This post has been on my mind for a really long time. It's tricky because a part of me doesn't want to offend anyone but then a part of me wants to speak the truth, or what I feel is the truth. On Instagram a few weeks ago, I jokingly (kind of) tagged 'the art of faux living' as satirical hashtag to 'the art of slow living.' Who invents this stuff? What does it really even mean? And why to we buy into it? Or any of the trendy hashtags. #liveauthentic? That one bothers me the most. I'm not a grammar nazi but even I can recognize it's grammatically incorrect. Do people even use adverbs anymore? I have to swallow my pride a little on this one because I fell victim to it too when everyone started tagging it a couple years back. It got you more likes so why not? And that, to me, is how it all starts. The need to feel wanted and most importantly, 'liked.' We're all programmed to be liked. But at what cost?
I started questioning why I was tagging these things that I didn't even really relate to. I'm not camping in the Redwoods, sitting on a buffalo check blanket, sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee from my Chemex. I was woken up by my then-1 year old wanting me to turn on Yo Gabba Gabba while I rub the sleep out of my eyes and beg for 5 more minutes of sleep. Then a snowball effect of cutesy hashtags happened and it took on a life of its own. To me, it shows how desperate someone is. Is it really getting you that many more followers? Is it really making people 'like' you?
I started my Instagram account when I was pregnant with Luella. I was hanging out with friends one night in the East Village, while living in NYC, and my girlfriend Lucy asked me why I didn't have an Instagram account. I didn't even know what it was really. But she said something like, "you're creative, you should be on Instagram." I started following people I knew and interior designers I admired. That evolved into following more creatives I had never met but whose work I loved. That turned into following mom accounts - more specifically, ones with great style but also those I could relate to in motherhood. However, I started to notice the repetitiveness about a year ago, and that's what's really been bumming me out about this whole thing. Like if I see one more peg rack with a market basket and dried lavender I might hurl. I think this space was intended for individuals. Sure, we can all take inspiration from others but to copy someone else's house from the dining chairs, to the rugs, light fixtures, and color scheme is just plain ol' pathetic. There's nothing special about that. For someone who actually studied design, it's offensive. People work so hard to make their house feel like theirs and for someone to copy nearly every single thing just because they have a big following is gross. It goes back to, "If I make my house look like hers then people will like me more." Don't do that. Be you. Inspire others. Inspire me!
I hope this didn't come off as a rant, which it probably has, but I felt it needed to be said. I want my kids to grow up in a house that feels like THEIRS. I want them to grow up in a world where people aren't afraid to be themselves because they think others won't like them. If you like eating Taco Bell, own that shit. Don't take an overhead shot of a meal made from a Sunday Suppers cookbook just because you think people will think you're cool. Be the fuck you. There's nothing more likeable than that.