There’s no denying that social media has changed the way we live our everyday lives. Many are concerned at how the pressures of an online presence can affect some of its youngest users, but it’s not just teens that feel these pressures. Parents are also feeling pressure to make their online life look close to perfect. Sometimes, that’s just agonizing over the perfect filter. Other times, it could be retaking the same picture multiple times to get the perfect angles in the perfect settings. Celebrity parents aren’t immune to this, as Joanna Gaines admitted on Instagram.
Joanna Gaines has been on Instagram since 2013. In those six years, Joanna has let us in on all areas of her life. We see glimpses of the latest from Magnolia Market. We’ve seen all the new businesses she and Chip have started, from a breakfast joint to a real estate company. Most endearingly, we’ve watched their five kids grow up. It might seem like Joanna can make her life look amazing just as effortlessly as she designs a space. Joanna does feel the pressure, however, as she explained in the recent issue of The Magnolia Journal.
Remember the early days of Instagram, where it felt like the most important decision you could make was what filter and border you used? If it feels like a long time ago, it’s because it kind of was. Check out one of Joanna Gaines’ early Instagram posts from March 2013.
It’s safe to say things have changed over the years, and not just in regard to camera quality. Drake, Emmie Kay, Duke, and Ella Rose have grown up quite a bit. Here they are, awaiting news of baby brother Crew’s birth in June 2018.
Joanna has amassed a huge following on Instagram. She’s currently creeping toward 10 million followers.
It might seem like social media comes easy to the design whiz, but she disagrees. It’s easy to make pictures of her home look great because she’s already designed the space to her liking, and her style is quite popular. With her family, it’s a different story.
Joanna opened up about her relationship with Instagram in the latest issue of The Magnolia Journal. She reveals that she feels the same pressures as others to make her life look good online.
Joanna noted that in the early days of her Instagram, there wasn’t as much pressure because both her business and following were smaller. Keep in mind that Joanna’s Instagram started just as they were filming the pilot for Fixer Upper.
With the success of the show and their business and her own following taking off, Joanna felt a shift in her perspective. “I could feel insecurity start to creep in and posting a photo was no longer an act of enjoying the in-the-moments of life but rather a more calculated decision,” she explained.
Joanna is a big believer in living authentically, which is the theme of this issue of The Magnolia Journal. Her own beliefs about how life should be and how it should look clashed with what she believed other people wanted to see.
“Eventually, I realized that I was letting this small square on my phone become yet another thing to perfect,” Joanna wrote. That realization came when she noticed she was handling posting about her family differently.
“What happens when we don’t think out ‘real life’ looks as good as someone else’s? We make adjustments—find better lighting, dress our kids in something nicer, place a vase of fresh flowers in the background, or add the perfect filter,” she said.
She realized the trouble with that kind of mindset and decided to make some changes. She vowed to be “mindful of when the red flags of comparison or anxiety begin to move in.”
Her advice for anyone feeling that pressure? Take a step away from social media until they’re in a clearer mindset.
Joanna takes a lot of pictures. They don’t all make it to Instagram. They aren’t all perfect, and she’s learning to be OK with that.
“I love to snap photos of my kids whenever it’s physically possible. My camera roll is constantly full because of it, but when I hear myself start to say something like ‘move slightly to the left’ just so I can get the perfect angle, that’s when I know it’s time to check myself.”
Joanna’s learned to give it a little time when the pressure gets to be too much. “Perhaps I’ll post that photo in a few days when I have some distance from it and a fresh frame of mind. Or maybe I won’t.”