I’m not going to lie: I’ve been working on this post for a while. I’ve been insecure about posting a picture of myself with no makeup on. I still don’t feel my best, even seven months after having a baby. I’m slowly getting back into the rhythmn of things and opening up more to life. When my friend and fellow blogger Elaine Daneshrad asked me to join her for her new challenge #WokeUpThisWayChallenge I was excited because the movement resonated with me. But I needed some time to take the picture — with no filters! — and be comfortable enough with it to share.
Elaine started #WokeUpThisWayChallenge to stress the importance of what’s real on social media and what’s not. People curate their pics based on how they want to depict themselves. We’ve become so focused on showing only our best shots and highlighting them with the perfect filters that we can forget to be real. We forget that social media is a illusion. So thank you, Elaine, for pushing this movement and showcasing what reality is and isn’t.
Here’s a Q&A I did with Elaine about #WokeUpThisWayChallenge and why you should join in:
DIANA MADISON: What inspired you to start #WokeUpThisWayChallenge?
ELAINE DANESHRAD: I had a moment when I was at Coachella last year and I was trying to get the most perfect photo for my Instagram by the famed Ferris wheel. The photo came out amazing and looked like I was having the best time ever, but in reality I was sick with a fever and just missed the performer I had waited all year to see because I got stuck in 45 minutes of traffic. Everything opposite of the best time ever. I looked at that photo when I came back as such a symbol of what social media has become. I could have simply posted that picture with a generic “Love you, Coachella” caption, or, I thought to myself, I could do something greater with this and really highlight the conversation about how we all portray these “highlight reels” of our lives, yet that’s not always the reality of what’s really going on behind the scenes of every great photo. So for the past year I’ve been on a mission to bring this conversation to the forefront, and that’s how the #WokeUpThisWayChallenge came to be.
DM: Who has joined the #WokeUpThisWayChallenge movement?
ED: This movement has been taken over by everyone from bloggers to students, doctors and more. And a bunch of celebrities have gotten in on this as well from Cindy Crawford, Jaime King, Jana Kramer, Amber Riley, AnnaLynne McCord, and Christina Perri to name a few.
DM: Why is the #WokeUpThisWayChallenge movement important on social media?
ED: Because, especially on social media, we don’t take the time to talk about personal things or challenges; we only always want to look good and show our #BestLife. So having everyone on social media come together about this and feel unified enough to feel open to talk about real things that are going on their lives creates this new and open space for authenticity on social media.
DM: What else did you want to accomplish with #WokeUpThisWayChallenge?
ED: I wanted to fix a problem I saw in the word where people are going into anxiety and depression of comparison to each other’s lives. People are so unhappy these days, and a main factor of that, I believe, has been caused by social media and what we see as others’ “fabulous lives.” So my goal is to make this world a bit of a happier place.
DM: How long have you been blogging?
ED: In November, it will be six years!
DM: What’s next for you?
ED: My dream for this movement was to really hit the millennials the most, especially the high-school kids because they, more than anyone, don’t know a world before social media and technology. So up next, I want to take on a high-school tour where I talk to students and inspire them to embrace their authentic selves.