My Instagrammable Life

I just finished reading Sophie Kinsella’s latest book, “My Not so Perfect Life.”

I have always liked reading Ms. Kinsella’s works (e.g. Undomestic Goddess, Can You Keep a Secret, The Shopaholic Series, to name a few) because the stories are light, funny, and the characters are pretty relatable. Her main characters could very well remind you of your best friend, your sister, or in most cases, yourself. A lot of times I catch myself thinking, “She’s just like me…” or “I could be her.”

My Not so Perfect Life (according to the blurb) is Part-Love Story, Part-Work Drama. One thing I found interesting, though, was how Katie, the female protagonist, portrayed her life on Instagram (living in an exciting city, doing cool stuff with marvelous friends), versus her reality — job issues, financial struggles, simple life, really small apartment.

It got me thinking… Haven’t we all, at some point in our social media obsessed lives, projected an alternate version of our reality?

(I will not spoil the book any further for the sake of my chick lit-loving friends, but it is a good and entertaining read. You won’t be sorry if you grab a copy.)

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Ahh, Instagram.

On any given day, we see something nice… or we go somewhere nice… or we think we look nice… And so we decide to take a photo — click, and then post. Then we add cute, interesting captions. We explain further by adding a number of #hashtags.

Then we wait for a hundred hearts (signifying that our follower friends liked the photo). Sometimes we feel bad when only a few people would “heart” the photo. Of course it hurts when you are not validated. (Personally, I am easy to please. I am happy with 10 likes. Anything beyond that to me is already a blessing — or a miracle.)

When you think about it, how much of our real lives is posted on Instagram? Or maybe the bettter question is… What stories do our IG accounts tell?

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Out of curiosity, I checked MY Instagram account.

If a total stranger will make a story about me based on my IG photos, what will he come up with…

From the 12 latest photos I posted, one will see: My latest selfie (with me all dolled up)… My bruised knees… Dining with my BFF… More selfies… A promo of my book… A collage of old photos with my son… A throwback photo with friends circa ’90s… And still more selfies…

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Basically from my IG, one will gather that 1) I have a book, 2) I have a son, 3) I was much thinner in the ’90s, and yeah 4) I am a selfie master — and I love myself so much.

My Instagram account pretty much depicts how self-absorbed I am. Yep, narcissism at its finest.

That’s my Instagrammable life. #ialwayswakeuplookinglikethis.

Alternate version or reality? 😉

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When we share photos on Instagram, we allow other people to take a glimpse of our lives.

It is easy to create a perfect, always exciting version of your life. Just carefully pick the photos you will post — Choose the ones that will tell the version you want your followers to see.

I bet our Instagram stories are all exciting.

Don’t be fooled, though. Things are not always as good as they are depicted on IG. That is why it is not wise to judge — nor envy– someone, based on what you see on Instagram.

I also believe that every photo has a backstory… And often times, it’s the backstory that is truly more interesting… and real.

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Example of Perception vs Reality / Alternate Version vs Backstory

latest selfie

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#selfietime #chilling #memyselfandi

Perception created: She’s so chill… She’s so vain… She’s always made up…

Backstory (Reality): Photo was taken after four (4) hours of sitting through the College graduation rites of our helper. FOUR HOURS. But it was a momentous occasion, a celebration of someone’s educational achievement. I had to keep a smile on my face, even after four hours…

Plus I looked good that day. So, I just had to take a photo…

So, yes, maybe I am quite self-absorbed. Quite. 😉

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What is your Instagram story???

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photos are mine 😊

Make up 101

Coming out of Church service last Saturday evening, I saw a lady friend, someone we knew from church, talking to one of the pastors. When they finished chatting, I approached her to say hello. After the usual pleasantries, I caught her staring at me with that bewildered expression on her face.

Then she said, “You know, you are always so put-together…” She continued to stare at me — at my face — and said again, “You look so put-together. Always. Every time I see you. Like, do you wake up like that?”

By put-together, I would like to think that she meant unfazed, unruffled, poised, gorgeous… I could go on… 😉

That was probably the sweetest, nicest compliment I have received this week… especially after my hair color change which, truth be told, kinda drove me nuts for a couple of days!

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It has been five days since I colored my hair — on a whim, if I may add.  

The first two days after were quite difficult, really. First of all,  I was so not used to the lighter shade that I had to take a double look whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror (which was quite often, if you know me well enough). I felt like I was seeing a stranger. 

Secondly, since my hair now has a different shade of brown, I felt I had to adjust my make up as well. 

Haha, yes, I researched.  I looked at photos of celebrities with same hair color shade and tried to see what make up is suitable. 

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For some reason, Jessica Alba’s photos kept popping up. Oh, if only my eyes are as brown… and my face as small… *Sigh* … and those lashes! *double sigh*

I am used to black eyeliners and I figured I needed to temper down my eye makeup a bit. So the day after my salon date, I went to the department store to get new eyeliners.

Valuable lesson learned that day: Never… and I mean, NEVER, scrimp on eye make up. Or any make up for that matter. 

Because I did. I normally don’t, but that day, I did. 

I bought a local brand that I never tried before… Because it was cheap. I even bought two eye pencils. Thought to myself, “It’s just an eyeliner and I can even use it for the brows.” How bad can it be?

So the moment I got home, I began experimenting with the liners and whatever eye make up I had. The goal was to look as good as Jessica Alba. Such lofty goals.

Come evening, the sides of my eyes started to itch. I saw a couple of rashes that looked like small insect bites. I removed all the make up that I had on ’til my face was squeaky clean. I told myself I will just let my face — my eyes — rest. 

Right before I slept, my eyes were already watery and my eye bags itched so bad.

When I woke up the following morning, my eye bags had baby bags

Just in case I did not make it clear the first time, NEVER scrimp on anything you put on your face. It just might cost you.

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Good thing my ordeal did not last the whole day (thanks to antihistamine). Come afternoon, I found myself at my favorite make up store Etude House… my old-reliable. 

I ended up buying an eyeliner, something for the eye brows… and another lipstick. Proved to be more costly, indeed.

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Just a few of my favorite things from Etude House.

So if there is anything valuable you will take away from this post, let it be this: You pay for quality. Especially in beauty products. 

Make up can be expensive and I also like to look for good bargains. Who doesn’t? But test the product first. Make sure it is hypoallergenic. If you are unsure or if you have even the slightest doubt, then don’t get it. 

Good things hardly ever come cheap.

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PS… Going back to my church-friend’s statement…

No, I don’t wake up looking like Jessica Alba.

I have a daily beauty regimen. I look put-together because I take time to do so. I put effort. I don’t look hideous without make up, but I use it to enhance what’s already there. 

I know it’s pretty shallow having your confidence or self-esteem hinged on your looks… But I feel good when I look good. And who doesn’t like feeling good?

My face, my canvas. 🙂

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Favorite golden brown haired selfie so far… 😉

photo credits : Jessica Alba’s photo via google images; Etude House loot and BGO selfie from my O+