It’s no secret that I love Instagram and use it often, but in this social media age, we as a human race have found yet another means by which to attack people (if attack seems too strong a word for you, you may substitute “ridicule”, “judge”, or “condescend”). Yes, I am talking about making fun of certain types of photos posted on Instagram. As I have been a target of this myself (no recent happenings…it has just been on my mind lately), I’d like to share a little bit about why I post these photos (and why we should just let people be).
The Feet Photo
1. It records my daily life. I take a lot of walks. I have a dog, so those kind of come with the territory. Since I take at least one walk a day, I would say that walks are a pretty substantial part of my life; they are the “little things” I want recorded as my life passes by.
2. It tells me where – the time and the place – I am. These photos physically place me in the scene – they prove that I was present in any given time and place. They document the seasons changing, whether it was morning or afternoon, and what the world looked like when I looked down. You can go pull an image off the internet of pretty fallen leaves or blooming flowers, but were you there?
3. It’s me. I spend a lot of time alone (slash with my dog). My husband goes to an office all day, and I occasionally nanny during the evenings, so my days are pretty free of time and of people. These photos show that, hey, I’m alive! I prefer to take photos of my feet than my face every day, but it’s all up to you. Besides placing me in these spots, these photos also reveal something else about me – my favorite shoes and my habit of wearing them. I have a lot, but I wear the same few pairs over and over again. I searched for my ankle boots for quite a bit of time; they are one of my best purchases, both cute and comfortable, and I will wear them until they die (and probably after that too). My lovely moccasins can never stay tied, but I still wear them often. And my flip-flops tell us that it really is always sunny in Southern California.
The Food Photo
1. Food is a wondrous thing. We literally need it to survive, and though a lot of people struggle with it (myself included), it is still something to be celebrated. Besides breathing and sleeping, there is probably nothing else in our lives we do more often than eat (ok we blink and talk and yada yada yada, but you get the point). So when I want to take a photo of a meal that is beautifully crafted (or just beautiful inside my stomach), I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. If I want to showcase a barista’s artistry by snapping a photo of the pretty little coffee design, by all means, I can snap away. We are paying good money for our food and the experiences that come with it, so yes, it’s okay to celebrate the occasion with a photo. Since restaurant lighting seems to always make food look unappetizing in photos, I don’t often do this when I’m out to eat (also because I’m not immune to the thoughts of people possibly judging me).
2. I’m learning new things! It’s the 21st century, and all women (at least in America) aren’t expected to stay at home and work in the kitchen (if you are a stay at home person, go you! No judgment on that.) My point is – I wasn’t brought up learning how to prepare meals and do other things that go along with homemaking. When I went to college, my first foray into meal making was microwaving hot pockets. So, needless to say, as I have been teaching myself how to cook and bake, I want to document these milestones! I baked a cake from scratch that was actually delicious? Yes! I made my own naan?! WHAT! Look at me – a fully capable adult person who can put a good tasting and good-for-you meal on the table!
The Baby/Puppy Photo
As I only have the latter, I cannot fully comment on the former (though mark my words, watch out when I do have a baby!). Kipling is my sweet, funny, and adorable dog, and she is pretty consistent in my Instagram feed. All I have to say about this is – if you have a problem with pictures of cute babies and puppies, maybe you have some deeper issue you want to address.
You might think, hey, why are you making such a big deal about Instagram and the jokes people make about it? Because the world is filled with enough ugliness that we don’t need to add to it. To me, it’s absurd that people can take issue with something so harmless. How about we stomp down the cynicism and spread a positive light in the life we lead? Let’s not laugh at someone for creating a visual journal of their lives. And if you really, really can’t resist the mockery, I have a solution : don’t look at the photos. 🙂
After listing all of these reasons, my final point is – you don’t have to give a reason (contradictory, I know). Keep on taking photos and loving and living your life.