Maybe the title is a bit brutal, but let’s just say I’m not a fan of doing it for the gram. In the height of my issues with food, I made the fundamental mistake of following the gorgeous, famous and rich on Instagram, which only cranked up my anxiety. But aside from the endless posts from beaches across Bali and the utterly in love couples you try hard to feel happy for, there are several specific posts that really ate into me. So without further ado, here are my top 10 flaws I found with the flawless:
1. Protein powder
Mmmm… nothing screams delicious more than adding a scoop of pumped up baking powder to my pancakes or sloshing it together with some milk and water to make a shake. Everybody who is anybody, or wants to be anybody, appears to be consuming protein powder in some way, shape or form. But is this in an effort to accentuate their abs, to follow the trends of the top trending, or for the health benefits they may reap? I don’t know, but I’m not convinced. In my opinion, it’s just a way of scaring those who aren’t using protein powder into believing that they should be, or that their diet is protein deficient.
2. 6 packs (that’s muscles, not bread rolls)
From toned tummy’s to bulging biceps, Instagram is a muscle fest. Everyone is crazy about flaunting their fabulous physique and muscular strength, with both men and women alike giving Popeye himself a run for his money. So when I pour over photos of women with bodies like bricks and stare down at my sad podgy tummy, it’s safe to say I feel more than inadequate.
3. Buddha bowls, açai bowls, …anything bowls
Sometimes there’s nothing that makes you feel more guilty about the white and beige content of your diet than looking at pictures of exotically coloured fruit and vegetables in precise alignment, all placed within an extortionate Anthropologie bowl set against a floral background.
4. Bikini bods
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a prude, and I’m all for self love, feeling good and loving your body (I wish I could). But there’s something that’s so artificial about women in skimpy bikinis striking poses which are magazine worthy. If you want to show off your swimwear, I’m all for a smiley group photo or a sun bed selfie, but the supermodel standards make me feel like a beached whale.
5. Juices and smoothies
I think the younger generation has become juice mad. I’m open to an innocent smoothie from time to time, but I struggle to find the appeal of the green sludges and health shots that the stars of Instagram are constantly snapping. What happened to orange juice?
6. Gym posts
There are several reasons over why I’ve never had a gym membership. One is my lack of energy and will, another is the money. But the main reason is that I fear I would look like an absolute amateur when I compare myself to peoples Instagram posts. They’ve all got personal trainers, a whole wardrobe of workout gear, they’re lifting weights the size of a car tyre, and they’re using equipment that looks like something out of a James Bond film. I would walk in and probably wouldn’t know how to turn on the showers, let alone how to work out.
I can’t help but find all #ad and #spons posts extremely #fake and #patronising. I’m pretty sure your perfect hair, teeth, nails, skin, body and life are in no way a result of using any of the products you advertise.
8. Pretend eating
Ok, I admit this one is probably more to do with my own insecurities and jealousy. But when I see stick thin, health conscious, and gym addicted women post occasional pictures with a huge bar of chocolate, a large takeaway pizza, or anything that looks deliciously unhealthy, my gut instinct is that, in reality, they probably didn’t take one bite of it.
9. Matcha latte’s
It’s literally a green coffee. Do I need to elaborate?
10. Transformation Tuesdays
I think it’s remarkable that people are able to turn their life around by leading a healthier lifestyle, it’s just I can’t help but feel some posts of people’s ‘past self’ are extremely self deprecating. Yes they might used to have a bit of extra weight round their middle, or ample biceps, but most of the time the ‘before’ images look far more human than the transformation ones.
The list could go on, but hopefully it paints the picture pretty well. About a year ago I decided that I found detox teas too toxic and said balls to the energy balls. Deleting Instagram took a huge weight from off my shoulders and off my mind. I’m now at a stage where I periodically peep at posts from time to time, but in all honesty I don’t miss the competitive and comparative nature of the site. But I do know it’s hard to completely peel away from social media when it’s so abhorrently used, even now by politicians and royalty.
Social media is a snapshot of the perfect life the user wants you to see. The pro gym, plant-based and beach body lifestyle of a made in Chelsea cast member is very likely to be extremely unrealistic and unachievable for the average person. And even then, I’m sure they’ll have down days where they’ll swap the caviar for crisps and drop the workout for the sofa. Overall, it’s made me realise that social media can take you to dark places, even if the content you’re viewing isn’t intended to be dark. So stop the comparisons, drop the phone, and make your own story – without the filter!