Style; expectations vs reality

First of all, excuse the recent absence. Since the big move into our new house, I have been focussing on many things except blogging. Such as our interior which is really coming together although we are still on the hunt for a new couch that will go well with our mid-century interior. We are leaning towards this one (which looks a lot nicer in real life). Other than that I started my new job with a much longer commute than before, picked up reading again and kept myself busy with a home garden with all kinds of vegetables. So that left little time for the internet.

Which is fine because the internet, or to be more specific Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest were putting me down the past couple of weeks. I’m actually a pretty confident person 99,9% of the time but for some reason the never ending stream of imagery of beautiful tall and thin women started to get to me. I wasn’t in a good place at the time due to our move and my new job which was very stressful so that may have been the reason. But I knew I needed a time-out when suddenly terms as ‘elegant’ and ‘effortless’ became equivalents to ‘tall’ and ‘thin’ and I reasoned that certain outfits (like the ones above) would have looked amazing on me if only I had that body.

When I went shopping, my expectations didn’t live up to reality. No matter how many different pairs of vintage Levi’s 501 jeans I tried on, they never made me magically look like the next Jeanne Damas or Adenorah. And that’s okay. But it did leave me a bit disappointed. Because I love searching the internet for style inspiration but I do feel that there is a lack of images on platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest that reflect diversity and reality. Although that might depend on your personal style of course. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right direction and that whole French je-ne-sais-quoi aesthetic just isn’t meant for me (more specifically: my body type). But still, it would be nice to find images that cater to your personal style that you can relate to.

Nevertheless, looking back, I’m quite surprised that I, as an adult woman, can be influenced in such a negative way by something as Instagram which I rarely use myself nowadays because I grew tired of trying to maintain my followers after a while (I work in an office four days a week and don’t get home until 7pm. Not a very exciting lifestyle, haha). But I’m not an exception. According to recent British research, Instagram is the most harmful social media network for the mental health of people between 14 and 24 years old. Our feeds filled with photo perfect moments and uber stylish individuals often don’t match with our daily lives and can contribute to social health problems such as depression and a negative body image.

What worked for me was to stay away from social media for a while and focus on other things that bring me joy and put everything back into perspective. It was such a relief to get rid of that constant stream of information and to live in the here and now and focus on yourself and the people around you (or your garden hehe) instead of comparing yourself to others and focus on what it is that you don’t have. I’m sure this is all old news to you guys but I just felt the need to share my thoughts, or rather my insecurities, on this subject and tell you that sometimes it’s not so bad to take a step back. Oh and in case you’re wondering, I’m not going anywhere and I will still be blogging.

Does social media ever influence the way you feel about / or look at yourself?