Beauty and the Instagram Beast

LuLaRoe Lola by Tracy Vazquez

LuLaRoe Lola by Tracy Vazquez

Beauty and the Instagram Beast

I alluded to this post last week on my Instagram stories but I wanted to flesh out the conversation I started there. We’ll get into Beauty and the “Instagram” Beast but…The premise is this: when bloggers recommend other bloggers to follow I’ve noticed something. They all look the same. I don’t want to shame a certain body type because there is nothing wrong with being a size 2 or a size 20. Let’s just say the women they recommend to follow all look the same.

Don’t get me wrong, their outfits are cute and their style is great but my problem is with the lack of diversity, the lack of representation, the lack of different body types. We’ve all bemoaned the changes in Instagram and I don’t want to beat a dead horse but I will say this before leaving it be.

When I started my Instagram account it was literally me in front of a mirror with a head tilt with horrible lighting photographing what I was going to wear that day. As the years have gone on my photography has gotten better, I’d like to think my style has improved {thank you LuLaRoe} and I understand the importance of good lighting.

However, I want you to know that I have tried to say true to what drew me to this community in the first place. And that is this, women lifting up other women. Everyone says the internet is a mean and scary place but honestly I’ve found it to be a wonderful and empowering place.

LuLaRoe Lola by Tracy Vazquez

So, you might be wondering if I was drawn to the empowerment what’s my beef with the follow Fridays? Doesn’t one woman lifting up another one also empower? Yes, yes it does but my problem is with what we consider to be follow worthy. Why are the other women you recommend essentially a carbon copy of you?

What about those who aren’t thin, with long perfectly curled hair? What about those of us who don’t have a wardrobe entirely from Nordstrom? I’m not envious, okay maybe I do dream about going into Nordy and pointing at stuff and saying wrap it up but I digress.

My intention is not to shame anyone for looking a certain way but to challenge you to take a look at who you follow and how that affects the way you feel about yourself.

LuLaRoe Lola by Tracy Vazquez

I guess my point is this, if you are constantly surrounding yourself with a certain ideal of beauty, you internalize it as what is acceptable. You think, if I want to be popular, beautiful, accepted {insert your insecurity here} I have to look like this. {um hello flashback to middle school} I can tell you from personal experience that I spent the better part of my 20s trying to make my body look thinner than it was meant to be.

Trying to make my body look like what was portrayed in media, on TV, on social media. Going on all kinds of crazy crash diets and cleanses, working out constantly, obsessing over calorie until finally I had enough. No more I decided, it was too exhausting trying to fit into someone else’s standard of beauty, acceptance, worthiness {insert your insecurity here}.

I was going to love myself and accept who I was, rolls, bumps and all. I threw out all of my diet books, threw away clothes that didn’t make me feel good and cleaned out my social media. If someone’s account was triggering me to compare myself to them, I unfollowed. {insert sanity} I even went a step further though and I started following people who didn’t look like me. Some were women in bodies larger than mine, others were a different race, and others just had a totally different style than mine.

When it comes to social media, you have control over what you consume. If it’s not building you up, don’t allow it but then don’t stop there. Go one step further, follow someone who is different than you. Someone who makes you think wow, she is beautiful but so am I. As for me and my Target boots, we’re loving the beauty diversity we’re seeing in our IG feed.

LuLaRoe Lola by Tracy Vazquez
photos by @kellieblogs

I’ll end with this quote by the fabulous Sophia Bush but I’d love to hear who you choose to follow in the comments.

Support each other. Whether that’s girls who tend to dress in menswear or girls who love to show off their bodies or girls who are fully covered and wearing a hijab. Love on women. Love on them and tell them they are beautiful. Tell them that their style is sick, even if it’s different from your own. I can’t wait to be eighty and be like Iris Apfel meets Georgia O’Keeffe. I’m gonna be such a silver-haired old lady wearing crazy shit out in the desert collecting bones and painting them.” -Sophia Bush

Remember, you are worthy and you are loved just the way you are.



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