Around the time I shot today's post the internet was buzzing about Instagram celebrity, Essena O'Neill's, new campaign against the authenticity of influential social media users. She took down many of her posts on Instagram and edited the remaining ones to reveal the truth behind each shot. She also completely deleted her presence from all other social media platforms - all to prove that "social media is not real." This all caused quite a stir amongst the online community. O'Neill, who's based in Australia, was making publications, other social media influencers as well as many others speak up about the subject around the world. It went on for about a week and as quickly as her star rose, it began to fade. The whole campaign hasn't received much publicity since.
I found it all very interesting, not only as an individual, but as one that works in the industry of social media. It is true that social media has become a business and though, not everyone may like that - everyone on this earth finds their own way of making money and supporting themselves. It was inevitable that brands, individuals and the social platforms themselves would find ways to monetize the massive audiences they all draw in. That's money making America for you in a nutshell. Though what O'Neill was preaching to the world was true of her own experience of being a professional Instagrammer, what she failed to note is that this was a path she chose to take and it's effects were on her specifically. Using any platform to make money is a choice. If it makes you happy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If it doesn't, then there's also nothing wrong with leaving it like O'Neill did.
So, now we go back to the day I shot the images featured in this post. I spent about an hour perfecting my hair, makeup and outfit. However, my makeup was what I was most proud of that day. It was the first time I used nothing but Maybelline, a drugstore beauty brand, to create a look I felt was worthy of shooting in a greater way than an iPhone selfie. I wanted to show the people who follow me on social media that you don't need to spend a ton of money to feel and look your best. Sometimes all you need is a quick stop to CVS for the perfect red lipstick. Mine is Maybelline's Creamy Matte in 'Divine Wine'. You see, social media is all about what you chose to share and the things in life that make you feel some type of way. More recently, makeup is something that has actually had the power to make me feel happy, and confident in myself. I put it on before I leave my house in the morning and I really feel like I can conquer anything. So of course, I want to and am going to share that with others.
To go with the theme of "social media is not real" I also wanted to share the story behind these photos. As mentioned earlier in this post, I felt damn fine that day. My friend (and the photographer of this series) and I walked around my neighborhood and found a brown stone with the most perfectly painted blue steps. We decided it would be a good place to shoot. After taking a few snaps he asked me to do something a little different and lay down on the staircase. Despite the odd suggestion, I did it. After taking a few shots in this direction, he showed me some of the images and they looked so cool - even though I really wasn't comfortable laying on my neighbor's staircase like I was Beyonce feeling myself. We continued to shoot this way and after a bit of time the door at the top of the staircase burst open. Before I could get off my ass, a small child was hyterically laughing at me. His father stood behind him, incredibly shocked to see a girl literally laying on his house like it was her thrown. It was a little embarrassing, but I'm happy with the end result of all that. Social media may not show the full story, but it definitely shows the result of the work put behind it. That's the beauty of social media, you can only guess what was going on, but you'll never really know unless you were there. IRL will always be greater than URL. Though Essena O'Neill is fighting to prove that to others, I do believe most of this world knows that in their hearts. Real life can never be replaced with images. That's not living.
Get the Look
Face: Primed with Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation topped with Fit Me! Foundation Powder and Better Skin Concealer to hide my purple under eyes! • Contour: Master Contour Palette • Brows: Define & Fill Duo in 'soft brown' to fill and Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara in 'clear' to hold in place. • Eyes: Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette. * Primed with Too Faced's Glitter Glue to enhance pigmentation and make it last all day. Seriously, it doesn't come off for anything except makeup remover! Lash Sensational Mascara. • Lips: Creamy Matte Lipstick in 'Divine Wine' topped with Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Gloss in 'Berry Chic'. • Clothing: American Apparel Dakota Dress in 'Navy', Unif Penny Coat.