Is Your Instagram Too Aesthetic?

Do you take hundreds of photos of random objects against a white background? Are your friends tired of you forcing them to take 25 carefully posed candid pictures? Do you spend more than 15 minutes editing a picture before you post it? Do you regularly go back and delete Instagram posts that no longer fit your aesthetic?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, you may have a condition known as Compulsion Aesthetic Disorder. It is a disorder where you feel a compulsion to made a perfect Instagram feed that may or may not represent your life.

You are not alone, though. It is a disorder that affects many people in the digital world, especially young girls, especially young bloggers.

Do not worry, though; this disorder is treatable! With diligence and confidence, you can reclaim your life from Compulsion Aesthetic Disorder.

Take Instagains today, and free yourself from Compulsion Aesthetic Disorder.

Medicine blurb silliness aside, I want to get real with y'all all about Instagram, how it affects our perception of life, and what we can do about it. Although I completely made up Compulsive Aesthetic Disorder, it is a very prominent tenancy among our generation and something that I struggle with as well.

You see, I want to have a beautiful, clean, fun Instagram profile. I want to post engaging, pretty content, and I spend a lot of time to produce that content.

But what if I, and perhaps you, have it wrong? What if the aesthetic doesn't matter as much as the authenticity? What if there is more meaning in imperfection than perfection?

So I want to give us three challenges when facing the struggles of seeking that perfect aesthetic for Instagram.

1. Examine before editing

How many times have we gone straight to the fixing-up process of posting on Instagram without examining how this photo expresses our lives and influences the lives of others? How many times did we post a pretty picture just because we needed a pretty picture to fill our feed? (I'm guilty.) This verse will bring some conviction to us!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." -Ephesians 4:29

This counts for Instagram too, gals.

2. Share a story, not a stock photo

I look back on my Instagram account and sometimes think that it looks too messy. Each picture has a lot going on and doesn't "match" the feed, but I wouldn't have it any other way. You see, every picture is rich with a story, even if it's as simple as a beautiful sunset or a a throwback to summer camp. I try not to share something because it will fit my aesthetic; I share because I want to share a story with people and Instagram helps me do that. (Not that I am perfect in doing this at all.) The world, however, tries to get us to think solely of our aesthetic. 

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." -Matthew 5:16

3. Remember before deleting

It baffles me when people delete all of their posts so that they can start a new aesthetic. There is a time and place for deleting photos, but I haven't found it for me yet. I look at old pictures and marvel at how I've grown. I see lessons that I learned. I see embarrassing things, yes, but that was me. I want people to see me, even bored me at 16.

Today, I challenge you to examine your Instagram and more importantly the heart behind why you share the way you do. I don't want us to lose the heart of our story to get hearts. I don't want our feeds to foster envy more than delight.

This is NOT to say that you shouldn't post pretty things. I am not recommending that you never post a styled post again or a posed candid picture. I also don't expect every picture to contain a blog post's worth of content. These things are good and fun, but I don't want us to get into the mindset that the aesthetic is more valuable than the authenticity or that we much appear to look like we have it all together.

This is a fine balance, and I don't pretend to have it all figured out, but will you join me on making our Instagram accounts beautiful again? Will you join me in seeking to find an aesthetic that is less aesthetic-y and more authentic?

Comment below your thoughts on Instagram. If you have a different view, then please share! I in no way impose my view upon you, and for different people, different Instagram outlooks work better than this one. I love all of your Instagrams, and if I'm not following you, drop your handles in the comments! Also, feel free to check out the profiles that inspired this post: my personal Instagram at @princesshannahp and the blog's Instagram at @graceineverythingblog.

Princess Hannah


  1. "I don't want us to lose the heart of our story to get hearts."

    That line punched me in the face! I'm relatively new to the Instagram game, but it can be just that: a game. I, too, want to honor the Lord with my posts and be authentic rather than aesthetic. As a perfectionist, I definitely struggle with the need to make things look pretty/"perfect." While there's nothing wrong with beauty, when it becomes a borderline obsession, then there is a problem. Thank you for this post! It is wonderful, practical food-for-thought.

    I love your heart behind this, especially this part: "I look at old pictures and marvel at how I've grown. I see lessons that I learned. I see embarrassing things, yes, but that was me. I want people to see me, even bored me at 16."

    That really resonates! We are learning, growing humans and not every moment is picture perfect, nor does it need to be. Thanks for this!

    1. Erin, you are off to SUCH A GREAT START for Insta, although I expected nothing less. But I feel the struggle, and it only gets harder as faking it becomes easier. This post was actually really hard to write, because it forces me to live what I preach. It forces to me start valuing heart more than hearts. It leads me in the direction of authenticity even if it isn't as pretty as I'd like it.


      Here's to Instagraming life.

  2. "I don't want us to get into the mindset that the aesthetic is more valuable than the authenticity..." YES! Wise words. <3 I only rarely delete past photos for the same reasons that you've stated. Those memories are too precious, even the embarrassing ones! To look back and see how far I've come in life is a gift. Thank you for this post.

    1. Your Instagram is one of the most authentic, beautiful accounts I follow! I think it's because you capture memories, not pictures. Thank you for the comment!

  3. PREACH THIS GIRL. So many people I know when it comes to their personal Instagram will delete everything which irks me to not end because why would they do that? Their feed was perfectly fine when they did that. Now people make "Finstas" too, which isn't bad but it's solely for the aesthetic reasons and not for the authentic reasons.

    Aesthetics and authenticity can coexist, but it's super hard to find a time and place where people can mesh everything well together. It's really fun to see how you've grown too, if you don't delete past photos. Do you think there are certain accounts that it's justified for the deleteing for some photos? I was talking with this one photographer who owns a business that said for his Instagram, if the post is still something he's proud of and wants to show, great, but if it's something he doesn't feel represents his business anymore, he deletes it.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    1. Wow, Abigail, thank you for such an insightful comment! I hadn't even heard of Finstas until now. No shame, I did google it. That's so weird! Why even maintain the "real" one if you don't like it?

      I agree that you can't have both worlds, but you can have parts of each, some great aesthetics and authenticity. In regards to deleting posts, I separate the professional and the personal a bit. For a professional account, like the photographer or even an account for a blog, deleting photos that no longer represent the brand seems reasonable. For a personal account, though, deleting mass photos seems insecure or deceptive. If someone posted some truly bad/immature/silly things, that's okay. If someone was that kid that posted random selfies and screenshots every day, I think that's okay too. Just keep some of it! (9/10 times, people don't look that far anyway, if you have a lot of photos. If a feed starts to get really old, I just stop looking because who that person WAS isn't necessarily who they are now.)

  4. Okay okay okay I have many, many feelings about this, and there's so many, but I'll try not to go on a rant. (Maybe I need a blog post about this sometimes.) We like to focus a lot on the #aesthetic of things. Our Instagrams are pretty, our blogs are pretty, we fiddle with our Twitter headers until they're just right, and the only pictures we ever post are, y'know, the ones that look GREAT. And I really feel that we've become so obsessed with aesthetic that we've created something false. It's frustrating, when you're not a naturally aesthetic-conscious person (whoops), and it can really take away from people being themselves. It breeds a lot of jealousy and fakeness. (In my opinion. *shrugs*)

    I very much wish that we could start being more authentic and embrace the realness.

    - Aimee (To the Barricade!)

    1. I SO AGREE.

      Our lives are so much more than the #aesthetic gives us the ability to share. And envy thrives in a world of filtered lives.

      Authenticity. That's where it's at.


    *sigh* *raises hand* I admit it. I have CAD. XD And in a way, I guess it's fun? Working to keep up an aesthetic, matching photos and filters. It's a game, and I do enjoy it. It's creative, and I like doing it sometimes. It's just like another form of art. But honestly, sometimes I get sick of it, and it's just exhausting. Like, some days I just want to be able to post a photo that I actually care about without worrying about the fact that it doesn't match my theme or makes everything look messy. I'd rather just be authentic. I'm definitely working on not worrying so much about the aesthetics, and thinking more about the authenticity:) <3 You're the best, Hannah!

    1. You can do this, Grace. And it will be beautiful.

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