Fashion Blogging: Instagram vs Reality

Outfit Photos Are All About Polish & Perfection, But What's Really Going On? I've recently started posting more outfit photos on Instagram and this site. It's been something that I've wanted to do for years, but I felt way too shy. Plus, I was having technical problems with space and lighting. A couple of weeks ago I figured out a sorta-answer (my pics aren't perfect) and decided to go for it. The result has been quite fun, and I see the posts as an outfit diary - an artistic project that centers on apparel.

Fashion Blogging: Instagram versus Reality

Then this week happened. It's been difficult past few days.

I have nerve damage in my left leg. I've had it for years (more info about the source of the nerve damage is here), and have been on a daily regimen of medication. The pain is chronic, and the medicine lowers the pain level enough that I can function in my daily life. It's a new normal, and I don't see it as a hindrance or problem - it's just the reality of my life.

A number of days ago I realized that I was running out of my medication. I have zero refills left on pills that make a difference between walking versus being in so much pain that walking is an impossibility. No problem - I've been going to the same neurologist for years, and I should be able to get a refill without complications, right?


My doctor is amazing, but getting through administrative red tape to request a refill of medication has turned into an ordeal. I've been working to try to get in touch with my doctor for days, and my phone calls / emails are not being answered. I'm watching the number of pills decrease. And, my panic is rising.

This morning I thought about taking an outfit photo and completely dismissed it. I'm not in a great mood, I'm scared, and I'm SO FREAKING FRUSTRATED with the GW hospital system. In short, I'm not my best self.

Then, I did some thinking about fashion blogging. I love fashion bloggers, I love outfit photos, I LOOOVE Instagram and watching women show off what they are wearing. On the surface fashion blogging might be dismissed as being self-involved, but I find it empowering and subversive. It's freaking fantastic to watch body-positive women take those photos and say, "this is what I look like!" Rock it, girl!

But, fashion bloggers can give an impression that everything is always perfect. Pictures are photoshopped, put through filters, and curated. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. But, I do think that picture after gorgeous picture gives the false appearance of perfection. Fashion bloggers have imitated magazines in many ways by showing a world that is dazzling and continuously pulled together. But, sometimes life just isn't that way. Sometimes it is difficult and sad and lonely. Sometimes life just throws a sucker punch. I have always wished people would show reality a little more.

Today it hit me - I can show that reality. So, here it is:

Fashion Bloggers: Instagram vs reality

The picture on the left shows the Instagram version of my outfit.

The picture on the right shows the reality of how I'm feeling. I'm in pain. I'm frustrated. And, I am just angry and tired.

And, that's what is really going on in this fashion blogger's life right now.

I know my pill situation will be solved. I'm confident in it. Why? There is no other choice. I can't function without the medication, so it will work out - even if I have to go and camp out at my doctor's office. Right now, though, I think it is more important to talk about the reality of my life versus the curated, edited version. I want to show an outfit photo, even in the middle of my pain.

When I get the medication I will update this post.


Update: Got the meds. It was a panic right up until the end, but I got them. Thank goodness! I received so many sweet messages in person, through social media, and via email. Thanks for all the kind words and support.