We feel ya, Joanna Gaines! Fans of the lifestyle guru may envy her life on TV and social media but the former Fixer Upper star recently admitted that there are a lot of pressures that come with being in the spotlight — especially when others often assume you’re perfect.
In the Spring 2019 issue of The Magnolia Journal, the 40-year-old opened up about her mixed feelings towards having a large social media presence. “I could feel insecurity creep in, and posting a photo was no longer an act of enjoying the in-the-moments of life but rather a more calculated decision,” she candidly wrote.
However, social media wasn’t always like that for the mom-of-five. When the ratings for her hit HGTV show — which wrapped up in spring 2018 — began to rise and her follower count started to skyrocket, Joanna felt a shift in attitude regarding her online presence. “With every picture I found myself critiquing if there were messy backgrounds or blurry smiles … Eventually, I realized that I was letting this small square on my phone become yet another thing to perfect.”
Her Instagram used to be honest and candid, but Joanna confessed that she found herself and her family — husband Chip Gaines and kids Drake, 13, Ella Rose, 12, Duke, 9, Emmie Kay, 8, and 7-month-old Crew — posing to create the most flawless photos. The brunette beauty also admitted that she would edit her snaps to look better, stage the pics with props and even dress her kids in better-looking outfits to create an “alternate reality” because that’s what she saw others doing.
“There is a certain, creepy allure to a place where we can present ourselves any way we choose with very little accountability,” Joanna wrote. “But one could argue that the more versions of ourselves we present to the world, the less real any one of them can be.”
The children’s book author argued that social media isn’t all that bad, though. “I am inspired by the everyday beauty and encouragement that can come from seeing through other people’s vantage points,” she wrote.
But when she feels herself falling back into old habits of creating fictitious photos, Jo knows it’s time to pull the plug. “I am also, finally, mindful of when the red flags of comparison or anxiety begin to move in,” she said.
She added, “They kindly remind me that something in my own heart or mind is a bit out of sorts. My best next step is to stop scrolling and put my phone away. That’s way harder for me to do when I’m not in a great place in my head or heart, but continuing down the rabbit hole never, ever helps a thing.”
Taking time off from social media doesn’t sound like a bad thing for Jo. Not only can she relax her mind and ease her anxiety, but she can also make sure to spend her time with her hubby and kids. “They say you should take a picture to make a moment last longer. I don’t disagree,” Jo said. “But it seems to me that if you’re present, really present, the memory is what outlasts anything else.”