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.

  • I'm so surprised to hear that you feel this way, because your shots to me are always so cool and effortless! I know from experience that everyone stresses un-necessarily about their feed, 100%, even the people who look like they don't!

    Love your insta and your blog! Keep doing you!

    Millie x

  • Frankly Chloe you are an insta-queen in my eyes, your photos are gorgeous and you always look so cool! I know exactly what you mean about comparing yourself to others though, as I am also struggling with the double chin in photos situation right now, and don't even get me started on my teeth…
    As the other comment says – keep doing you, because you do it so well and not only are your photos divine (#GOALZ) but your posts are always so well written, and that's what I really find gives your platforms something special.
    Sophie xxx | Sophar So Good

  • I love how candid this post is. And I love your writing style.

    As far as I'm concerned you're more my Insta goals than the long-legged and permanently tanned Insta-girls (although I love their photos).I'm short and pale, which means that I won't look good in majority of the dresses those girls wear and no matter how aspirational, I can't relate.

    It's frustrating that some brands still choose to work with modelesque bloggers only, unfortunately the majority of us out there, are just normal people and not some Amazonian goddess. Maybe in time brands will realise that they need to reach out to the larger group of girls and women.

    I love seeing people who're comfortable in their own skin and can't afford to spend hours at the gym every day or like me just enjoy food too much to go on a lifelong juice diet.

    Maya x

  • I think you look gorgeous in these shots and also I absolutely love your dress. I'm glad I'm not the only one who worries about armpit fat though! Have to agree life was simpler in the days of Snake x
    Eleanor Frances | UK Style Blog

  • As always Missy I totally adored and completely related to this piece.

    I'm also going through the "holy crap where did this tummy roll(s) come from!?!?" and I'm doing absolutely nothing about it.
    I look at these "insta-girls" and don't feel bitter or jel, I think good on ya, 'cause I could look a little like that (HA!) if I tried, but here I am doing nothing about it.
    It's a tough one but personally I find your content much more desirable than any of those other gals. You're unapologetically yourself and I totally ADORE that about you and the way you write!
    Lots of Love from one Maryland cookie lover to another xo

  • Chlo, this made me cry. I know that probably wasn't your intention with this post, but it did.

    I am currently the heaviest I've been in a few years (and I know that sounds stupid because I know I'm not 'bigger' visually really or anything) and as someone who, like you, tries to preach body positivity and love themselves for who they are in the 'now', I am really really struggling.

    I keep looking back at old photos, from last year, to two years ago, and I see my body, my much thinner self, and I compare to how I look now and weigh now, and I feel hideous.

    Whenever I look at Instagram, I just compare. I compare myself to everyone and everything. And, I know comparison is the their of joy but, I can't help it.

    I am not an Instagram girl, and despite being a model, I don't fit your typical 'model' criteria either, and it often feels shit.

    However, this has helped me have a small revelation today.

    I am ME, people like ME for ME and that's okay (and very cool)! I'm never going to be like the tall thin blonde babes I see on my feed and I'm never going to have a great relationship with food, but I can try and make the best of things!

    So yeah, sorry for rambling, but I totally love this post. And, you might not fit into the criteria that you mentioned, but you are by far one of my favourite bloggers and people on my Instagram feed every day! xxxx

  • I don't often comment, Chloe, but just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post and wanted to tell you that I think you balanced the tone perfectly – you've been honest, self-acceptant and generous in your praise for other women (whatever their body type)… no mean feat!

    I think you're beautiful, and we're much the same shape and size. You inspire me to take some pleasure in what I wear from time to time rather than just pulling the same old tired jeans on – I love your blog and instagram, exactly as you are. And personally, as a petite blogger? I'll buy whatever you buy – at as 4ft 11 woman myself, I need all the inspiration I can get!


  • I absolutely thought that definition was extracted from some sorta dictionary. It is so bloody true! I sometimes find it hard not to get myself down about the whole Insta-girl ting that is flooding the blogosphere. I like taking pictures of cake too much. I can't apply fake tan for sh*t and ain't got the dollar to jet set as much as I would like. I have accepted my own style and my own chins and place on Instagram. I think you are beautiful, inspirational and I much prefer scrolling through your feed! Hope you had a lovely break in Corfu lass. Immy x

  • Chloe! As a 5 foot 2, cheekbone-less, big hipped lady, I have to tell you that you're one of the biggest reasons that I'm getting more comfortable with my body. I'm happy to do a work out, and then come home to burritos and left over Easter eggs. I'm happy to try clothes that aren't for 'short' or 'curvy' girls. You're way better than any 6 foot something, lean and green insta girl. You're real and raw and relatable and you should be proud of everything you are, chins, rolls, all of it. (Also I totally read 'perennial tan' as 'perineal tan' meaning GOOCH TAN. I was wondering how you'd achieve that). Love you x

  • Love that you are so candid xo!

  • I loved reading this post – it is so real and inspiring. I personally think you look great and effortlessly cool! We would all love to be an Insta girl but who doesn't love a good bag of cookies too! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Girl you look bloody amazing! But I hear you, I have fully accepted that I'll never be an Instagram girl – I think it's so important to accept ourselves for who/what we are and only strive for something else if it's because WE want to, not because we feel we have to!

    Hayley xo

  • While you may not see yourself as an insta girl, many of us see you as an improved version of an insta girl because you are real. I look up to you and am inspired by you without feeling guilty for not living off a diet of green juice. To me you are original, your style is efortless and I'd give anything to have your gorgeous long blonde hair, so just keep doing you x

  • Chloe I love this post and I can 100% can totally relate to this! Growing up in the instagram world, can be inspirational and motivational but can also make you think twice about yourself. It's such a complex, but you keep doing what you are doing because you are doing great! Also love these shots and your outfit, so beaut! 🙂

    Heather Xx

  • Girrl I so feel this, my holidays basically boil down to 'It's not quite right can you take it like 53 more times?'! How some accounts manage to post 4-5 breathtaking shots everyday I have no idea – and I think my begrudging photographers would hate me if I tried to emulate that! Instagram is brutal in terms of comparison and it's so hard not to get down about it, but your shots are absolutely gorgeous and you're a total Insta babe!


  • This is such a brilliantly written post, Thank You for writing it! It's no secret now that a lot of us are subject to social media and that it can seriously harm our self-esteem, and criticise our bodies. You've very accurately spoken the words a lot of people in this industry are feeling!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  • It's funny you think you're not because, when I look at your pics, I'm like "I want to be her", yeah YOU ! But I guess we just all get this type of feeling (even those instagirls must sometimes have it too).


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