Character & Soul, Self-Improvement

If Life Were A Pinterest Board … – Deborah Tan

How do you throw a photogenic party??

How do you throw a photogenic party??

… I would be so damn stressed.

I look at pictures of beautiful table settings showing plates that don’t match … but still look good together. My plates and bowls are all the same colour and they look like crap whenever I throw a dinner party! Why?

Wow! Isn't it great when all your earrings kinda fall into the same theme?

Wow! Isn’t it great when all your earrings kinda fall into the same theme?

I have tonnes of accessories and knick-knacks that I don’t use anymore. When I go to Pinterest to see how people recycle their stuff into kitschy, adorable bookmarks, door hangers, coasters, wall art, etc, I’m amazed how they had the foresight to buy stuff that lend themselves so easily to recycling. I mean … wow! You actually knew that one day your scarves would come together to become a work of installation art?!? I want to know how too!

When I go on holidays, I try to capture those Pinterest-worthy moments that would make my friends go, “Awwwww …” but by the time I’m done fumbling around with my camera settings, the moment has passed. The sunset? That darn sunset that everyone seems to be able to capture, where is it?!!

How come I don't look this good when I work out??

How come I don’t look this good when I work out??

After a workout, I’d like nothing better than to have a mood-shot of me looking glowing and with sweat dripping off my face in an artistic way. A picture that’d inspire my friends to join me at bootcamp next week. A picture that would get comments like, “You’re so beautiful, keep doing what you’re doing, girl.” But when I do get someone to help me take a picture, I just look like a bulldozer has ran over me.

Oh! How about my OOTD shot? You know those shots of painfully stylish women standing on the street looking so nonchalant about having their pictures taken? These women just happened to be there, and somehow, their photographer boyfriends or talented friends managed to capture the moment (it’s always ‘the MOMENT’!) where they were looking at some bug on the road, or a bird flying overhead, or looking at their feet contemplating life. Whenever I try to get my boyfriend to help me with an OOTD shot, he has only one way of holding the camera – from a high angle and I end up looking like a cast member of The Hobbit.

Don’t even get me started on home decor. All that home office pictures make me so, so, mad. I have a home office and it’s surrounded by paper bags of products. My files don’t match because obviously I can’t afford to friggin’ shop at Kikki.K all the time! Vases of flowers, photos of friends and family (and they all happened to be cute!), beautifully upholstered chairs … seriously, where are the documents, the receipts, the junk mail … signs that work is actually being done in these home offices?

Are the pictures on Pinterest a big fat lie? Most people I know don’t even put up original content on Pinterest. Their boards are filled with repins of images they aspire to recreate in their individual realities. Brides-to-be repin pictures of wedding favours they see themselves giving their guests, mothers repin pictures of theme parties they want to organise for their kids, aspiring chefs repin pictures of orgasmic food porn they believe they’ll be able to recreate … do they ever?

"DIY"!?!?! HOW?!?

“DIY”!?!?! HOW?!?

Even if you’ve wisely observed that your friends are more repinners of beautiful pictures than pinners of original content, does Pinterest make you feel – to some extent – that your life needs to be “photogenic”? Do you continue to strive to compose that Pinterest-worthy snapshot, hoping that someday it will become one of those pictures that get repinned to death?

No other social media platform makes me feel more inadequate or inept than Pinterest. That’s the truth. I’ve been inspired by home decor pictures and gone and splashed out on expensive rugs and cushions … and still they were lacking. I’ve been inspired by fitness pictures and tried to capture images of people working out … but they never ever look like the toned, glowing, fitness models that populate Pinterest boards about health and exercise. No matter the camera I buy, no matter how much clutter I put away, I can never shoot the spartan, minimalist home offices that conveyed success, control and good taste.

There is Pinterest, and then there is Life. And, we need to get that the two really don’t belong together.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and is feeling really shitty that her couch does not look Pinterest-worthy. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

[If you love this story, you’ll like]

1. Spruce Up Your Home

2. The Purrfect Flea Market For Cat-lovers

Standard