Clothed with Grace: Why I Stopped Getting Dressed for Instagram

Monday, June 15, 2015

Why I Stopped Getting Dressed for Instagram

I've been thinking about this post for awhile, so I decided it was time to get it written to share with you all. Social Media can be a wonderful thing that connects like-minded people, as well as allowing us to stay connected to dear friends who have moved, and to see the day to day lives of those who are still an important part of our lives. In my opinion, though, Social Media can also create jealously, unrealistic expectations, and a "staged" ideas of what peoples daily lives are like.

Now, I'm not saying we should all go out and air our dirty laundry on Social Media, but I think being authentic is important. I say this because, I don't think I was showing a very authentic version of myself on Social Media, specifically on Instagram, for the first year or so I took part in it. I'm not going to lie, I got obsessed with how many "likes" each post got and how many new followers I gained each day.

Now, I didn't take part in loop giveaways to gain followers, as I knew that just wasn't for me, but I wanted people to follow me, and I spent way too much time trying to create and take the perfect outfit photos, simply to get "likes" and follows. This was my issue. I was way too worried about what those on Instagram thought and not enough about my real life, you know, the one outside of my smart phone.

This also caused me to "out dress" the people in real life I really cared about. I'm all for feeling confident and taking pride in how you show yourself, but wedges, shorts, and a stack of bracelets is not how people dress for play dates, the park, or the library here. Shorts, a tee shirt, and sandals are pretty sufficient and the last thing I want to do is make someone feel inferior, because they aren't dressed to the nines for the park. I also am well aware now that I probably looked like I was overcompensating by constantly overdressing.  Now, most of the outfits I wear on the blog are nicer ones I wear for school, church, date night, and nights out with friends, which call for dressing up, but that is only two or three outfits a week, and not daily #OOTDs on Instagram.

I tried to pretend that this wasn't my issue for a long time. But when I began to look at my camera roll and saw a view like this, I began to realize there was a problem.

Now, everyone is different, and I'm not showing this to call out anyone whose camera roll looks this way, but for me, how many pictures does a person really need to take of themselves to be the perfect outfit shot, really? This truth from Luke 12:34 began to resonate with me:

There are way more important things in like than the clothes we wear. Duh, right? Now, I still like to show an outfit on Instagram when I have time, but if I don't, no biggie. I also quit planning what I was going to wear just so I could post it. I'm kind of over stacking bracelets and statement necklaces. Most days this summer I'm without bracelets, or I wear one simple one, and I'm loving more delicate necklaces or pendants right now too. And here is what I've concluded:

So, yeah, feeling confident is good and there's nothing wrong with looking nice, but I had a heart issue that needed to be dealt with. Clothes are fun, but they are just that, clothes. 

What are your thoughts on this, I'd love to hear!


  1. Oh me too, me too, Ginny! I have to really watch this and not let myself get wrapped up in appearances. I love putting on a cute outfit, but sometimes I just need jeans and a t-shirt! I have to stop and ask myself sometimes who I am getting dressed for. Is it me or because I want to promote a certain appearance? I just love your heart, Ginny. God is growing you so much!

  2. I don't even have the time for instagram most days. I have tried to take cute selfies and photos but most times I just end up deleting them. This really goes for all social media though. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I don't have time to do those daily #OOTD. It's enough time that I edit, post and comment on other people's blogs. I do dress nicer than most people in my town, but not because i'm trying to overdress but because throwing a bracelet on with a cute tee is my style. And if other people prefer not to accessorize it's their life.
    But I have been staying away from LOOP Giveaways because I think they are most annoying and I don't ever participate in one. I'm not going to follow 30+ people that I don't know or who's feed I don't care about just to get something. Also, I don't know how to angle my phone to take that picture from top ha! Blogging is enough for now:) Love reading your blog darling

    Happy Medley

    1. I don't like participating in them, either, Anna. To me, it's just not an authentic way to make friends. I don't want to gain followers. I want to make friends.

  4. This is absolutely enriching - have a productive & blessed week ahead GInny!


  5. Really good food for thought! I'm trying to grow my Instagram and I'm noticing how much work it's taking! It's a lot of work to stage a perfect picture!

    Her Heartland Soul

  6. I hear ya! It's so easy to get caught up in the number of "likes" a post gets. I find that I second guess myself a lot when I think about posting a picture to Instagram since I wonder if it's good enough. I know that's ridiculous of me, but it's a hard trap to get out of. I like what you said here, and it's something I've been thinking about, too. I'm getting tired of letting how I'll look on Instagram define me. If I happen to be wearing a cute outfit, then I'll want to capture it, but it gets too exhausting trying to keep up. I feel bad for kids today, because if it's so hard on an adult's ego, then I can't imagine how hard it is for kids to see their friends hanging out without them, etc. Thanks for the food for thought today! Hope you're having a great day!!

  7. Thank you is so easy for us to get distracted from where our real treasure is...thank you for Sharing this precious truth.

  8. BAM! The total reason why I'm taking a step back this summer and getting back to the basics of my faith! Thanks so much for sharing! It's not about me or how many likes I get on IG! It's all about HIM!

  9. It's nice to see you be truthful! I love this post :)

    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  10. I don't do OOTD's but I know if I did it'd cause a lot of anxiety for me! My camera roll would end up looking like yours above (for every single outfit!) and I'd stress about what to wear! Plus I'd feel lame every time I re-wore an outfit/a single piece (which is VERY often!). I have a hard enough time taking a picture of an outfit every now and then for the blog! Anyway, this is very well said, thank you for your openness and honesty!

  11. I've almost completely stopped posting anything on Facebook because I realized I was only posting it so people would "like" it - it made me take a long, hard look at why I was saying the stuff I was saying. And in that exercise of introspection, I realized that I had all the approval I ever needed, right within my own heart and soul.

    As to overdressing though, I have personal experience with living in a place (New York) where casual dressing is even dressier than the place I grew up (Wyoming.) I've always struggled in packing for trips there because it was difficult to dress down and still feel authentic. I realized though that since I wasn't dressing to impress them or make any of my family members feel bad, I was really dressing for ME, because that's my style and what I like, that it was ok to pack things I like and feel good. And I wear them, even tho it appears I'm dressed to the nines when I'm really pretty casual and basic; it's helped me feel much more like myself when I realized I was dressing for me and not to impress or overcompensate.

  12. Oh thank you Ginny:) I couldn't agree with you more! This issue has always been troubling to me and I always felt inadequate because I don't post much on instagram and don't have a huge following. It has never felt right to me and I LOVE your honesty! What a great post!


  13. What a fabulous post! I so agree with your wisdom. Every time I take a picture, I think how nice it would be to have a good camera, a tripod, lighting kit and lots of space to work in. I wish I was taller, thinner, younger. And then I take another blurry picture with my phone of my 57 year old self and realize that is ME. That's who I am. My blog posts pics won't win any awards but I think I have decided being authenically myself is even better. Thank you for this post, sweet one.

  14. I couldn't agree more Ginny. This is one of the reasons why I stopped blogging. I was no longer dressing for myself, but for my blog and it's crazy. There are way too many inauthentic bloggers. I swear do they dress that way to go to the grocery store, heels and all? It's very superficial. Don't get me wrong, I still dress up but I'm dressing for myself now, not for my blog or to gain followers or to get likes. This is why I stopped. I became obsessed and I didn't like the direction my life was going. Congrats on the new name and congrats on your pregnancy. All the best,


  15. i don't post outfit photos but i have definitely been thinking about the whole thing about how we present ourselves online and in social media. i find myself fretting that the cute photo i want to post isn't instagram perfect. but then i remember that it's supposed to be a fun way to share our lives, not a photography contest. i think more people are starting to feel this way too and trying to be more casual about posting stuff instead of obsessing over making it perfect.

  16. I'm so glad you posted this, Ginny. Such an important reminder. It's so easy to get caught up in all the social media frenzy and forget who you really are. Thanks for sharing this.