I think we all know that, for most business’s and bloggers, Instagram is a carefully curated, often entirely fabricated perception of life. Fashion bloggers are constantly telling us that they will take fifty shots before achieving that perfect #ootd pic (outfit of the day) and satires like ‘Instagram husband’ highlight the often ridiculous lengths people go to for the perfect image. And I am no different. If you spend any amount of time with me, chances are, I’m going to ask you to take my picture. And not just one. Usually, it’s about twenty and of that only one will grace Instagram. Below are some GIFs one of my regular “photographer-friends” Rob took while shooting some outfits the other week for Instagram. Shit can get a bit crazy when holding a smile for too long.
I’m not going to go to the lengths of Australian model Essena O’Neill who very publicly quit Instagram claiming it is “contrived perfection made to get attention” – cause I think we all know this – but I will say that everything posted to the Lila Jean Vintage account is geared to entertain (sometimes inform) – that’s it. We’re not attempting to change the world (although, wouldn’t that be nice!), we’re not selling you brands or endorsements (and if we ever did, this would be clearly indicated in sponsored posts), we’re not taking ourselves too seriously – we just want to give you something pretty and interesting to look at while you’re travelling to work. We present both vintage and contemporary fashions, classic starlets, snippets of history, interesting recipes, beautiful landscapes and a glimpse into my fairly boring but vintage-inspired life (and wardrobe!) as the creator of Lila Jean Vintage Online. We will never preach to you or post #fitspo – I only run when being chased, treadmills just frustrate me and gyms cause me anxiety – each to their own. You will only see me #makeupfree in a ‘before’ shot for a beauty tutorial and if I ever succumb to #iwokeuplikethis there will no doubt be drool and bat-shit-crazy hair involved (actually, that would be pretty hilarious).
I think when not taken too seriously, social media, and particularly Instagram, can be quite inspiring. Instead of viewing it as a place where we see the holiday we’re not taking, the house we aren’t living in or the handbag we can’t afford, it should be seen in the way it was intended – a place full of beautiful images that, more often than not, portray a life that is only a shadow of reality. Hell, most of it isn’t even ‘insta’ anymore – the whole thing should just be re-branded ‘latergram’ and be done with it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Lila Jean Vintage Latergram (maybe if I start using it, it will become a thing. Probs not) and always remember, anyone can take a beautiful photograph, but only you can live a beautiful life. And you don’t need social media to do it.