of us feel this way, then there’s a 99% chance that everything isn’t all champagne and roses for influencers either. They are human after all (unless they are actually robots which would explain soooo much). Sure, we know that they have impeccable taste and spend every 4th of July in The Hamptons, but what is really going on behind the filters? What all goes into creating the picture perfect world that we see in every post?
So instead spending my days drowning in constant insta-#FOMO over every beautiful style goddess on my feed, I decided to become one myself. That’s right. I became an influencer for a day (sorry followers) to see what it was really like, and y’all… it was hard!
Even though I only spent one day as a wannabe influencer, it didn’t take me long to realize just how much goes into the entire process – so I have put together a brief guide on how to document the perfect day, with little tidbits on what actually happens behind the filters of every insta-worthy moment. Enjoy!
GOAL: post the perfect #nomakeup #nofilter #iwokeuplike this selfie.
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: Get out of bed. Style hair into the perfect “bedhead look”. Arrange bed so that cutest and fluffiest pillows are showing. If able, make sure to include an adorable puppy. Get back into bed. Take selfie.
BUT FIRST, COFFEE
GOAL: It is important to drink out of the most adorable mug that you own while also overlooking a beautiful view.
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: Whatever your situation may be, just make sure it looks picturesque, even if it takes 30 extra minutes to re-paint your nails so that your hand looks amazing. Your coffee may turn cold, but remember: you’re doing it for the ‘gram!
WORK WORK WORK
GOAL: Set up the most insta-worthy home office situation possible.
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: I’ll admit that I went a bit over the top with this one. Since I am blessed with the ability to work remotely, I photographed myself working on my laptop by the pool. Yes, I felt like a jerk for posting this on IG while I know many of my friends are working their butts off from their cubicles, but sometimes you just have to get those likes! (plus, working for Red Dress is amazing, sorry ‘bout it). 😉
GOAL: Find the trendiest lunch spot in all of LA
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: Even if it takes an hour of traffic to get there, just remember that the aesthetic will be worth it.
MILLENNIAL PINK OR BUST
GOAL: Get a pic in front of the iconic Paul Smith Pink Wall
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: Pulling up to the wall on Melrose Ave. is quite a scene: there are so many people taking selfies that there is an actual security guard set in place directing everyone. You only have a few minutes to get the shot, and then you have to keep moving.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT
GOAL: Get at least one boomerang clinking glasses and several “candids” of you and the girls.
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: This can be tough. Yes, you may be in a public place, but there is no shame when it comes to finding the perfect lighting. I would also suggest bringing along a photographer who understands that it’s going to take about 50 tries until you get the perfect laughing-while-holding-a-margarita-while-coincidentally-standing-in-front-of-a-super-adorable-background-with-your-besties shot.
GOAL: Post one last selfie in your charcoal face mask.
HOW TO GET THE SHOT: Still trying to figure out how to make this cute. I’m going to leave it to the pros on this one.
It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of social media – and where I love following my favorite bloggers for inspiration, it is important to remember that it is their job to portray the image that we see. Next time you find yourself wondering why your life isn’t as perfect as your Instagram feed, turn that envy into respect. Countless hours went into that post – and that’s not counting the amount of work that it takes to gain a loyal following (and keep them interested with a steady flow of content).
Lessons learned? Take everything with a grain of salt. Not everything is as it seems! And most importantly: Put your phone down! I promise you’ll have more fun.