I have to talk about something. I’ve touched on it before but today it really hit home.
‘Influencers’ are the WORST.
Today I was scrolling Instagram. Came across a post by a fitness ‘influencer’ I’ve been following for years. She is young, in shape, comes off very genuine, and in my opinion seemed like she really has her shit together. She posted about ending her time breastfeeding. I was heartbroken for her. One of the best parts, for me personally, about being a mother is breastfeeding. I was heartbroken to see a mother who so desperately wanted to breastfeed throwing in the towel.
I was so struck by it that I wanted to send her a message about my experience in hopes of making her feel a bit better. I sent a DM, telling her not to let the perfect Instagram mothers get to her. I told her how hard it was with my first, but my 2nd child was so much easier and we were on year 2 of breastfeeding. I was trying to tell her that there is hope. Just because it didn’t go as planned this time didn’t mean anything. She didn’t fail.
I should have said nothing.
Her response, in short, was that she didn’t want to hear about my “Two years” of breastfeeding and it was insensitive for me to tell her how great I was.
What the actual fuck?
I never told her she did anything wrong. I never told her “how to do” anything. I never even offered advice on breastfeeding, simply reassured her that we all have a hard time and not to get down.
At first I felt like an asshole. Here she is hurting and I had to rub it in her face, but then I realized. She shares her ENTIRE LIFE ON INSTAGRAM. She purposefully portrays herself as relatable and genuine to create an atmosphere of her sharing her life and people actively following. Why was I not allowed to chime in? Especially in a positive manner?
I’ve been following along with her story, supporting her. I had an emotional reaction strong enough to reach out to her, which I hardly even do for the people I know in REAL life and she has the nerve to tell me she doesn’t want to hear it? Her message was cold and direct. Nothing I was expecting from the message I sent. Yes you are hurting, yes it’s valid, but the people who follow you are invested in you and want to share with you like you share with them. We want to feel included in your world that you so openly share. Then it really hit me. These ‘influencers’ don’t care about our story, it’s all about THEM. I mean I’ve known this all along, I just didn’t expect it from this person.
They spend their entire life consumed with trying to keep up with their ‘instagram’ life. They build up this wall around them that only allows worshipers in and anyone else is irrelevant.
I did nothing wrong. Her feelings are obviously hurt right now by her situation and I was the easy target to take them out on because I’m a ‘nobody’ to her. I’m just 1 out of a million people. SHE is the perfection. She is the standard to live by. She is the INFLUENCER and I am the follower. I can not possibly be successful at something that she was not. She has her perfect body back after 3 weeks and that’s WONDERFUL, please tell me how you did it?! But when it comes to breastfeeding I might know a thing or two. Believe it or not I could have probably helped you but before today I had never offered advice. I had never chimed in. I rarely do on mom topics because everyone is an expert. I don’t want to be that person. I share my breastfeeding information and help on my blog. If someone wants the info they will seek it out. I don’t need to go blast it in their face.
I guess I just felt belittled. I felt like I tried to offer kindness and was met with instant defensiveness and insecurity.
Influencers reel us in on their ability to appear “relatable”. They create this idea that they are far from perfect but if you actually speak about their imperfections you are the enemy. There is NOTHING relatable on Instagram or social media for that matter. It’s a look into someones life through the rose colored glasses that they provide for you. They control what we see and in many cases feel like they can control what we think.
I think maybe I’ll ditch the Instagram for a bit.