Joanna Gaines opens up about the insecurity she started to feel when she became popular on social media.
The former Fixer Upper star and mother of five, who like many people, posts photos of herself and her family on Instagram, made her comments in an essay published in her and husband Chip Gaines' lifestyle brand's magazine, The Magnolia Journal, in its spring 2019 issue.
"It wasn't so very long ago that I had only a handful of followers on Instagram. There wasn't any pressure to post anything at all, so whenever I did, it didn't really cross my mind whether or not people would 'like' it," Joanna wrote. "When that number started to rise and people were sharing their opinions about what I was posting, that changed. I could feel insecurity start to 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."
As of Wednesday, Joanna has more than 9.7 million Instagram followers.
"With every picture I found myself critiquing if there were messy backgrounds or blurry smiles," she continued. "I think this is how we can end up losing sight of what is worthy of sharing and what is even more worthy than that—moments worth simply experiencing. Eventually, I realized that I was letting this small square on my phone become yet another thing to perfect."
Joanna noted that "it is so easy to let social media rob us of authentic moments" and that "one could argue that the more versions of ourselves we present to the world, the less real any one of them can be."
"And what happens when we don't think our 'real life' looks as good as someone else's?" she said. "We make adjustments—find better lighting, dress our kids in something nicer, place a vase of fresh flowers in the background, or add the perfect filter. They say you should take a picture to make a moment last longer. I don't disagree. But it seems to me that if you're present, really present, the memory is what outlasts anything else."
Joanna said that when the "red flags of comparison or anxiety begin to move in," it's time for her to "stop scrolling and put my phone away."