On January 7th, I decided to to tell my Instagram account, “It’s not me… it’s you.” and began my Instagram break, not knowing if or when I was going to come back. But I’m back now and ready to be vulnerable and open with you all.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would return. I also wasn’t sure if I should share what pushed me to take the break in the first place. I’m hoping that by sharing how I felt, I can confirm to others that they aren’t alone and their feelings are valid.
The main reason I took a social media (specificially Instagram) break is because my insecurities were beginning to eat me alive. I couldn’t stop comparing myself to all of the beautiful womxn that I follow. I’ve struggled with my weight for almost four years now and I rarely see people with my body type represented on social media. I couldn’t help but feel crushed by doubts about myself and how my followers and others saw me. It led me to ultimately avoid posting photos of myself frequently. Any photos I posted were done with fear. Fear of there not being enough comments and likes to validate me like other people are all the time. Fear that people would unfollow me because they thought I was too chubby or not good looking enough. These fears often prevented me from sharing photos of myself.
However, one of my favorite Instagram content creators, Aisha Hatter, has inspired me to share future photos of myself, not despite my body size, but in spite of the beauty standards pushed on me. Who cares if my jaw line isn’t razor sharp? If I don’t have super nice cheek bones? If I have a little bit of a double chin? I feel fine with my body and if my followers don’t like that, then they can leave because I’m not here to exist for them.
I also want to be more authentic on my Instagram feed. I’m a college student and honestly, my life isn’t perfectly Instagrammable 85% of the time. I want to feel free to post long-winded, anxiety driven rants on my Instagram story. I felt so disconnected from my Instagram friends and followers because I felt that I was being so fake all the time and that no one knew the real me.
Stress + The Numbers Game
As well, stress from the numbers and the algorithm game got to me. I had very little growth over a period of a few months. My followers were remaining stagnant and so were my likes. But, I need to remember – everyone goes through times like that. It’s unrealistic to expect growth all the time. If I produce good content, the engagement will come eventually.
I’m coming back today. However, I’m not going to let Instagram consume me in the way it did before. I’m gonna post what I want, when I want. I’m not gonna worry so much about how I look compared to others. I’m not gonna get upset about a post if it doesn’t “do well”. I’m not going to let myself get anxious about my feed. I’m going to be honest about my life and everything I have going on. I’m gonna be in control of my feed and posts because this is my life and my account. I hope that if any of you that are reading this have felt similar to me, that you know now, you’re not alone. ♥️