Instagram for Instant Reassurance? You Bet!

A "Throwback Thursday" Instagram pic of me (Elana Pruitt) and my "bestie" in Hollywood.

A “Throwback Thursday” Instagram pic of me and my “bestie” in Hollywood.

There is this place on the Internet—this social media site—that is allowing both women and men to test their styles on the public. Instagram! It is, like, the spot to gain instant feedback on a photo. Just like Facebook, you can get “likes” and comments on images. But Instagram feels different because well, it is different. As someone who is a tad late in the game when it comes to joining Instagram and the tons of users who have become actively involved (obsessed? addicted?) with posting photos of anything and everything that they want. . . .  Well, I’m really diggin’ this spot!

Want to show off your new hairstyle? Boom! Bits and pieces from your recent modeling photoshoot? Boom! A place to post various images together to show a fun, memorable night out on the town in a “picstitch” photo? Boom! And season after season, Instagram is the go-to place to explore new styles and test them on your followers. Sometimes this is done in a “selfie” pic—a photo that features you—taken by you. Some people take intimate sultry-ish selfie pics of themselves that have captions like “Bored on a Sunday.” There are then selfies that are taken at an interesting perspective and angle of say, a girl, lying out by the pool.

This is all very cool to me, to be honest. But I do know a girl who recently blogged about “selfies” and how it is the insecure that post shots of themselves over and over for reassurance and a boost in self-esteem. I think that argument holds merit, in a sense. But I don’t believe getting reassurance from friends, followers, and the general public is such a bad thing. Because I’m still working on my bikini bod (which I seem to do last-minute while the sun is ALREADY shining), I do not plan to post a plethora of pics of me wearing two different bathing suits and posting a caption that reads: “Which one do you like better?” But I am squeezing in a few here and there, as well as some workout pics to show my dedication to attaining an awesome bod! Instagram is the perfect spot to twist and turn, while showing off newly contoured areas. There are also those who second-guess themselves and are very indecisive when it comes to shopping. A “Which one?” type of photo from a person like that makes sense and would be expected by her friends and followers. Getting feedback about her style and body before going out or before wearing that outfit (again!) is actually a smart idea.

Personally, my Instagram profile is a combo of images that include some up-close-and-personal shots with and without makeup, pics of my niece and me enjoying time together, me alongside some celebs and fashion industry professionals, and snapshots of eateries and tidbits related to my new, full-time gig at Firm Media, where I am its new social media coordinator.

I can’t say that I’ll never wear something ultra sexy to see the type of response I’d get.  (The pic featured here of me wearing this ‘lil black number was one of my raciest photos on my profile!) This is because I am not using Instagram for the purpose of gaining admirers. But getting admired in the process of communicating who I am can definitely feel good and be encouraging.

The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” is true. I do believe image is everything. Now I’m not saying a pretty face and body is everything. Rather, it’s a culmination of how you appear to the world; it’s the way you take care of yourself, how you apply your makeup, the fit of your clothes, the type of captions you include with your photos, where pictures are taken, the people you are pictured with. Instagram is a social media site that gives you free reign (for the most part) to present your image to the world at your discretion. So if you wanna take a selfie wearing a new Guess bikini to get reassurance that you did, in fact, make a great purchase . . . I say more power to you!

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