Ever find yourself staring at your phone screen in utter disbelief thinking, “There’s no way she’s that perfect, right?” Feel free to replace the “she’s” with anything you want: her skin, life, house, children, cooking… Pick your poison.
To answer your question, yes, you are right. She/he/they are not that perfect. They’re not even a little bit perfect. In fact, not a single thing in their life is either. We have social media to thank for tricking us into believing that anyone on this planet has miraculously cornered the market on perfectionism.
Ah, social media. We love you, then we hate you, then we love to hate you. It’s interesting to look at life now in comparison to life before smart phones. Every generation has said since the beginning of time, how simpler life was, “Back then…” For our generation, it’s very true.
Before social media, reality tv was the thing. Reality tv had us believing that true love could in fact be found every season on the Bachelor. Remind me again, what’s the success rate on those relationships? What so many didn’t realize was all of the manipulation going on behind the scenes in order to achieve the reality tv worthy moments. You know, those scenes that left us screaming at the tv when the show ended because we were dying for next Monday night to get here already. We needed to know what happened next.
Social media=the new reality tv
Let that sink in for a moment. All of the perfectly staged rooms, styled outfits, coiffed hair and flawless makeup… NONE of it is real life. We all experience flyaways, wedgies, lipstick smudges, wrinkled clothing and every other annoying thing that stands in the way of your idea of perfect.
Behind most every impeccably decorated room is a woman who is frantically clearing clutter out for that one photo. Then “click,” the photo is taken and the crap goes back to its home: on the counter, nightstands, coffee table… Ain’t nobody living a real life with other people in their home and NOTHING on their kitchen and bathroom counters. Just saying.
Behind that gorgeous photo of smiling kids in their perfect outfits is a mama who is bribing them to sit still for just ONE stupid photo then they can go back to their iPads.
Behind that perfect Fall outfit that is styled so perfectly and molds to her body just right is “the chair” with a heaping mound of clothes. We all know the chair (or in my case, the floor) where all 2,364 articles of clothing that didn’t look quite right get ripped of your body while you’re getting more frustrated by the moment because NOTHING looks good on you today. But when she does find that perfect outfit combination, she takes no less than 35 iPhone mirror selfies all with a teeny tiny difference in pose. All to get that single photo that shows her outfit, figure, hair and makeup in the best possible lighting.
See what I’m getting at here? There are so many manipulations that occur off camera in order to achieve that perfect photo you’re now seeing on your phone screen. Maybe that photo leaves you feeling inspired. But maybe it leaves you feeling bad about yourself.
The content I create is meant to be inspiration for my GG’s. I try my best to show you the reality in my life so that you don’t think that I’m setting out to portray this picture perfect life. There have been times since I began this social media journey in 2012 when I believed that I could only show the pretty in my life. I believed that because that was the only thing I myself was consuming from the influencers in my own feed. I found myself feeling worse and worse about myself. I could never be as beautiful as she was. My business could never keep up with hers. I’m no where near as organized as she is. My cooking will never be as good as hers. MacKenlee won’t pose for photos the way her baby does. I’m not getting the opportunities that she is, it must be because I’m not good enough... Lies. I was being fed lies. Not outright, in your face lies. But lies of a false perfectionism. My behind the scenes is constantly being compared to their highlight reels. And it’s so very unhealthy.
Instagram has become the new magazine. Everything we loved about our favorite magazine is now readily accessible with the tap of a finger. When you open your Instagram app, you see magazine worthy images that make you want to redecorate, diet, throw away your entire wardrobe… Then you turn off your phone and just feel plain sorry for yourself as you look around your home and in the mirror. The difference is that you knew what you saw in magazines was created for your inspiration. With social media, you know what you’re seeing is someone’s actual home and life. It’s all very confusing.
I felt led to write this post to share that you are not alone in your frustrations. I have been a content creator for years, I know everything that goes on behind the scenes and yet, I felt bad about myself in some way most every time I opened Instagram. What changed for me? My inner dialogue. Listen, I still have those thoughts of not being good enough, pretty enough, smart enough… But enough is enough! I have to constantly remind myself that what she, whoever she may be, is doing has no effect on my life. God placed me on a different path and I have to stay in my own lane. GG, the same goes for you.
I pray that my content has never left someone feeling that they weren’t enough. The mission statement behind Hello Gorgeous from day one was to help women feel and be their most gorgeous, inside and out. That’s what I hope you get every time you click my name. That’s why I hope you share my work with your girlfriends, because we are a group of perfectly imperfect women who support each other in a place where so many bloggers like to sell the illusion of perfectionism. Instead, we’re selling the reality of life. That we all have bad hair days, dark circles, we get pimples and wrinkles(at the same time!), we struggle to eat healthy and be healthy, we have imperfect relationships and kids and jobs… But we’re all united in one commonality: we’re real women.
what I’m wearing
ilitia jeans | Wilfred Sweater | Parisa Wang Bag | Express Snakeskin Boots | Photography by Kara Coleen
shop this look
I wish I could post a picture here that I saw as an explanation of social media … it was perfect. Hard to explain but picture an apple in front of a mirror. On the side facing you, the apple has all kinds of bites taken out of it. The side of tbe apple facing the mirror reflects the perfect, glossy, unbitten side. The image in the mirror (social media) is not the reality of the apple. The apple in real life is bitten up. Does that make sense? It was such a powerful image.
Thanks for keeping it real Angela. You show us your glossy side, but you also let us see your bitten up side too. You’re one good apple 😉😂. Seriously, you are appreciated much more than I imagine you can ever know. Much love to you. ❤️
I think I saw this photo too!!
You are so sweet, Terri! Takes for following along and supporting me, GG. 🙂
So true Angela, nobody is perfect. Right now I am looking at a pile of folded clothes that needs to be put away and another load will soon be finished and it will replace what was on the couch, LOL.
LOL I seem to ALWAYS have a load of laundry that need washed, dried, folded or SOMETHING lol!
I’m so agree with this whole talk. I’m only 20yo but this whole social media thing can be very tricky. With instagram we really see the best but not the whole picture and I’m not gonna lie, I was affected at some point but once you understand that no one can be perfect and all of that and it’s a real work to do on ourself it’s get easier to deal with. I love that you show the good but also share the bad with us.
What we have to remember is that it’s okay to have bad days and that nothing is perfect because everyone is different.
Exactly, Priscilla! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. 🙂
So true Angela! I love this post! I’m always striving to just be real and authentic with what I post. I think that’s why you make such an impact! Because you are relatable 🙂
Thank you so much, Beka!
Amen, girl! 👏🏼 I’ve really had to learn to not compare my life with the lives of my peers on social media. Sometimes it can be hard when it’s shoved down your throat.
I appreciate people like you who always keep it real, and show all sides of their life.
You have brought such an amazing group of women together too! ❤️
Thank you, Lindsay! I’m so blessed that all of my GGs just happen to be so incredible. 🙂
Yes!! When social media first came out (Facebook) it was awesome because it allowed everyone to keep in touch with people from high school or family that live in other states. Now it’s all about the perfect smile, outfit, family dynamic, etc etc. I love my children and want to share that because we have family live out of state….but do I really want them to see a picture of the frown because they have to smile?! Um nope!! So instead, the camera goes “click click” and then I find just the right one, edit and post. I think one time I posted a picture of my boys playing and there were toys everywhere. And I thought, “well this is real life”. The minute I put a toy away, 10 more get drug out. Life is a beautiful mess and we should remember to embrace it, not hide it with filters and perfection. We had family pictures done last year and at the time my middle child was 3 yrs old….he’s frowning in some pictures and is holding a rock in other pictures lol. That’s life right there
It’s so true, life really is a beautiful mess!
I love that you posted this because it is so true. Whenever I get too hard on myself (or my husband, daughter) I remember the Bible verse: “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of an ox.” ~Proverbs 14:4. It just reminds me that I am blessed by the mess makers in my home and I’m blessed to have the things that get messy and need to be cleaned; everything from my hair to the dishes to the writing on the walls. There are people that don’t have these things that I frequently take for granted and through God reminding me of this verse I’m humbled and remember to be thankful for the mess (and the mess makers :)).
Yes!! I try to remind myself how thankful I am for my husband and daughter when I’m cleaning up their messes instead of grumbling about having to pick up after them for the 1000th time that day!
AMEN 🙌🏻 This NEEDED to be talked about and said!! I agree 100%! It makes me incredibly sad to think about my nieces and our younger generation of women and men who feel like they constantly have to compare themselves with that they see in social media and believe it to be reality. I still catch myself here and there letting that voice in my head tell me “I need to buy that outfit so I can look like her!” “She’s got an awesome body! I need to hit the gym harder!”. You said it perfectly … you love social media… you hate it and you love to hate it. I don’t think any other thing in my life has ever made me feel more like a failure or not enough then Instagram and Facebook. Comparison is the thief of joy! I am so glad you chose this topic for today and hope it helps so many others who struggle with comparison on social media. You’re a gem and such a great female example! Thank you Angela!!
Thank you, Leah! I think you’d love this blog post too: https://angelalanter.com/2016/11/stop-comparison-from-stealing-your-joy/
This is the whole reason why I stumbled across hello gorgeous in the first place! I love you just the way you are from glam life -real life -To mom life ❤️ I’ve been there ! I don’t comment on a lot of stuff I’m more of a liner but I support you and your journey! Ohio girl for life xo
You’re the best, Lindsay!! Have you joined our private Facebook group yet? I feel like you’d love it! 🙂
AMEN! Wouldn’t be able to word this any better! Love! Such a great post 🙂
Thank you, Marina!
Hey Angela! The first thing I want to say is God bless, I know I don’t know you personally, but I see you on Instagram and even though we have different passions and we’re in different stages of life I believe God puts people in our path for a reason and right now I’m in a weird place where I just don’t know how to feel better about my life (the short version is that I just had my 8th brain surgery because of a condition I was born with called Hydrocephalus and it’s got my anxiety and depression into hyper drive) I’m thinking about God wants me to start a blog about my health, but I’m not sure, I know I just want to inspire people anyway I can and I want to continue to care for the sweet babies at the nursery at school (I’ve always had a heart for kids) at 22 I feel like I’m so behind on life in general because of the fact that I don’t drive and that I’m not in college while in reality I know that college isn’t all that, it’s just so hard to not think something when that’s all you hear people talk about ya know? And I think social media being the way it is can be a blessing when it comes to connecting others (which I love more than anything, I’m definitely a people person) but it can also be a curse because there’s this constantly remind that what we have isn’t good enough. I just pray that God continues to show his light through what you’re doing with Gorgeous Girls. You’re most definitely an inspiration. I hope to chat with you soon!
Thank you, Maddie! You sound like YOU are actually the light, girlfriend!! Wishing you total healing!!
Thank you Angela, I really appreciate the kind words.
Absolutely love this and how true it is. Everyone needs that reminder. And no matter how fun it is to scroll through Instagram and see those images or stories sometimes it does make you feel “oh I’m not like that or my kid doesn’t do that or my house isn’t this.” I love seeing your stories when you’re in your bathrobe all day and don’t have a full face of makeup. I love your reality you bring us, bc it’s real and you can still give us great content!
Thank you, Katie! I should probably be ashamed that I don’t get dressed until late afternoon most days… As I’m sitting here responding in my robe LOL!
I am apart of a small group that was just talking about this concept tonight. How social media is the highlight real but we don’t see the work it took to get a glory moment. Even in the Bible we remember the amazing things that the people did like slaying a giant, going from prisoner to second in command but they had hardships along the way that we can’t forget are apart of life. We all have victories and struggles. Thank you for being real!
Totally! Such a great example to bring up, Jordin!!
I just loved this blog post, I also think that we as young teenagers and woman need to understand that not all the posts that you see on social media or Instagram is real!! Well I dont want to reapet what you said Angela. 😉 You really did put the cherry on top. Its also bot about hurting anyone’s feelings. Its tealling the truth and by doing that this helps people and girls who did not know or even realise what was going on. So I hope that of some girls read this comment that they understand what I am talking about. 😉❤
From Erinn Sequeira
Thank you, Erinn! 🙂
Oh Angela, you are so right. Sometimes I get fed up with all of the fake people banging on about how perfect their lives are. I wish everybody could just be themselves, be realistic.
Agreed. We are constantly fed highlight reels.
I completely agree! Thanks for always keeping it real.
What an amazingly written blog. So beautiful and true. You are a fantastic Godly inspiration to all women. Thank you!
Thank you, Emily! Such an incredible compliment!! 🙂