What an Instagram photo can’t capture

October 6, 2016 in Recovery

Hi guys and happy Thursday! Leaving today for the long weekend and I’m super excited to be home with my fam and my pup eating good food, showering without flip flops, and reuniting some of my friends I haven’t seen since summer. This weekend is going to be a good one. 🙂

Linking up with Amanda today for a Thinking out Loud post, so let’s get started because no one likes intro’s anyways. 😛

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Instagram and I have a love-hate relationship. I love posting pictures with my friends and I love spreading body love and body positivity. I love seeing what others are up to, what others are cooking or what others are doing. I feel inspired when I see certain posts that are so raw and authentic: the unedited photos that show us that we are beautiful at any angle and without any touch-ups. Those are the things that keep me from deleting the Instagram app from my phone.

But what I have not been liking is this competition I feel like Instagram brings. “How many likes can I get on this photo…. she got more likes than me, it’s probably because I didn’t look that great in that picture.” It becomes a contest of who can get the most likes and who has more followers. It becomes another thing that can pick and pull at our self-esteem.

The competition that Instagram brings is one aspect that I certainly don’t like. But my main problem is the fact that an Instagram picture only shows the smallest portion of our lives. We know that an Instagram picture is just from that one moment, yet we forget to remember that it could have taken 10 shots to get the angle that everyone felt they looked the best in, the photo could be extremely edited, and the people smiling in that picture could in fact be miserable.We continue to compare ourselves and we continue to scrutinize our bodies if we aren’t as skinny or as tone as the girl who posted an Instagram that got 200 likes and 20 comments telling her how pretty she is.

The amount of effort that goes into an Instagram photo is crazy. The amount of apps that are available to edit a photo; whether that may be making us look smaller, touching up zits, or making certain parts of our bodies (butts, boobs) look bigger is insane. It is taking away from what a photo should actually be: an accurate representation of what was going on at that time. The unfiltered version, the picture where our flaws might be visible but we are able to look at that photo and have all those memories flood back. We shouldn’t be drawn to how we look when we first see a photo, yet Instagram makes it pretty freaking hard to not be.

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Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, mirror what you admire.”

We think that the girl who has tons of Instagram followers and appears to have a perfect life does actually have a perfect life, but chances are; she doesn’t. She could be struggling with so much, but an Instagram photo isn’t going to tell us that. All Instagram does is show us the highs. We never see the lows. Because no one wants to talk about those. The lows can be ugly and just flat-out sad. So we rarely post about them and as a society, we rarely talk about the hard stuff. Instagram has the ability to make us forget that other people have lows. We tend to compare our lives to the lives of those on Instagram and are so easily able to find faults and flaws within our lives.

Instagram does carry the ability to spread goodness, and I do see a revolution on Instagram promoting body positivity, self-love, and people having the courage to open up about their hardships and struggles. I hope that my Instagram is spreading goodness and giving hope to those struggling, and I hope that I am doing a good job in practicing what I preach. I don’t think it is wrong to use filters on Instagram- heck, I do it. I love VSCO cam and seeing the different effects. What I think we need to work on is realizing that an Instagram photo does not capture the whole picture. We need to end these comparisons that Instagram creates- whether that is comparing our bodies to someone else, comparing the amount of followers we have, or comparing what we eat/how “healthy” we eat to someone else. And the more this body positive revolution is taking off, the more I think we will be able to do that. Vulnerability is scary, yet vulnerability heals. Posting an unedited photo or a photo where we may not look super lean carries SO much more power than posting a typical selfie with a snap-chat filter. It reaches more people and has the ability to inspire whoever may be scrolling through Instagram that day. These pictures are the ones that are the most beautiful. They symbolize strength and fearlessness. They show us that it is possible to love ourselves in a world where dissatisfaction with our bodies is the norm. They show others that beauty doesn’t come in the form of edits and filters, it is something that each and every one of us have. Each one of us carries inner and outer beauty.

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“Be a seeker, Find beauty in the smallest moments and live inspired.”

That’s it for my little word-vomit today. I just wrote a paper on the media and its affects on body image which definitely inspired today’s post. I loved learning more about how much the media truly does affect body image and I’m so glad I got to write on a topic that is meaningful to me!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!! Thank you all for reading and the support you give me daily. So grateful for you alllll!! <3

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29 Comments

  • Reply Stephanie Leduc October 6, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Couldn’t agree more with you girl! Were surrounded by sooo many edited photos in ads and now it’s carrying over to instagram, which is, in my opinion, supposed to be a social media where real people take photos.. It’s crazy that so many people feel the need to edit their faces or bodies in insta pics.
    I absolutely love your insta, you definitely practice what you preach ❤
    Stephanie Leduc recently posted…What Mindful Eats and Treats Means to meMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      I think it’s crazy too, and I think all the editing is out of control! Thank you so much too Steph, that means a lot to me <3

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It October 6, 2016 at 11:38 am

    This is such an important post! I saw a video about a model who posted an unfiltered picture of herself with no makeup on Instagram to prove that she’s human too, it was really powerful. I’m so happy you get to go home this weekend, I’m jealous! You’re amazing and inspiring and I love ya girlie!! <3
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It recently posted…What They Don’t Tell You About Being a DancerMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      oooh I want to watch that video now!! I hope you had a great weekend love and I hope we get more time to facetime in the near future!! love ya <3

  • Reply Michelle October 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I completely agree with you. Some people care way too much about how many likes and followers they have when it has no significance in life at all. It’s nice to share the highs of our lives or just daily snapshots but it’s important to remember what you said, it’s not the whole picture. It may seem like someone has the perfect life and has it all together from their pictures when in reality they are struggling. I try to be somewhat transparent on my blog Instagram but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s even a little filtered. But we need to keep spreading the self love and body positivity into the world so that more people can see it and be inspired to join in.
    Michelle recently posted…Life UpdateMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      it is nice to share the highs of our lives with others! I think you do a great job of being transparent Michelle. 🙂
      Thank you for your thoughts on this!

  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot October 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Enjoy your long weekend! I agree with you on this post! I think the same thing goes for all social media. It’s very artificial!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…TOL: Learning to BreatheMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      social media IS so artificial! You got that right girl

  • Reply Jillian October 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Love this post and you. You are amazing! Keep sharing your beautiful thoughts girl <3 so much love!

  • Reply stephanie October 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Wow, again a very inspiring post! I heard someone say we need to change the C in our society.
    Make it a cooperative, caring society, instead of a competive, cut throat society.

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      I love that mom- we do need to change that!!

  • Reply Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves October 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    This is so important. I love scrolling through Instagram, but I know that I need to take caution for myself to avoid the comparison trap. It’s way too easy to fall in. So awesome of you to keep a good head on your shoulders and recognize that there is more behind the screen for all of us.
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted…“Booze and Grooves”My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      thank you so much Alison! It really is so easy to fall into that trap, especially when we are just mindlessly scrolling on our phones and spending so much time just looking at these pictures.
      Alyssa recently posted…You don’t need to get “back on track”My Profile

  • Reply Emily October 6, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    How can I not love all of this? This is inspiring me to post more than just food photos on my blog account, because the blog is a reflection of who I am, of how God is working on me, of my brokenness, and God’s glory, of my sin, and Jesus’ redemption, of my FREEDOM in Christ, and freedom to share the ins and the outs. Honestly, I fear rejection. I fear people unfollowing me because I posted something that isn’t in line with my account, but I’m a person. I’m not a machine that just does the same thing all the time; which is a mindset I can get stuck in; so this encouraged me to be wholly honest with who I am and who God is sanctifying me to be. <3
    Emily recently posted…WIAW: Why Stress Kills My AppetiteMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      aw Em- thank you! I always remind myself that unfollowing people is totally fine- we have to put ourselves first. Like you said, we have to be honest with who we are and what we believe in!

  • Reply Sarah October 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Totally agree with you on this. Instagram and social media are just mini blurbs from our lives. There is so much going on behind the scenes that we may not realize. I think it’s important to remember that EVERYONE is dealing with something, and not to compare yourself to others. At the same time, do not judge people based on what you see on social media because you never know the whole story.
    Sarah recently posted…What You Gain in Recovery (It’s NOT Just Weight!)My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      We always forget about what goes on behind the scenes and get trapped in only the picture! Like you said, we never know the full story!

  • Reply Megan Hallier October 6, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    What I quite like is the way some people are taking back instagram. Are showing some of the raw, unfiltered versions of themselves and inspiring others (like Cayanne for example.)
    I love the community and friends you can connect with because of instagram.
    Megan Hallier recently posted…The week in reviewMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Same here! It makes me so happy to see those unfiltered pictures. They inspire me greatly!

  • Reply Ellie Pell October 6, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Instagram is something I look at as not real. I think it’s fun, but I don’t put too much weight on it. I don’t look at what types of photos get the most likes, I simply do it as a way to engage with friends and my blog readers or share products I love. I don’t like living on social media (no shame if you do, it’s just not my jam) so I don’t put too much relevance on Instagram and the daily life.
    Ellie Pell recently posted…3 Ways To Restore Racing ConfidenceMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      that is a great mindset to have Ellie. We definitely put too much of an emphasis on Instagram and it can become way too time consuming!

  • Reply Meghan @ Sundaes for the Soul October 7, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I love this post! I think most, if not all, of us on Instagram have had that same struggle. We all know comparison is the thief of joy but sometimes it’s just hard to keep that in mind when there are so many “perfect” photos out there. You’re awesome!

  • Reply Meghan @ Sundaes for the Soul October 7, 2016 at 1:59 am

    I love this post! I think most, if not all, of us on Instagram have had that same struggle. We all know comparison is the thief of joy but sometimes it’s just hard to keep that in mind when there are so many “perfect” photos out there. You’re awesome!

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      it is really hard to keep that in mind while scrolling through instagram- you are so so right. Thank you for your support love!!

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  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law October 8, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I can’t agree with you more on this! Social media as a whole can be so misleading. You’re only seeing the “polished” pieces of people’s lives – even on platforms like Snapchat which people say are more “real” are still edited – you choose what you click send on each and every time!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Twister, Foodie Wins and Doggie DramasMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa October 11, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      exactlyy- we can only see the polished pieces of people’s lives which can be so deceiving!!

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