I was moved to write this post when I read Katherine Welby-Roberts’ piece about her fight with depression in the Telegraph (via Twitter). Please do read her article. This quote is what got me thinking (or continuing to think):
…in a society that so often defines its self-worth according to Facebook likes and Twitter followers, the pressure to present an image of success and strength is greater than ever.
When we share something ‘authentic’ it’s nothing of the sort – having been perfected and airbrushed to fit what society deems worthy.
Even when portraying ourselves as ‘broken’, we still want to look good, successful and powerful.
I’m writing about my problem with sites like this, home decor/lifestyle/home style/whatever-you-like-to-call them, -sites. This is that they present an image of people’s lives and homes that isn’t real. On most of these sites, everything is neat and tidy and clean, there are no toys or clothes strewn over the floor, there is (often) an air of calm about them. Of course, we all know (I hope) that these homes have been tidied and cleaned and arranged for the photos on the blogs/sites, but the problem I have is that it perpetuates (and here is where I am a hypocrite) the ‘myth’ of the ideal home; the idea that this is what your home should be like, which leads to discontentment with what we have and a desire for something else; perhaps for more/different stuff, or a different space or just to be better (as we see it) or more ‘on-trend’ or keep our house immaculate….or whatever,
So, yes, I am a hypocrite. I thought a lot about creating this site, because I knew I would be a hypocrite if I did it, but I did it anyway – which makes my hypocrisy even worse! I kind of felt ashamed of it when I first started out, and I even created a separate Twitter account so I could tweet my blog posts from this blog and people I knew wouldn’t find out and think I was shallow, which just shows you how much I care about my self-image. Amazingly awful, really. (I’ve stopped doing that now.)
I’m going to carry on posting about my home, because I enjoy doing so, but I want you to know that my house isn’t always tidy or clean (in fact it is quite horribly dirty quite a lot of the time because baby) and I take pictures from angles that don’t show the bits of my house that aren’t as nice. I covet a lot of things. Sometimes I buy things I don’t really need. I’m often disorganised, stressed out and anxious.
I don’t think home style blogs/sites/magazines are bad, per se, They are lovely to look at and often contain useful ideas and inspiration. I just think we need to remember the images they show are not ‘real’ as such and try very hard not to get sucked into the thought that our homes (and by extension we) are not good enough because they don’t look like the pictures in the magazines. This may be easier said than done.