A few weeks ago I was on like round seven of my daily social media stalking breaks and I came across something that really surprised me. A woman that I’ve seen at least weekly since the day we met but have only recently really started to get to know, posted a photo that looked similar to most of the photos she shares online, except something was very different: Its caption.
With most of her photos, you can expect that the caption will be something meant to inspire and motivate. And it did for a few seconds and then, it didn’t. It kind of went the opposite direction, actually, and she admitted to an insecurity of hers.
This didn’t so much surprise me because it wasn’t all a motivational caption; it more so surprised me because this woman is a model, a brand ambassador and a fitness instructor with a hot boyfriend. Like, you think she has everything, right?
Furthermore, what she was yearning for is something that I posses. I found myself looking at this caption and thinking, “I would have never in a million years expected her to envy something about me, but rather me envy several things about her.” I was very surprised. And then disappointed in myself for being so naïve and judgmental.
So, I reached out to her and asked if she wanted to talk with me about how both of us felt with our ‘confessions’. She agreed and after I got my ass kicked in one of her classes, we sat down to talk about this.
Abby Draper: On paper, your life seems like a dream ― You are a fitness model who has been selected to represent multiple athleisurewear brands including Carbon 38 and Lululemon; you have a great job as a fitness professional; you’re in a committed relationship, close to your family, etc. If I didn’t know you and read all of these things I’m pretty sure I would think you were a huge bitch.
Victoria Brown: If I had a quarter for every time someone told me they thought I was a bitch until they met me, I’d be a millionaire. You know, there’s a certain amount of stereotyping that comes along with being a fitness model but here’s the thing – I’m a real person. I have feelings. I’m not one-dimensional. Fitness modeling is a part of my life. Just like you post photos for your blog or The Bachelorette because it’s part of your job, I post fitness modeling photos because it’s part of mine.
AD: Well, I could never be a fitness model, so I have to go with what works for me.
VB: [Laughs] I could never be a comedy writer. Or watch “The Bachelorette”.
AD: It’s terrible, you’re not missing out. That being said, recently, you posted a photo to social media and said you wished you were ‘the girl who always has the hilariously witty caption’ clearly implying that you aren’t. How do you caption your posts instead?
VB: I did. When it comes to the photos I share on social media, my captions are mostly things meant to motivate and inspire anyone who may see them. That is what comes to me naturally. I’m a spiritual being.
Look, I know how a lot of people feel about motivational and inspirational posts. I hate more than anything when a person posts a photo of their ass to Instagram and writes, “Follow your dreams!” I don’t understand! These two things are not at all related. I at least try to be thoughtful in making sure what I’m saying makes sense for the photo.
AD: I spend like an embarrassing amount of time thinking about how to best caption my social media posts. Do you ever sit with a post and try to come up with something witty instead?
VB: [Laughs] Everyone does, they just don’t admit it. It’s like that causal t-shirt and jeans look that you want people to think you didn’t try so hard to put together but you actually took an hour to plan.
See that was funny!
Yea and you just killed that class, so you’re also motivational.
I do try to come up with something witty every time, but it just doesn’t always come to me – I don’t know why! Off of social media, my friends think I’m funny. Shit, I think I’m funny. And I want the world to see that side, too. Every once in a while I’ll get a zinger but, not often.
AD: You should use zinger more. I totally get it. It’s interesting that people think who you are online is who you are every minute of every day. It’s actually fucking annoying. My captions are usually (I think) funny and you would never find me posting something motivational BUT, I spend an insane amount of time going to places where I am filled with inspiration through the words of others.
VB: And in real life, I am a witty chick with a dry sense of humor but I can’t be funny online.
AD: It’s sad that we pigeonhole others based on something as stupid as social media.
VB: Well and that’s why, every once in a while I just like to call out the elephant in the room. Like, with that post you found. People think you can be funny OR you can be inspirational, right? People won’t accept both. So, to show people that I am real, I go ahead and just admit it.
It’s like with you, if you were to post a motivational quote, people wouldn’t know what was going on. So, I just say, “I wish I was this and I’m not.” At least they know what they can expect.
AD: YES! That is the point of this. You and I, while we run in similar circles and enjoy a lot of the same things, our posts couldn’t be any different. Had we not met and only followed each other online, I would probably still think you’re a bitch and who knows what you would have thought of me.
VB: [Laughs] Ummmm, are we best friends yet or not?
AD: Anything else you want to add?
VB: I think its dope that you reached out to me to talk about this. People love to judge people for no reason. People also tend to be too hard on themselves like you were after you found yourself doing so. I appreciate your willingness to admit that and have a conversation about it.
Basically, the point here is that everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses; everyone is insecure about something; we all use Instagram. Be nice, don’t judge and caption your photos however you want.