How Instagram Distorts Our Idea Of Perfection

There is a big disconnect between the real-life women I see every day and the women in my Instagram feed. Is there a connection between how good we look on social media and how shitty we feel inside? Childless women in their 20s currently out-earn men. We are now more likely than men to have bachelor's degrees, too. So, why was my feed filled with images of date nights, engagement rings, cat-eyes, cupcakes, and waist trainers? Are we becoming Betty Draper 2.0 or is this the illusion of perfection? Welcome to episode 2 of our Strong Opinions Loosely Held podcast. While speaking with New York Times journalist Hannah Seligson, author of "The #LuckyGirl's Lie," I realized that many women feel this disconnect. "And now what is, I think, insidious, dangerous, disturbing, is that we have so many images of what perfection looks like and they're coming at us a million miles a second and they're in our feed all of the time." These images of perfection are easy to manufacture, because we're accustomed to seeing them. Beauty, homes, being a domestic goddess. It's traditional femininity at it's finest. We have a reference for what these situations look like. It's not so easy to picture a raise or killing it at work. And weddings? We all know what those look like. Molly Guy of Stone Fox Bride runs one of the most popular wedding Instagram feeds — but her success was kind of an accident. The original concept of the store was to sell dresses, but not because she loved dresses. "I had failed at my former career. I had moved to New York to be a writer and because I had really, like, I had wrung that towel very dry. Because I was freaked out and I couldn't get a job and I had worked with a career coach and we had done these weird series of mandalas and charts and finally she was like, 'Maybe you should start a store.' And I was like, 'No thank you, that's ridiculous.'" I was so excited to make this episode. While it's still hard to hear how judgmental I come off at some points, making this episode was a huge learning experience for me. I can't wait to hear how you feel.

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