Here I sit on the sofa, poised with my computer in my lap, setting out to write “scheduled content.” I know that in order to gain an audience, one must consistently create content that is engaging and exciting. A content creator must discuss fascinating topics that haven’t been covered by every other blogger already. Each post that is pushed out should be “on brand” and beautifully curated. Be creative, but also follow “the rules.” Be authentic, but follow the current trends.
In the three years since launching this blog, I’ve spent more money than I care to admit trying to be what I think the world of social media wants me to be. I have invested in a lot of clothes and accessories from notable Plus Size brands. I’ve attended blogger events and spent hours studying the craft. I regularly invest in professional photos, and have learned how to make my phone photography look better. I have built relationships with brands, asking lots of questions and trying to deliver what they seek in promoting their products. I guess I was trying to build a social media presence that “was something.” You know, I wanted to be “somebody.”
In some ways the work has paid off. I’ve had the chance to meet some really cool people and have had meaningful conversations with the people who reach out to me. I’ve grown in my ability to love and see the beauty in EVERY body. It’s given me the chance to advocate for the Plus Size community. I’ve worked with local makers to champion everything that is great about St. Louis. And I have had the opportunity to partner with a national brand, for a time, promoting their approach to empowerment and Plus Size fashion.
But here’s the thing about influencing…
It’s. Not. Real. It’s just not.
I think somewhere along the way, I lost myself. This whole page… blogging, Instagram, all of it, started because actual people in my life thought that my fashion advice was helpful and fun. And it WAS fun, until somewhere in my head I got the idea that I had to be someone special, with perfect content, looking perfect every day, with a perfect life. I fell for the lies… hook, line, and sinker.
Listen to me… that influencer stuff is not real! So much of the content out there on social media is designed to remind us of how we are lacking. I promise you, everything the creators are feeding you is an illusion. You can’t filter, dance, or sponsor your way out of being YOU. I started believing that I could… and it has been eating me up. I will never, and CAN never, be what the illusion says I should be.
I will always be a noisy, worried, overweight, hot mess from the Midwest… someone who lives in a not-so-interesting house, in a not-so-interesting city, working a not-so-interesting job, just hoping that people like her. I think I am open and authentic to a fault. No amount of perfectly crafted curation can change that.
However, I will also always be a person who is curious, colorful, empathetic, and capable of feeling every emotion in five minutes… someone who can be fun, enjoys being festive, and is always down for a good adventure. If that’s the kind of creator you seek, I’m your girl!