Trying to Accept That I’m Not an Insta-Girl

Insta Girl

noun: Insta Girl; plural noun: Insta Girls
    1. Amazonian tanned goddess whose candid shots achieve stratospheric appreciation.
    “Omg have you seen the shot of Lisa lounging by the pool in Miami? Insta-Girl goals.”
    Insta Queen, Insta Bae, GOALZ

Before we get started, shall we just take a moment to appreciate that “Insta Girl” can now even enter our vocabulary? Remember when we were all titting about playing Snake on our Nokia 3210s instead of worrying about which VSCO filter makes us looked more tanned? Not that I’m looking back with rose tinted glasses – I also remember the bone-crushing awkwardness of calling your friend and having their disgruntled parent tell you that no, they can’t come to the phone because they are grounded and will be until the end of the week so please don’t call again.

I wrote this post whilst sitting in bed in Corfu, halfway through a gals mini-break and experiencing a sudden bout of inspiration at 10:24pm, when, probably, I should have been down at the bar getting pissed up on very sugary cocktails instead of enjoying my third cup of tea and watching BBC World News. Nevertheless, there I was, making up definitions to words that we all know kind of exist but that probably won’t be making it into the Oxford Dictionary any time soon.

I found taking outfit photos throughout my Corfu break surprisingly hard. Surprising because of the beautiful setting (if we’re talking goals then blue skies, blue seas and an unlimited breakfast buffet have to be it), and surprising because I’m usually quite at home swishing about in front of the camera, engaging in countless fake walks and bag swings. Before this lovely little holiday – but especially during it – I’ve felt like something has changed.

Dress – H&M
Bag – Zara (ASOS similar)
Sandals – Accessorize*

And that, my friends, is my double chin. Now, I know what you’re going to say. “But you said this is the year of being fat and happy! You can’t go back now!” And I’m not! Believe me, I’m still making my way through a packet of Marylands like it’s nobodies business. However, I’m now in the process of actually dealing with my weight gain, the likes of which becomes ever the more apparent when the old faithful poses that you’ve been pulling out of the bag for years suddenly become a hellhole of butt-chin shadows and chubby, chisel-less cheeks.

Lately I’ve found myself spending more time than ever fishing through outfit photos to inevitably fight the battle of “don’t worry, it’s just weight, you’re not worrying about that right now” and “I look fucking awful, I looked so much better last year – let me just get some photos us to compare – fuck I hate this”. And it’s not easy when you’re trying to keep up a super body positive attitude, both for yourself and to share with you guys.

If you’re now wondering “where the heck do Insta Girlz come into this????”, then it’s now. In the industry that I’m in, I’m surrounded by the Insta Girl. She’s effortlessly cool, she’s utterly glamorous, she’s jet-setting around the world and she has a beautiful smile and svelte figure to boot. She sits down at the edge of the pool without worrying about armpit fat or boob fat or obv, belly fat. She is #GOALZ, and I want to be her.

I want to be her because, fuck, yeah, I admire her for eating right and exercising daily to look as 10/10 as she does – no shade here, serious props to people who work hard to look the way they want. I want to be her because when somebody takes a candid snap of her, she looks amazing – she doesn’t have to worry about her developing lazy eye (more on that later BUT YES THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME) or the gaps in her teeth or how to position her arms so she doesn’t get upper arm chub. I want to be her because all of her holiday content is good content, and she doesn’t review it in bed at 10:30pm *cough*totallynotme*cough* feeling a little bit disappointed.

Of course, that’s speculation. Everything always looks more glamorous, more polished, more refined from the outside. Instagram is the voyeurs platform – we want to see aspirational living. Take one glance at my feed right now and it’s all blue skies, bikini shots (thank God for high-waisted pants and tippy toes) and fancy holiday dressing – hardly the definition of an Anti-Insta Girl.

But the truth is, unless I drop a stone and a half, grow 6 inches and acquire a perennial tan, I’m never going to be the carefree and fanciful girl at Coachella. I’m never going to be caught off guard in my Realisation Par dress, collarbone popping and looking cool as fuck. The bitter truth of the fashion industry and its relation to blogging is that sometimes you just aren’t skinny enough or pretty enough for certain brands to want to work with you. It’s shit, but sometimes, it’s true.

And I’m coming to terms with that. I’m coming to terms with the fact that the nose I inherited from my Dad and the teeth I inherited from my Grandad aren’t quite the right image for some companies. I’m coming to terms with the fact that sometimes, double chins don’t sell super expensive dresses as well as a thigh gap. That’s not bitter either; it’s hardly news that the advertising industry favours a certain type of woman (blonde, white, thin, tanned), it’s just the case that bloggers are now being placed within this.

I’m not an Insta-Girl. I’m some type of Girl-On-Insta, but I’m not the super-glam, the super-cool or the super-hipster. And if that’s you, then please continue. I love you and I follow you and I still want to be you – this post isn’t about passively berating you from a place of bitterness. You are still my form of escapism and the motivation behind a lot of Pinterest boards.

Instead, this is about trying to find my place online and coming to terms with who I am and who I want to be.

Whoever that is, there is one thing that is certain – endless latte art shots will always be included.


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