“The Fake It-Girl”
What is an “It-Girl”? In today’s superficial society it has become “who is the most popular on social media”, or more personally “Instagram”. An “It-Girl” is a girl who is supposed to have it all. The smart, the beautiful, witty and charismatic to say the least. An “It-Girl” provides value and profits from herself; where as selfish, narcissistic motives do not make good, long term achievements.
Here is how social media, aka Instagram, has distorted everything I once wanted to represent. Presenting the fake it girl. From photoshop to popular miracle apps like “FaceTune”, buying followers and likes, creating profiles of a fake awe-inspiring lifestyle. These girls were all about the fast results combined with minimal efforts. Along with this came the absurd millennial habits and logic. The logic was, “I made it this far (*behind all the lies*), and I deserve everything and more.” “I have professional photos from a DSLR so I’m a Instagram Model.” ….. Enter here the phrase “Fake it till you make it.” This kind of thinking is what has murdered real talent and the reality is, life just doesn’t work that way or else everyone would be successful.
Some girls would buy followers and buy likes to boost their own ego, to feel accepted, and to feel important. Insta-It-Girls takes up any and every collaboration they can get their hands on. But they are only ripping off the budgeted new start-up businesses, mom&pop stores with a fake facade of what we now call social media marketing. How is it fair that these businesses, who probably can not afford to spend thousands of dollars on marketing, that are giving away collaboration items to a fake following and audience? Nothing is won for the poor business, aside from the ecstatic Instagram-It-Girl gaining some free stuff.
“The Influencer Lifestyle”
The influencer lifestyle; you got invited first to new places before anyone else, got to take a pictures with the most popular trends of the moment, and got invited to parties with other influencers. It was all so new to me and so much fun in the beginning. I got invited to food events, parties, rode in limos, brunches with limitless wine on top of homes in beverly hills, went to mansions, and whatever else you can be invited to as an influencer. I got free stuff, free food, free alcohol, saw celebrities, and was “in-the-scene”.
That sounds amazing right? Wrong, the influencer lifestyle is a lot harder than you would really think it is. Especially if you are a “Introverted-Extrovert” like me who also does not like small talk with people that aren’t close to you. I put on the biggest smile I had and tried so hard to be friendly and meet new people. The “behind-the-scenes” was even more tiring. Writing emails, following up RSVP’s, scheduling all my available time in trying to make it to all the events, driving far and wide to locations, following up collaborations, finding time to always put on makeup, wear only the cutest clothes, were a few of the responsibilities to say the least. I had a full time job aside from being an Influencer and was hustling and bustling, micro-managing the very limited time I had to try to stay “on-the-grid” of this lifestyle. I ended up losing it a little bit. I had so many collaborations and shoutouts I had to do on my Instagram that I lost count. Having the incredibly busy lifestyle I have, my room was always a mess, which didn’t help in finding where I had thrown that product I received in the mail last week. My sponsors emails started to stack up, “Hi, just checking up it has already been 10 days, if you could please upload a picture sometime soon.” And yet I was still accepting more and more campaigns. I was stressed out to the max.
It was with a long few months of pushing and pulling that I finally decided I’ve had enough. Even though I did not buy followers, I realized that through my habits, I was slowly morphing into “one-of-them” and I didn’t even notice. You know that scene in Mean Girls, where Janis says “Hey, buddy, you‘re not pretending anymore. You’re plastic. Cold, shiny, hard plastic.”? That’s exactly how I felt about myself. Why was I trying so hard to please girls that I didn’t know? Why was I trying to hard to be liked and fit in, in the Instagram Lifestyle? So I pulled away. I stopped going to events, I stopped liking peoples pictures, and I stopped commenting “OMG I LOVE IT :heart:” to everyone. I just quit. I quit because it was overwhelming me and taking over my life. I was more stressed than excited about anything on Instagram. It wasn’t long until I realized these “Instagram” people thought I was being shady. Just because I didn’t like their Instagram pictures I suddenly became a “shady” person. I wasn’t aware that being someone’s friend also meant that they had to like all your Instagram pictures. I had a full time job, free lance jobs, part time night school, and real life going on. The only time I would open up Instagram was to upload my own content, just enough to stay “on the grid”.
Then came to the realization that no one in that world really, really, cared about me. Did any of them help me with my work troubles, what kind of grades I was getting in my new school, about my family? No. Were they going to help me get a raise at work or influence my life somehow? No. They cared only about the Instagram me. They cared about how popular enough you were to get invited, so if you got invited and were popular, they cared. They cared about makeup and photoshoots instead of personality, charisma, and dignity.
I understood at that point that I had forgotten about myself as an individual. I was the type of girl who likes to have very intimate relationships with friends. Friends that could say that were close enough to be family. I like having substance and developing with the people around me. Worth and value were other important parts of myself that I had forgotten. I was wasting my time with a lifestyle that wasn’t going to go anywhere. It wasn’t stable, it was side money but not anything close to making a living out of, it wasn’t going to make me a better person. I, being ambitious, decided to go back to school to become a Coder, Full Stack Web Developer. It was a realization of, if I put all that effort into a 120k+ career, I could have so much more than silly collaborations and parties. I felt so ashamed at the person I had become, ashamed at how excited over a $200 product collaboration when I was smarter than that, I was worth more than that. I was so caught up in this world where my joy depended on the $200 of free makeup I had received. Stuff that would sooner or later end up in the trash. I thought for a long time about how to change and it was when I looked into my soul, I remembered something I had long forgotten.
I had forgotten why I started all of this in the first place 3 years ago. Blogging was something that was made up of all parts of me. Posting about the success and errors of all the creativity I’ve gotten my hands dirty with in fashion, beauty, and food. I originally started my blog as my platform to impart the little knowledge I like to think I possess; to share helpful hints, tricks, and tips. To spread advice in all matters creative. So I’ve decided to bring this blog back to life. Changing my values to revert back to the old ways and bring change to the misconception of a blogger by posting about my authentic life. Writing about things that actually matter.
Note that I still will be on Instagram because it helps pay for a few of my bills, have collaborations to fulfill, and draws in commissioners for my YouTube videos. But I have decided to use Instagram more as a “link” to drive traffic to my blogposts instead of using it for vain “social-media”. I also do not consider myself as a sell-out, I do collaborations only if I believe in the product’s worth and the businesses concept while clearly labeling those posts as “ads”. The rest of my social media are of substance I enjoy, things I bought myself with no intentions of advertising, and reviews of things that I actually found to be amazing.
“Quotes from Other Bloggers”
“I think a lot of people believe that it is an easy out of the working world but in reality it is a more rigorous, time consuming and demanding job than anything I ever experienced working for a corporate company. It is beyond a full time job when you take into account social media, contracts, invoicing, content planning, accounting, production, etc. You never shut off.” – Liz Adams, SequinsandStripes.com
“I think the most common misconception of being a full-time blogger is that we just get dressed up and take cute photos all day. Running a blog is 24/7 and finding work-life balance is challenging.” – Pam, TheGirlFromPanama.com
“My biggest challenge is just wanting to take a break sometimes… social media never sleeps and it can be SO exhausting especially when you’re going through hard life moments or want to just spend time with people IRL. There’s this feeling of not wanting to fall behind and to keep up with the joneses. For me weekdays flow into weekends, 8ams are the same as 10pms… and although I would never go back to a 9-5, I envy people that can leave work and not think about it for a few hours of the day. I think about work every hour I’m awake.” – Ashley, EverydayPursuits.com
If anything is that easy to an individual, it is most likely that they are “vain or self-absorbed people. The type of bloggers that just sit around taking selfies and photos of food they aren’t going to eat. Yes, there are some bloggers that do this, but you can’t paint a picture that all bloggers are the same because of a few that act or behave a certain way. ” – JessAnnKirby.com This is my stand to bring the reality of the term “blogger” back to justice.