Why I am not on motherfucking instagram.

Anyone who has ever asked me this, please see the following:

1. I am not that pretty. 

Listen, I am okay with this. I have a lot of other things going for me! But nobody wants to look at my face that much. Not even me. And I like my face as much as anybody’s going to, probably.

2. My life is not that pretty.

I live in New York. Things are dirty. My days are long. Ain’t nobody got time to artfully arrange shit to hide the less attractive aspects of a situation. My apartment is small and the paint is peeling. I saw a roach in the sink yesterday. It takes a lot of time to make things look Instagram-ready and not crime-scene-gritty, and it’s time I don’t have and won’t spend.

3. I don’t need you to think my life is pretty.

I saw a guy wearing a black shirt that said nothing but the word “STRUGGLE” in white. It actually made me stop walking, which is saying a lot for a New Yorker.

Struggle. Like, that’s real. The struggle is what I have to show for myself. It’s getting up every day and doing the thing you know you’re supposed to do to get 24 hours closer to what you want. The struggle is not pretty. And if you’re doing it right, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to artfully hold your Starbucks iced coffee in a way that showcases both your manicure AND your engagement ring, as well as the graffiti in the background on the sunny street in Williamsburg you’re on.

4. I don’t want to be the person taking 15 pictures of everything

Once, I went on a third date. Well, it was sort of a date. I was invited to “hang out” with a new guy and his friends. Which was fine! I was a little unsure of the guy, and I thought it might be nice to make friends, even if he and I didn’t hit it off romantically.

The point of this story is, we went to this beautiful little bar in Koreatown, at the top of a hotel. It was artsy and cool–like, armchairs, fireplaces, and paintings on the wall cool. Of course, a picture might have been nice. Just one. But for the next hour and half, everyone in this group (including my date) completely ignored each other to 1. change places and pose next to a different person, 2. take several versions of the picture, 3. look at the version of the picture, 3. post them online, 4. rinse and repeat.

OMG IT’S BLURRY BECAUSE WE’RE HAVING SO MUCH FUN WE CAN’T FOCUS THE CAMERA OMGOMGOMG

Not only was I bored, I was embarrassed. I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m in a beautiful, sophisticated place, I usually want to feel rather grown-up and refined myself. That’s the pleasure of going to beautiful, sophisticated places. And being surrounded by That Group shamelessly taking 500 selfies was… yeah. And I didn’t get to have a single conversation with anyone. Not even my date–who was constantly getting up to pose, and then re-asking me, “So how was your weekend again? Oh yeah, that thing you mentioned… wait, I’ll be right back.”

The kicker: I saw the pictures on Facebook the next day, and before I realized what I was looking at, I felt a pang of jealousy. Gosh, I wish I had a “group” to go out with–they’re having so much fun! Look at everybody laughing! What a gorgeous bar.

And then I remembered that I had been there, and it was terrible.

Here is another night I took a lot of pictures (see blurry photo above).

OMG I’M IN A CLUB THIS IS MY SHOE

Again, I was with a group of “picture takers.” It was one of the more miserable nights of my life, because the guy (not pictured) in the background was someone who had unceremoniously dumped a month or so before, and I was trying to be the “cool” girl who didn’t care, and could still hang out with all our mutual friends!

About 45 minutes later I got into a cab crying because he hadn’t so much as looked at me all night. My finest moment? Nope. But that’s the reality behind the picture.

5. How things look is not that important. No seriously.

I especially want to underscore this for pole dancers–or people who want to try pole!–but are concerned they aren’t the right weight, body type, etc etc etc.

I actually saw someone write something about me on another site, that they liked how I wasn’t too skinny, and yet, OMG, I was still poling! #brave

On the one hand, I get it: there’s not a whole lot of normal-looking people doing this. On the other hand, it makes me ask myself–why did I think I was allowed to pole, as is?

Who gave me permission?

Should I have lost a dress-size first?

Maybe nobody wants to see a 142-pound person dancing on a pole.

And then I remember: I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.

Maybe I’m too fat. Am I going to stop poling? Hell no! I love it. It makes me happy. It lights a fire under me.

But if I were to pole on Instagram, that would be entering a much more intense arena of snap judgement than I think I want to deal with.

So, that’s that.

FIN.

10 Comments

  1. Well said!

    I instagram and although I vary rarely post selfies I do find myself getting sucked in to the pressure of having every picture look perfectly filtered. Which is odd because surely you were taking a picture of something you thought looked good/ you liked for some reason to begin with?

    Luckily my friends aren’t as instagram obsessed in terms of nights out, so we’ll get one or two shots then instagram gets put away for the rest of the night.

    • OMG I cannot with filters. They definitely raise your standard of what “acceptable” looks like in your pictures… which is doubly time consuming if you’ve already taken the same photo 19 times at different angles. People with perfectionist tendencies (*cough*) need to stay far, far away.

  2. I have Instagram but I always forget to take pictures of myself and mostly use it to upload pictures of my dinner. I went out once with some people who were more invested in it than I am and we literally had to stand there after dinner and all pose together outside the restaurant like it was the first day of school or something. I wanted to scream. But at the same time, I also look through my feed obsessively to see what sexier, more famous people who are eating at better restaurants are doing, so I guess I’m part of the problem.

    And dude, I want to try pole! At the very least, I’m willing to be entertainment for everybody else as I kind of flop around and inevitably slip and dislocate a shoulder or something.

    Now I’m really stalking you (#sorry).

    • Flop around=I am dying. And you’re not too far off on the shoulder dislocation… that’s always the first thing people injure! (totally avoidable with good posture, btw, so please don’t let that scare you away!) And yeah… the first day of school photos are the worst to pose for, but they’re the least annoying thing on instagram, imo. it seems like something normal people would do when they want to commemorate an occasion with a photo. the kind of instagramming I’m totally over is the “look at this pile of jewelry I arranged with a pair of Louboutins” shot that is more of an advertisement for a lifestyle than any kind of friendly information/life sharing. And my hatred of photos of the insane pole poses in a gorgeously lit studio is just pure jealousy, haha. PS. please continue to stalk!!!! It gives me the warm fuzzies that cool, smart people like yourself have not run screaming from this blog yet! 😀

  3. Yes! Yes! Yes!!!! I agree with this so much. I don’t do Instagram, but I hate it when people take billions of photos of themselves. And whenever I throw a party, I take away your cell phone if I see it. Really. It pisses me off that much. I will take your phone if I take you to a concert or a dinner too.

  4. While I agree with every one of these points, I also think it’s possible to do Instagram without letting take over your life. I mostly post pole pictures and video clips (which I record anyway because I’m a very visual learner), have never taken a picture of my Starbucks cup (oh wait, I don’t drink coffee), my apartment (not counting the countless handstand pictures I’ve taken in front of my one empty wall), or parties (with the exception of parties with poles, because pole).

    I love the pole and aerial community on Instagram, as people are always helpful in breaking down combos, posting videos of how they got into that one crazy pose, helping me remember the names of tricks – all of the things my local pole community does but on a much larger scale. Also the amount of inspiration I get from Instagram alone is kinda ridiculous, but I always have something to practice when I’m alone in the studio.

    And yes, I’m obviously a total Instagram addict and will try to push it on anyone and everyone 🙂

    • Completely agree. I don’t think you need to be pretty, thin, or have a gorgeous apartment to have an Instagram account. What makes you think that?

      I follow pole people on Instagram for inspiration, motivation, and that sense of community. I weigh a lot more than you do and luckily I’ve never felt judged by any of my followers on there. I find the Instagram pole community to be nothing but positive.

      If the reasons you listed are truly why you don’t want to join, I highly encourage you to go against your instinct and give it a try. You’ll find a lot of these assumptions don’t apply 🙂

    • I think Instagram is a wonderful “inspiration” tool for some people–especially visual learners, as you noted. For immature, non-visual learners like myself, though, it can trigger “I give up” syndrome, haha. This happened to me when the Russian Layback was really hot, and I was still struggling with a crescent. It’s like, if a stupid crescent pose is this hard, but people have moved on to the Russian Layback (which is infinitely harder), why should I even try? I totally understand that this is a shitty attitude to have, but, I can’t be the only one that’s so easily discouraged! Re: coffee/apartment photos, I should also note that I read this (http://www.bustle.com/articles/32177-what-i-instagrammed-vs-what-was-really-happening-or-my-entire-life-is-a-lie) before writing my post, and I’m sure it fed into my opinions. Thanks as always for such a thoughtful, constructive response 🙂

      • Russian Layback was actually way easier for me than a Crescent, since Crescent relies on thigh grip and Russian Layback on knee grip 😛

        But yeah, it’s easy to get discouraged by all of the awesome. I’ve been poling for three years now, and every day I see someone new get their handspring/Phoenix/Rainbow Marchenko/crazy-ass-trick who has been poling for way shorter than me. You kinda just have to decide to be okay with it and celebrate your own accomplishments, but that’s often easier said than done 🙂

  5. Very well said! And nr 4 is SAD.
    I use Instagram, but only use it sometimes, and I NEVER use it for selfies (that I only take either because I need a profile pic for somewhere or because I want to see what my hair looks like from the side), and never when I’m in the middle of something! Taking phones away at a party is a great idea, btw!

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