• Cas Willemse

Who are we if we’re not our Instagram persona?

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Hello, my fellow creatives, friends, family, homos, hetero’s and all those who spread love!!

Firstly, I want to thank you for your support and taking the time to come and explore what my brain and I have to say.

It’s been almost two years since I’ve decided to actually invest into my Instagram profile through planning, using insights and trying to engage with different creators and influencers. I can honestly say, yes it paid off and yes for me and my dreams it was worth it. Was it easy? Was it good for my mental health? Maybe not so much.

We daily get overloaded with the most beautiful people and Instagram profiles. People that sell this perfect life of sun kissed bodies, perfect smiles, killer abs and off course no day job.

I have to be honest I also fell into the trap. As a creative and professional photographer myself, I started creating content around what my insights would react to not what I wanted to create necessarily. I would post more mainstream content things that are not too extra or artistic, something that would appeal to my followers and would obtain the likes I thought validated my worth.

I very quickly realised that firstly paying your own rent, having to adult which meant expenses and bills upon bills, did not necessarily provide for the opportunities to post my lovely aesthetically pleasing pasta and wine outings or my music festival adventures on the weekly. It also did not give me the freedom to create all the beautiful content and stay with the trends of Tiktok videos etc. It would mean that I have to allocate time, after hours, to plan content shoots. It meant using my weekends which should be our time to rest to create these perfectly planned posts. I also realised that my day job as is the case with 70-90% of youth these days is not what I wanted to do or did not pay me enough to make ends meet so I relaunched my Photography and Lifestyle Brand CLWLifestyle which meant even less time to be perfect on my social media.

Further seeing the industry body standards and obviously our own standards that we hold ourselves accountable to meant I would have to use my evenings to do meal preps and gym my ass of just to remotely look like something that I am happy with, although my body was perfectly fine and beautiful. Having the dream of becoming a fashion model also did not make it any easier.

So, to come back to my Instagram persona. I definitely always have to be fierce on every post. I mean damn you can’t let your haters Susan and Harry, or your ex get one opportunity to see you fail. You definitely can’t allow the chance to let your followers think you’re a struggling candidate attorney that stress about where his going to get money to pay of that study loans. Noooooooo! All you allow the world to see is the perfect Colgate advert moment. Your best Calvin Klein model pose and definitely all your luxury visits to high end restaurants you actually couldn’t afford but still went to, all in the name of the “Gram”. This can very quickly make you unapproachable to people and affect your mental health because behind your perfect Instagram post could’ve been another rejection email from a modelling company or a bad day at work that you keep to yourself.

As you can see although I invested in the better planning of my Instagram posts and creating of “societal worthy” content, although I did work my ass of to be able to show of my Instagram worthy abs, life is definitely not what the “Gram” makes it out to be. It may pay off with some local brands offering you a t-shirt to make a few posts but that does not pay your rent, nor does it keep your mental health in check.

In the light of mental health and self-worth I encourage you to look at social media with a different perspective and never as a measurement of your worth. Never stop creating art if that is what you love, just because the reaction to that part of you is not as big as the reaction to your killer abs. Use social media responsibly and honestly. Be real and keep “YOU” in everything you do because nobody can be better at that than you, #someclichegooglequote for inspiration.

This is my first attempt at blogging, I want to keep it real and honest but also give you guys some pretty cool content that can help you. Soon to follow will be my #OWNYOURSTORY series where I shoot and interview a few people that inspire me and hopefully some fashion and lifestyle content as well.

I leave you and all my love.

Cas x

#firstblog #clwlifestyle #photography #ownyourstory

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