What I Instagrammed Vs. What Was Really Happening, Or My Entire Life Is A Lie

I love Instagram. Whether I'm drinking a coffee, heading to the gym or simply feeling in the mood for the occasional (okay, a little more than occasional) selfie, I love posting photos and interacting with other users. Maybe it's because I'm a fashion girl, or perhaps it's due to my general love for social media. Maybe it's just that I'm a little self-obsessed. Who knows? Either way, you can almost guarantee I'm posting something once a day. Okay, sometimes twice. Oops. 

Instagram, like all social media, is about presenting the ideal version of yourself. It's not not yourself per se. ... It's more like, all the best parts of you displayed to the world and ignoring all the worst parts. Because as attractive as I am while I watch Real Housewives of Orange County and eat random food I find in the pantry (BTW, is eating uncooked pasta bad for you?), I feel like I should spare the world of that Olivia.

So I, like most people, post the things that are going to reflect the best aspects of my life and personality. Also my face. Because selfies. Why, yes, I do drink coffee at hip cafes and order things online from J.Crew. Oh, don't mind me, just a picture of my new Nikes and me heading to spin class. Because I'm fit. Obviously (I'm not). Oh, look! I'm doing a juice cleanse. I buy peonies! I read books! I am well-rounded! I have shoes! 

You know, the important parts of my life. 

Anyway, as a sort of confession: here is what I'm really doing in all those Instagrams vs. what I presented to the world. Prepare to be shocked.

1. The Clearly Staged Photo

What It Looks Like I'm Doing... 

Oh, how exciting. I just received a package from J.Crew. Let me carefully arrange them around these flowers that happen to coordinate with both the preppy notebook (I am keeping a list of things to do: "buy peonies, sign book deal, pet golden retriever puppies, actually enjoy spin class, develop natural 'glow'") and new earrings I just received. I will wear them to a trendy cocktail hour with my boyfriend, who wears a skinny tie and talks about imported coffee. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

PRETTY THINGS. PUT THEM TOGETHER. AESTHETICS. Who wouldn't like this? What if it's too much? Okay, this is clearly staged. But it's so pretty. It all goes together. Okay, I'm going to post it. What should I caption? Hash tags? No? Ugh. 

2. The Coffee + Shoes Shot

What It Looks Like I'm Doing... 

Just casually picking up a skinny, non-fat, soy, two Splendas, non-Starbucks-because-I'm-cool latte before my mani/pedi appointment, where I will casually sip my coffee and simultaneously plan my week/world takeover on my iPhone. I will post this on Snapchat, too. Because I drink coffee. And I am cool. 

What I Am Actually Doing/Thinking...

In reality, I had to hide in a side alley to take this photo, because it embarrasses my boyfriend when I take photos of this sort of thing. I also have to do a weird hunch, arm-hook thing to get the correct aerial shot. My thoughts: "I always forget to take off that damn hair band. Do I look pregnant? I look kind of pregnant. I'm not pregnant. WHAT IF PEOPLE THINK THAT?" 

3. The Juice Cleanse Shot 

What It Looks Like I'm Doing...

Don't mind me, just starting out my week with some trendy water and an organic juice. Will I eat food today? No. It's a cleanse, people. Who needs solid food? Babies don't need solid food. And look at them, they're always cute. I am a health goddess. I stopped eating gluten because Cameron Diaz stopped eating gluten. And oh, you don't carry your juices in a leather Madewell carry-all too? How sad.

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I started this juice cleanse sometime after Christmas break, which mostly involved me eating entire boxes of Cheez-Its on my parents couch. This particular juice had something crazy, like, 430 baby carrots in it. Nothing else. I think I made it until 2 p.m. without solid food, and then I sort of blacked out. Now I just have a memory of lying on my living floor, face-down pounding the carpet with my fist and cursing Jennifer Aniston's physique. I don't know. It's all fuzzy now. 

4. The Ultimate Selfie

What It Looks Like I'm Doing... 

I just got back from vacation and thought I'd share my new, totally natural glow with all of you. This lipstick? Also new. I AM SO HAPPY BECAUSE MY LIFE IS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY PERFECT. I took this photo one time. One time. This is how I look all the time. All. The. Time.

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

Do you want to know how many pictures I shot before I actually captured a photo that both accurately (and attractively) displayed how happy I was in this moment? 56. I hope you're judging me, because I am. Also, the entire epidermis of my forehead is peeling off in this photo because I didn't use sunscreen one day by the pool. Ah, cropping. 

5. The Gourmet Food Shot  

What It Looks Like I'm Doing...

Just another day on a family vacation, eating delicious, fresh seafood in a rustic setting. This photo was casually taken in between drinking a craft beer and letting the salty mist of the ocean blow through my hair. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I actually stood on a wobbly, wooden bench that was two inches away from the edge of a third-floor balcony to get this picture. Was it worth it? Maybe. 

6. The Shoes Picture

What It Looks Like I'm Doing...

Decisions, decisions. Which pair of shoes will I wear today? I have so many. They are so pretty. And they all just perfectly arranged themselves in a halo around my feet. How convenient.

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

1. I was late to class because I was trying to get just the right angle for this picture. 2. I had to text my roommate, "Just ignore all the shoes on the living room floor that look like a crop circle type thing" as I rushed out the door. 3. I wore none of these shoes on that particular day. And one pair I've never even worn ... ever. Oops.

7. The Farmers Market Shot

What It Looks Like I'm Doing...

AH, PRODUCE! So bright. So fresh. So healthy. Perhaps I will throw some blueberries and spinach in my high-speed blender and create some juice to take to the office today. I only buy locally. And if you don't, I am judging you. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I wonder how long that fruit has been sitting there. I'm going to buy a blueberry muffin the size of my head instead. 

8. Pool Day Photos 

What It Looks Like I'm Doing...

Today, I will sit poolside and read books about important things and dip my toes in the water. This is all natural. It was just like this. Nothing was staged. I did not sweat because it was 95 degrees outside. How basic. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I bought the iced green tea from Starbucks to be healthy, but deep down to the core all I really wanted was a frappucino. I am still thinking about that frappucino. Also, there were literally zero other people at the pool, so I felt comfortable setting this whole shot up. Yes, this picture was staged. You are all shocked. 

9. The Cool Pastry 

What It Looks Like I'm Doing...

I belong in a town in the south of France. I ride my bike to Whole Foods and am disgusted by artificial sweeteners. My wallet and glasses coordinate. Do you think that is a coincidence? No. Of course not. I only ate half of this pastry because, you know, portion size is important. I, like Gwenyth Paltrow, eat whatever I want. In small amounts. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I ate this pastry in about eight minutes flat, while wearing bright red lipstick. So I also ate some lipstick, incidentally. Is that bad for you? I didn't care; look at that thing. I should also mention it was about 100 degrees outside so I ate this outside while sweat ran down my face. I am attractive. 

10. The "I Am Productive" Shot 

What It Looks Like I'm Doing....

What? You're not a morning person. How unfortunate. I start my day with green tea and fresh fruit everyday, at the crack of dawn. I like to check my emails as the sunrises, right before I head to yoga. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I had to wake up at 7 a.m. because I had three assignments that I had quite literally left until the day that they were due. I have no recollection of whether I passed any of those assignments, but my memory is leaning toward no. P.S.: I hate mornings.

11. Flowers Are Pretty

What It Looks Like I'm Doing... 

I eat healthy food and surround myself with flowers, because my life is centered around positive, beautiful things that are filled with light. I like to describe myself as a hybrid of Olivia Palmero and Oprah. I only eat on plates that match the week's bouquet. 

What I'm Actually Doing/Thinking...

I stood on a chair to take this photo, and almost fell. I also was still totally starving after eating this salad. As I am after most salads. Because I don't find eating leaves satisfying most days. Not when there are things like macaroni and cheese and french fries and milkshakes and ...  anything else. That is all. 

Images: oliviamuenter/Instagram (11)

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