I was browsing Instagram the other day (not an unusual occurrence). And there, posted underneath a blogger’s photograph of her baby was THE comment. The one that makes me grit my teeth every time I see it. The one that goes ‘I think you have a perfect life’.
Because this blogger seems to be a lovely, sweet-natured person, she immediately replied ‘Thank you – but I really don’t’. And thank goodness for that, because if she hadn’t, I might have done (which would’ve been weird and possibly creepy, let’s face it). I’ve had to take people off my Instagram feed before – not because of anything they’ve done, but because of the people – sometimes, honestly, hundreds of people – saying things like ‘I would kill for those overalls’ and ‘you have the most incredible teeth’ and ‘omg, what a perfect bowl of cereal’.
Did you know that this is an actual thing, women (and it is mostly women) feeling inadequate because their lives don’t measure up to what they see on people’s blogs? How ridiculous, when life can be hard enough. When the vast network of like-minded people on the internet can be such a source of inspiration and reassurance, but so often is exactly the opposite.
Here is what I want to commit to. You might want to, as well.
1. If a blog inspires you to make serious, positive changes within yourself, run with it.
Like, for example, ‘I want to love my husband like that’ or ‘I could pursue this dream I have’ or ‘I will try harder to find joy in the little things’ (all things I’ve thought myself).
2. If a blog inspires you to make small, cosmetic changes that bring you happiness and variety, go for it.
Like ‘my kitchen would look great in that colour’ or ‘perhaps I should try wearing stripes’ or ‘what a great idea for an afternoon activity for kids’.
3. If a blog makes you look at your own life or your own self and love it less, stop it. Stop it now.
If you think ‘I wish we could eat out all the time’ or ‘I should be able to afford all those new clothes’ or ‘I’m an idiot because I can’t sew/cook/take photographs/write’ or even ‘damn, I’m ugly and fat and boring’, cut it off before it starts. I have thought those things too. It’s nonsense.
Do you hear me? It’s nonsense. You are a good person. You are doing just fine. And if everyone who likes you turned up at your house all at once, you’d be hard pressed to fit them all in.
Also, shut up, Pinterest.