Joanna Gaines is getting real about the pressure of social media.
In a new column for Magnolia Journal, the 40-year-old Fixer Upper star reveals the anxiety she's felt from trying to appear perfect on Instagram.
"It wasn't so very long ago that I had only a handful of followers on Instagram," she writes, according to Today. "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."
As her popularity increased, though, Gaines began to "feel insecurity start to creep in" and realize that she was "letting this small square on my phone become yet another thing to perfect."
Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines on Instagram
Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines on Instagram
This is 40. And I like it... #pregnantandforty #anddoughnuts
I can't believe tonight marks our very last episode of Fixer Upper. This picture is of us filming our pilot in 2012 and then our last scene of fixer in 2017. What a journey this has been! Check out my blog to read an update from us and to see what's on the horizon for our family and Magnolia as we move forward. The end is bittersweet, but we are excited for what's to come. Tune in tonight for the series finale on HGTV @ 9/8c! #fixerupper (link in profile)
We can’t believe tonight’s the series finale of #FixerUpper. What a ride it’s been! I'll be sharing some blasts from the past today leading up to the final episode at 9/8c on HGTV.
I can't believe there are only TWO fixer uppers left?! I love tonight's episode!! See Chip's dream of owning a breakfast joint turn into a reality with this giant renovation. Watch tonight at 9/8c @hgtv #magnoliatable #fixerupper
What an amaizng weekend with the @timtebowfoundation ✨ Thank you for giving hope and love to so many #ttfgolf2018
Tonight's episode is another favorite of mine because it's a personal project here at the farm. I can't wait for you to see this beautiful reveal! #fixerupper 9/8c @hgtv ❤️
Tonight’s going to be a very special episode! We partnered with @timtebow and the @timtebowfoundation to help an amazing family here in Waco. You won’t want to miss it!! @hgtv 9/8 CT. #fixerupper | Photo courtesy of @HGTV
The restaurant is getting so close. Magnolia Table will be open soon and we can’t believe it?!? Chip + Jo=❤️
Gaines party of 7.. (If you’re still confused.. WE ARE PREGNANT) @joannagaines
This guy right here... I get to live life with him. I get to hear his thoughts and benefit from his wisdom and encouragement on a daily basis. The reason I am who I am today is because Chip pushed me to go for it.
People think of him as a jokester, and he is. It’s a huge part of why I fell in love with him in the first place. But he is so much more than that. He is the ultimate cheerleader, coach and dream maker.
I am so thrilled that his book releases today mostly because I believe it holds truth that the world is in desperate need of. I am always proud to be Chip’s wife but today more than ever. I know this book was a true labor of love. Well done, Chip Carter Gaines! #CapitalGaines @chipgaines
What a day!! #CapitalGaines #booktournyc @chipgaines
What a night ✨✨ #silobration
Today we got to take a walk down memory lane with the crew... remember this house?! This was the first home we shot for our #fixerupper pilot episode five years ago! My how time flies 📺
Thank you all for watching, caring and cheering us on these past few years. We are overwhelmed by your support and your kindness. You have become a part of our story forever. Season 5 of Fixer Upper is scheduled to start airing in November and we really have saved the best for last! (To see the full announcement about our finale season, visit magnoliamarket.com/blog)
Congratulations to my Chipstarter winners! Some may say 6 out of 2,700 is lucky.. around here we call that a miracle and I’m honored to be a small part of your story moving forward. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your dream with me.
Capital Gaines is officially out tomorrow, so go pick up a copy and keep working towards that dream of yours. #CapitalGaines (link to winning videos in my profile)
Jo has poured her heart and soul into this new line, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia available at Target November 5th. We're here with Bullseye at Target HQ today announcing it to all of their team members! I wrote down all my thoughts about this project on the blog—go check it out. #HearthAndHand (Link in profile)
@U2 tonight - I have a feeling this is going to be a good one. #U2TheJoshuaTree2017
Another #fixerupper reveal down today for Season five! @hgtv #season5iscoming
Was trying to make a video for a friend this morning with @chippergaines .... his tutorial was 👍🏽 #🤡
Once a design assistant, always a design assistant. I've got the best job in the world! #fixerupper #season5iscoming
I've got you babe! #season5iscoming #fixerupper 📹: @huntybuns
Out on a hot date last night! @joannagaines loves to drive, so I usually let her.. but road trips, those are mine!
"We were together. I forget the rest." - Walt Whitman & @jimmydon522 Happy Valentine's Day @joannagaines
He competes with the view. Man bun, tube socks, adult onesie and all... He still looks mighty fine to me❤️#workcation #bookcamp
That was a fun date night ❤️@chippergaines @u2
Today started off with me holding one of our new baby goats and counting chickens... I knew it was going to be a good one. THANK YOU for all the kind words and birthday wishes ❤❤❤
Watch an all new #fixerupper tonight!! 9/8c @hgtv
Happpppy New Year!!! 2017!! #adultonesies @chippergaines
Tonight is an all new special episode! It's the season four Clip show- full of out takes, bloopers and behind the scenes footage. You won't want to miss! 9/8c @hgtv
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
"Posting a photo was no longer an act of enjoying the in-the-moments of life but rather a more calculated decision," she writes. "With every picture I found myself critiquing if there were messy backgrounds or blurry smiles. I think this is how we can end up losing sight of what it worthy of sharing and what is even more worthy than that -- moments worth simply experiencing."
After she came to that realization, she began to fight back against allowing "social media to rob us of authentic moments," especially when it came to her five children -- Drake, 13, Ella, 12, Duke, 9, Emmie, 8, and Crew, 7 months -- that she shares with her husband, Chip Gaines.
"There is a certain, creepy allure to a place where we can present ourselves any way we choose with very little accountability," she notes. "What happens when we don't think our 'real life' looks as good as someone else's? 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."
Crew Gaines on Instagram
Crew Gaines on Instagram
Baby Crew getting his passport photos! Nice work @chipgaines 💛
He's proud of his first TWO teeth! #sixmonths
I think it's time for the next size up #sixmonths
It's always been my nature to reflect on the past and linger there a while. I find myself thinking about what I will miss and how life is just moving too fast. I mean Crew is already six months old and saying "mama" (I had to throw that in there, sorry Chip). Drake will be driving in two years and off to college in four. And just like that I have found myself mourning the past but now in future tense. You see what I just did there? This whole time thing can feel like a thief if you let it.
I'm challenging myself in this new year to live for now. The present. Taking in every breath, every sight, and sound and holding it dearly. Not thinking about how the good ol' days have passed us by or how the best is yet to come. But that right now, this very second, this is the gift. These are the days. These are the moments. And I’m gonna breathe them all in. If there's pain and sorrow, or happiness and hope, let it in and then let it out.
I want to enjoy the now because it's the only thing we can actually embrace. I want to hold it carefully. Hold it thoughtfully. I want to rid myself of the little distractions because I have found that these are the thieves that steal our moments and rob our days. But time, time is our most precious gift.
Here's to seeing and finding the beauty, the hope and joy in the right now in 2019. And for goodness sake, let's have some fun while we’re at it!
It's going to be a happy new year indeed. Believing that for all of us. #wonderinthenow #thesearethedays
All my dreams have come true ❤️
This might be my favorite thing ever. (Photo and everything else by Ella Gaines) #♠️ #blindnil
Today's been a "cancel all your meetings and stay in your sweats" kinda day 😍
Weigh in day at the doctor... @chipgaines always seems to make things better ❤️
First game day for baby Crew 🏈 #sicem
Walked into this cuddlefest and my heart almost burst 😍
Snuggle time ❤️ #emmiekay #babycrew
Me + Crew + Cookie = ❤️
Chip started a tradition with Drake where he wore the hospital bracelet until it fell off... looks like the tradition lives on. #5
Cuddle bug 😍
Our baby boy, Crew Gaines, is here and we couldn’t be more in love. He made an unexpected (and speedy) entrance into the world two and a half weeks early - which is fitting given he was a sweet surprise from day one. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We are so grateful.
Today’s the day! We get to finally share this project the kids and I have been working on! ⠀
We wrote this children’s book together to tell the story of our journey in the garden - a story of trying and failing and trying again and never giving up. We hope it inspires you and your little ones to get outside, get your hands dirty, and grow something great! ⠀
We Are The Gardeners comes out March 26th! Pre-order a copy at the link in profile.
Look at those 10 little toes.. he doesn’t know it yet, but those tiny feet are going to do amazing things someday. #5 #babyCrew
Thank you for calling @magnolia, how can I help you? #GuestServices
My heart is full..
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Gaines has since made it a point to put social media aside "when the red flags of comparison or anxiety begin move in."
"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," she writes. "I love to snap photos of my kids whenever it's physically possible. My camera roll is constantly full because of it, but when I hear myself start to say something like 'move slightly to the left' just so I can get the perfect angle, that's when I know it's time to check myself."
"Perhaps I'll post that photo in a few days when I have some distance from it and a fresh frame of mind. Or maybe I won't," she adds. "What I can't get back to later is the beautifully imperfect view that's unfolding right in front of me -- no edits required."