Monday, November 10, 2014

Show Your Real: Kayla (+ an Instagram challenge)

I found Kayla's blog a few months ago, when someone pointed me to her post about being yourself online. I loved how openly she shared, and knew she'd be a perfect fit for the Show Your Real series. So when she sent over her guest post, I expected to love it...but I was surprised at how much it inspired me. I don't want to steal her thunder, so please keep scrolling to read her post (and leave a comment telling her how much you love it...especially because today is her birthday!) Then- click on over to my Instagram page for something extra fun...

Ever look at your Instagram and think “these photos all look the same?” It’s the same lighting with similar cups of coffee and magazines perfectly spaced out on a white background repeated over and over again. It’s pretty, no doubt, but is it real? Probably not.

My life doesn’t look like that. If it was captured in a photo, the frame would show hot chocolate stains on a sheet of paper, scribbled out, very imperfect penmanship, and a girl who wears sweatpants with a beanie half of the week. It’s not perfect, but it’s me. It’s real.

I don’t want to fit the Instagram standard, or any standard for that matter. I want to stand out. My life shouldn’t look like anyone else’s because it’s mine, and I’m proud of that. We all should wear our uniqueness like a badge of honor. That’s what we should be sharing online: all of ourselves, even the imperfect parts.

Besides, life is not always beautifully put together. It’s not meant to be staged. It’s beautifully messy.

The next time you wish your life looked more like posh Instagram photographs, remember that pictures are deceiving. They can make us feel like everyone else has it all together when in reality, none of us do. When you compare your life to someone else’s online, you are comparing your behind-the-scenes look to their highlight reel. It’s all about perspective.

I for one, live for the candids, when the camera catches us mid-laugh and shows the true happiness that only comes from capturing spontaneous moments. These photos may not be posed or staged, but they steal my heart. They are what I remember.

I challenge you to #ShowYourReal this week on Instagram. Throw the perfect formula for a great Instagram photo out the window and focus on showing the real you. That’s where you’ll find freedom.

Yes! There is freedom in being real...and there is community and encouragement, and inspiration, and acceptance, and beauty in showing your real. So all this week I'll be sharing on Instagram using the #showyourreal tag, telling pieces of my story that might not typically make it onto the "highlight reel", but are still (or especially!) worthy of sharing. And I'd love for you to join in...And I've got something extra special in store for you when you do. Head on over to my Instagram page for full details...


Show Your Real is a series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often surface-y interactions of social media. And you're all invited to participate! Please write, caption, comment, link, and hashtag to spread the #showyourreal love. And if you would like to contribute a guest post to the series, please email me (

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