The memory on my phone is always full because of how many pictures I take. Selfies, sunsets and screenshots all contribute to the bursting seams of my iPhone storage – too precious to be deleted, yet not precious enough to ever be viewed again. But only a handful are deemed worthy enough to be placed on the mother of all social media podiums – the Instagram feed.
They’re the 1% where my flaws appear minimal (thank you, saturation) and my life looks enviably exciting – or so the comments tell me.
The thing is, that’s only one side of the story – the good side. And behind that beautiful bubble that is @beckylancashire, there’s a whole load of photographs I’ve never shared. Until now…
Reason I didn’t post it: I thought I looked fat and sweaty.
Reflection: a) I don’t, and b) I’d just walked 16 miles for charity – I should have been more focused on my accomplishment than my image.
Reason I didn’t post it: I had a spot on my head and thought I looked goofy.
Reflection: The spot is so small I can barely see it. And to be honest, I am a little goofy! But that’s only because I’m happy and I’m smiling – surely THAT’s the most important thing ???
Reason I didn’t post it: My hair needed cutting/looked a mess and I thought I looked awkward.
Reflection: If this was someone else, I’d think this was a lovely photo. Why are we always so harsh on ourselves? P.S. Apologies must go out to my friend who took about 1,650,435 pictures of me that morning – and I couldn’t even find one I liked enough to share (soz!).
Reason I didn’t post it: My outfit was more practical than #OOTD and I’m very windswept.
Reflection: What else did you expect from a boat trip?! This was actually such a great day with so many beautiful views – it’s a real shame I didn’t see myself as one of them.
Reason I didn’t post it: I’ve never felt comfortable or confident in a bikini – I still don’t. As always, I managed to find fault in my figure here.
Reflection: Wow, I look really slim, healthy and happy. The only thing wrong with this photo is my perception of it.
In hindsight, these are all great pictures – my friends DEFINITELY have a lot worse (no proof needed, girls). My point is, these were the pictures that could have made it, should have made it, but didn’t because of my silly insecurities.
Now I can’t promise that I’ll be swapping filters for fresh-faced posts from now on, nor should I have to – I believe you’re entitled to frame yourself however you want to in real life and on social media.
The important thing for me is being honest with yourself and maintaining perspective. If you lose sight of who you really are and what your life is really like, nothing you have will ever measure up to the perfect little painting you’ve drawn up online.
Though I’ve been guilty of doing the opposite in the past, right now I can confidently say that my Instagram account is a mirror image of my life – just with a little bit of extra sparkle.
Ask yourself: how does yours compare?