Earrings: Cheap Monday
Dress*: Motel Rocks (no longer available)
Heels: Guess (budget version in black here)
Belt: ASOS (similar here)
Bangle*: Lola Rose
Ring*: Astrid & Miyu
I often feel like I live two separate lives; the one online, where I post pretty photos and people tell me they wish they had my life then my IRL (In Real Life) life, the far less exciting one when I sometimes don’t even shower until 2pm because I’ve spent all morning sat at my desk answering emails. And when these two lives somehow merge or overlap unexpectedly, I have a talent of quite spectacularly freaking out.
Whether it’s being approached by someone that follows me on Instagram (not a frequent occurrence – but it happens) or on the flip side, when someone that I know and see regularly IRL suddenly finds me online, I feel instantly embarrassed and bewildered on both occasions. It feels like a strange invasion of privacy, as though one side of me has been exposed and laid bare for judgement. I’ve always felt that they should be kept separate, running parallel but never quite meeting. And yet how ridiculous because I am one person and these two different parts of me make me who I am – whole.
And also how ridiculous you might think, that I feel this way when I’ve willingly chosen to document my life online; from my struggles to successes, it’s searchable to almost anyone. And though I share so much with you; my thoughts, feelings and experiences and though I’m honest in the work that I do and the content that I create, I’m fully aware that I’m more confident online and actually – because both I and the photographers I work with know my angles – prettier too. I can tilt my head slightly and give the illusion I have good bone structure and a jawline, rather than the round-ish, double-chin prone face that I actually have. I can tweet about a thought that I perhaps wouldn’t want or know how to express in a face-to-face conversation. Free therapy, if you like. An enhanced freedom of speech. And I can’t help but wonder (and naturally, worry), do people instantly realise these things when they meet me? Do they scorn that I don’t really have cheekbones or that I look larger when I’m not standing at angles that compliment my figure? Do they mistake my profound shyness and occasional anxiety for loftiness and arrogance? The truth is yes, I think perhaps they do. And there are no words to convey the sadness or pain that causes me. I feel completely and wholly misunderstood.
So what can I do about it? How can I make people understand that when I write and post carefully curated images, I’m making my living – therefore I naturally have to incorporate elements of professionalism or wit, which might make me seem more sure of myself than I really am, with a voice that I don’t seem to have in my everyday life. Because within this quest to share stories and brand campaigns, I’ve always felt a personal duty to be just that – personal. I write from the heart, not a script, nor a brief. I want you to know that I’m a real person behind my screen, that I have doubts, insecurities and bad days just like you do (hence the occasional rant on Snapchat – an app I wholeheartedly champion for its candidness). The girl showing off her neckline adorned with pretty jewellery on Instagram is the same girl that you might happen to spot queuing in a coffee shop eager to get her much-needed caffeine fix or less glamorous: makeup-less and bedraggled sweating her frustrations out in the gym. It’s me. Because even though I live my life online, for the sake of my livelihood and because I’m passionate about my career, I do – believe it or not – have a life separate from the internet, though thin the line may be.
So this is me giving you yet another piece of my heart, trying to arrange it on the page in a way that makes sense. And even if you can’t empathise, I hope you can try to understand. Don’t be so quick to judge, everyone has a story to tell. And things aren’t always as they seem.
Love, Beth xo.
Disclaimer: all items marked with an asterisk have been gifted to me for promotional purposes.