Deep down we all know that social media is a carefully curated highlights reel. Even the spur of the moment “I look so weird and don’t care” probably took about 5 shots to get. I always smile when you are about to take a photo and someone turns their head at a very specific angle and pouts just right.
Saturday was a public holiday, but if you are like me and work Monday through Friday, it didn’t really count. 🙂 It was Youth Day and to celebrate, a TV producer by day and tequila fiend by night, Jo Lurie, came up with #TheGramSham.
How #TheGramSham started
Working in TV, Jo Lurie knows what goes into making your life look glamorous. And after Anthony Bourdain committed suicide, she realised that she should have known better.
I’ve spent the last 15 years in the TV industry and I see first hand how much effort people put into selling the dream of how happy their lives are. You shouldn’t have to put in so much effort to make your life look happy and glamorous. It shouldn’t be this hard. What about the in-between bits?
Jo Lurie encouraged others to explain that their Instagram feed wasn’t the only part of their lives and that there are always the “in-between bits”. I didn’t know what #TheGramSham was but noticed that a few of the people I follow were revealing some things that I would never have guessed. And the most interesting part was that not once did I think the image was ugly or out of sorts. It was only the caption that made me realise this wasn’t a ‘regular’ post.
I always make a point of never having a profile picture that would make someone go huh and do a double take in a bad way if they saw me in person. But recently I have only been posting what I consider to be flattering photos. I have gained a lot of weight in the last 6 years (30kgs) and lost 10kgs only to put it back on again this year. And while I am aware, it never really bothered me until last Monday. I was at an event, they wanted a photo and this was a professionally taken photo but my double chin really bothered me.
Sure it has been there for a while, but it only started bothering me on Monday. I was like there is no way I am sharing this photo, but after seeing this hashtag, why not? It doesn’t make me less of a person, it is just a photo of where I currently am. And it’s no surprise of what I look like anyway. And that’s fine. Plus I had a really good time.
The weirdest thing is that when I was “thin”, I was actually the worst I’ve ever been in terms of my mental health. I feel much better now but I keep on telling myself I must be missing something because carrying an extra 30kgs can’t just be nothing.
I’ve been following Body Positive Panda in an attempt to stop beating myself up but it is a challenge. After the photo, I decided to put my health first and started an eating plan. Nothing hectic, but enough to not make eating a mental minefield. This is a process.
The point is to always be kind. And I always try and do this. You never know what other people are going through.
Jo Lurie creator of #TheGramSham has this to say:
I reached out to Jo Lurie and asked her what she thought about the response.
“It’s completely disarming to see such truthfulness on a platform that celebrates fluff and filters. The best thing to come out of this is the mass realisation that everyone feels like they’re failing on some level. Everyone feels like they are not getting it right in some way, on some days. Everyone feels like they’re the only one going through this. By people sharing these truths, they realised they were actually not alone at all. They understood that their experience was more normal than they thought.”
And this is only the beginning…
“My big learning was that the truth may not set you free, but it will connect you to others, and that’s what #TheGramSham so successfully did. Initially, it was meant to be just for Youth Day, but I think the conversation isn’t over yet, so I’ve extended until the end of June”.
[Tweet “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always. #TheGramSham”]
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