How One Model Is Being Completely Honest on Social Media
Social media can sometimes make you depressed or envious, especially if you have a bad case of FOMO or feel like you’ve fallen behind. From scoping pics of epic adventures, engagement celebrations, newborn babies, and all things career, comparing yourself to others based on what they post can make you feel downright terrible about yourself. Thankfully, we’ve scored another perspective from curve model, author, and all-around badass babe Katie Willcox. Scroll on to learn about how she deals with negativity online and why she believes social sharing can actually foster wellness and authenticity while inspiring meaningful connection.
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Healthy is the new skinny✨🤘🏽 I paired our workout tank with these cute cropped pants from @nyandcompany and shoes from @sam_edelman 🤘🏽 Shop our tanks at www.healthyisthenewskinny.com #healthyisthenewskinny #healthybodyimage #katiehwillcox #joinus #selflove #health
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Brit + Co: We adore the healthy, strong messages you share online and how you’ve been able to connect with women everywhere. Which social media platform do you use most often, and what do you love about it?
Katie Willcox: My go-to social media platform is Instagram, and we use it every day. I really love the community engagement, especially with stories — I try really hard to share my life in real time. In fact, I cried on my Instagram story for the first time today! I believe that the power of social media lies in sharing our real experiences and relationships instead of the depiction of “picture perfect” lives we see so often in our feeds. When I first started using Instagram, I saw my page as a second portfolio for modeling photos, because I thought that was its purpose: Post pretty pictures, get followers, get more opportunities in the industry. That’s still a winning formula for some people, but I felt fake and totally uninspired by what I was putting out into the world. I stopped posting bikini photos, and I started to share the real me that extends far beyond just a body. To my surprise, I began to see my audience change drastically. I’ve built a large following in the last five years, which has become a true community of like-minded women. It’s awesome.
An aside, the best compliment I received at one of my events was, “Wow, you’re exactly the same in real life as you are on Instagram.” It’s those moments that make a person feel proud for knowing who you are and living your truth; especially in our current digital culture.
B+C: That’s amazing and so refreshing. Do you find that Instagram can be used to foster a healthy sense of self or inspire well-being, despite talk about it being harmful to mental health?
KW: I think Instagram can be inspiring, but I don’t think you can go there looking for yourself. You actually have to turn *away* from social media and turn inward to find that. It’s super important to realize that social media is an advertisement, and many people are paid to post products. Even more, they way they look is sometimes altered to be a better fit for the advertisers who are paying them for their idea of beauty.
I think there needs to be an open dialogue about this, because models and celebrities (even curvy ones!) Photoshop their bodies. Everyone needs to make a living, and I don’t think advertising is bad, but I do believe that we need to reevaluate the real price that’s being paid, which I see as our sense of self and authenticity. Can we continue to push images and messages that we know hurt people just so we can benefit? On the consumer side, we all need to understand that we’re being compelled to buy more products or to look a certain way in hopes of being “good enough.” If a person can have this basic understanding, not only will their contributions on social media change, but what they hope to find might change as well. Then, there will be an opportunity for powerful insights, healthy engagement, and inspiration to occur.
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Feeling good on the inside is not something you can buy. It can't be bottled or packaged and sold to you. It is something you have discover for yourself. 💗 Keep going... just knowing it is possible is reason enough to keep doing your self work! You will figure it out. #healthyisthenewskinny #feelgood #inside #selflove #happy #grateful
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B+C: How does negativity on social media affect you personally? What do you do about it?
KW: To be honest, I don’t encounter too much negativity on social media. Our pages are really positive and healthy, so we mostly attract the same. When we do get some shade thrown our way, we use it as a lesson and address it head-on. To combat negativity, I share the comment someone posted to spin it into a conversation. I think when you do that, you take away its negative power. But I do believe it is important to pick and choose your battles, because some people feed off of the attention they get from being mean and negative. I’ve talked with people who’ve lashed out at me, and we’ve had a great convo/they’ve apologized.
My work has helped me realize that most people are acting out of their own pain and that it really isn’t personal in any way. Understanding this has given me the ability to handle those experiences differently.
B+C: What a great perspective! Have you ever wanted to quit social media entirely, despite the fact that it’s vital to your career and the healthy message you work so hard to share? What do you do when it just feels too tough?
KW: There are times that I want to quit social media altogether; I feel gross when I start to get sucked in too far. But then I read the messages we get from girls and women, sharing how much we’ve helped them, and it reminds me to stay in my lane and focus on why I’m here instead of what other people are posting and doing. Honestly, I do my best to stay off the search page!
I also think it’s easy for us to talk about others and how fake they are or to judge them, but I’ve learned that we need to place that judgment back on ourselves. If we hold ourselves accountable to be authentic and real (even if it is scary and makes us uncomfortable sometimes), we’re able to consciously choose to contribute to something better and greater than ourselves. Circling back to your second question, we can all talk about how toxic social media can be — but there’s good there too. The more good we each contribute by being transparent and honest, the more opportunities there are for people like you to find you. I like to think of it as shooting a flare gun up into the night sky; when you create a healthy space, you’ve shot a signal out into the world for others to see and find. In this case, there are few things more powerful than an honest, healthy, and encouraging space in a sea of selfies with Facetune.
How does scrolling through social feeds make you feel? Tell us where you find inspiration or how you deal with negativity @BritandCo.
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Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)