How Instagram Improved My Confidence
I lit my confidence on fire, just like my Insta game.
In April 2017, I finished my third year of university and returned to my hometown in search of a summer job. Not only did I find three jobs, I also found my new hobby: Instagram.Now, some might think it's foolish to take pictures of yourself for the internet. Others might consider it vain to constantly put your face out into the world. I think that deciding to post on Instagram more often made me a more confident person.
My third year of university was a rough one. I had been broken up with, I had been eating dining hall food for three years, and my program, though rewarding, was exhausting. Add all of that to a history of mental illness, and what do you get? A depressed 21-year-old! I scraped through the last few weeks of classes and through my finals, seeing summer as the light at the end of the tunnel.
I returned to my tiny hometown and sought help from a therapist, started working full-time, and rejoined my home-friends in the land of the living. Everything was heading upward, until my ex, who I was still friends with at the time, decided that she wanted nothing to do with me, as well as her group of best friends of the last eight years. It wasn't a fight between just us two. In some ways, I wish it had been! If it weren't for her tossing us aside, though, I wouldn't have such a fire Instagram feed.
After her purge, her ex-best friend and I got really close after we no longer had her in our lives. We filled the void with each other. The ex-best friend, Michaela, had been broken up with shortly after my own breakup, and she had channeled all of her anger into creating beautiful portraits of herself on her Instagram feed. When summer rolled around, I got involved by taking her portraits for her. What had started out in anger had flourished into an art form.
"I decided it was time for me to find a way to make myself feel better about everything happening in my life."
After a little while of taking Michaela's pictures for her, I decided it was time for me to find a way to make myself feel better about everything that was happening in my life.
I started getting serious about my Instagram in June 2017, and things took off from there! I began with around 550 followers, and I have since grown my follow count to over a thousand!
Michaela and I became "Instabuds" and we would romp around town taking pictures of each other. We would hang out and edit pictures together, and we would do our make-up together and get dolled up to take pictures. There was even one time when we used a 1.5 Million Candle Power flashlight to take artsy pictures by her trellis!
When You're Extra AF
All of this fun photo-taking made my life more exciting! I constantly wondered where our next photo shoot would take place; I thought about fun new make-up looks for me to explore; best of all, I had a friend to enjoy it all with!
Every photo shoot I did with Michaela made me feel better and better about myself. I started wearing clothes I hadn't pulled out of my closet in a long time. I let my hair down more often. I went places I had never been before — all because of the exciting thought that I might get a fun new picture of myself!
Here's where some people might say that I was becoming full of myself, but I beg to differ. I still struggle with self-confidence. Everybody does! There are some days when I don't want to show my face to my friends and classmates, let alone the internet. Here's where the fun part is: on those days, I make myself up, I put on an outfit that makes me feel good, and I snap a picture. Suddenly, I'm looking at myself looking like a goddess and I feel a bit better about myself!
On days when I don't have the energy to put myself together for a new Instagram picture, I scroll through my camera roll and I smile at all the fun memories I've made, and I post an older picture. Instantly, I feel better! I have so many fond memories to look back on!
"When I take a picture of myself, it's not just a picture."
On days when I'm feeling down, I find a picture of a cool make-up look I tried and I caption it with fun lyrics. I have fun putting together art forms to create portraits of myself!
When I take a picture of myself, it's not just a picture. It's a memory, it's art, it's a confidence booster, and it's just plain fun!
I have grown to love sharing myself with the world. It makes me feel like I'm on the right track.
Kendra is a 24-year-old music major studying voice at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She's an aspiring singer and actor, and likes to write in her spare time. She has a growing Instagram following at @kendrafelicitywheeler .