I think my love/hate relationship with lifestyle bloggers began right around the time I got engaged. I was in plan-mode and Pinterest was my go-to for all ideas. As I searched and scrolled and pinned and concocted these insane Pinterest boards, I was high on perfection. Perfectly written chalkboard signs?! PIN. Glitter table runners?! PIN. Full-length lace veils?! PIN. I needed it all. I wanted it all. Pin. Pin. Pin. I was dizzy with unrealistic expectations - I just didn’t know it yet.
After my pinning binge ended, and I actually needed to start making some decisions about what I wanted for my wedding, I started to realize something very sobering - almost every single thing I had pinned and wanted for my own perfect day was an exorbitant amount of money OR set up by an expensive wedding planning company. What the hell? My whole Pinterest page was strewn with unrealistic expectations and impossible standards. My wedding would never be perfect like all these girls who had posted about their weddings on their blogs. I needed to take a deeper dive into who the eff these girls were.
Enter: Lifestyle bloggers
They take cute photos in front of fancy walls. They eat at chic restaurants. They jet-set. They’re apartments are freakishly clean and white and spotless. They’re thin. They have hot husbands and adorable babies. They’re rich.
And I can’t get enough of it.
I follow roughly 30 lifestyle bloggers on Instagram. I “like” their photos. I watch their stories. I read their blogs. I pin their recipes. I am a sucker for a good lifestyle blogger, and I pay for that obsession.
You know when you order fast food and you’re so pumped to eat it and then you do and you’re filled with exuberance because it tastes so damn good, and then minutes after that last chicken nugget you’re left full and lethargic and filled to the brim with self-loathing? That’s what following lifestyle bloggers is like.
I fall in love with a bag that said lifestyle blogger is “LOVING!!!” in her most recent Instagram post and my heart flutters. I click through to see where it’s from after already mentally placing it on my closet but am halted in my fantasy when I see the price: $250. Well, that’s no fun. I can’t afford that!
Yet I still look and pine and feel sad at all the things that I can never afford but somehow these ladies do. Why can’t my life be like that? Why am I not skinny and perfectly polished and living this life of pure luxury like these ladies? The jealousy feels gross.
It took some time and some friends and some self-realization to understand that the lifestyle blogger “lifestyle” is an illusion. It’s manufactured and edited and photoshopped to hell. No one lives like this. Sorry, A Beautiful Mess, your baked mac n’ cheese recipe is my everything, but there is just no freaking way that your life is all about making rugs from old scraps of fabric and painting your fridge mint green.
The life of a lifestyle blogger is expensive, there is no way around that. Even if they’re being sent lots of goodies to promote for free, they’re still shelling out dough for professional cameras/photographers/makeup/etc. Lifestyle bloggers are kind of full of it, so why do I still follow them?
They promote clothes you can’t afford. And live in houses you can’t afford. And eat at restaurants you can’t afford. I am not living paycheck to paycheck, but I’d have have to sell a limb to be able to live like these women do, but yet I still creep on their lives because they’re just so damn fascinating. I guess I’d call it a guilty pleasure.
Truth is, the “lifestyle” that these bloggers “live” are not real. When it came down to planning my wedding, I adopted some of the ideas that Pinterest offered me and made them my own in an affordable way. It’s all about the happy medium, right? When it comes down to it, I say indulge every now and then in someone else’s “perfect” life, but come back down to earth and remember that life isn’t really like that. If lifestyle bloggers were honest, there would be a lot more photographs of dog puke on the carpet and people on their couches after a long Netflix binge and candid shots of the horror on one’s face when they open up (yet another) bill. Like a good book or a vapid reality TV show (Vanderpump Rules, anyone?), immerse yourself in the nonsense but remember to come back down to earth. It’s nicer here anyway.