"People love to look at beautiful things," says Lori Leibovich, editor of RealSimple.com, explaining why Instagram feeds -- including her own -- are filled with perfectly staged, flawlessly filtered, charming images. "And yet if I'm honest with myself I know that what I post there reflects a tiny slice of my (mostly) unglamorous and complicated life," she adds.
That opposition is why Real Simple started the @WomenIRL Instagram -- an account that features real images from women's feeds that give a more realistic, unfiltered perspective of everyday life. Instagrammers submit photos by using the hashtag #WomenIRL, and then Real Simple editors choose and regram their favorites.
Leibovich, who is also the former executive lifestyle editor at The Huffington Post, says that from the beginning, moms have been the most active participants. They're tagging photos that show road trip "fun" is anything but, that food is rarely eaten off a plate, and that dirt is commonly present. "There are others of kids having epic meltdowns, something every parent has experienced and yet you never see that on social media," Leibovich says.
Unsurprisingly, @WomenIRL is resonating deeply. Since its conception on January 5th, the account has amassed almost 15,000 followers as of Thursday morning. And Leibovich hopes the impact will be just as great. "If we make a conscious decision to post images that show our vulnerabilities and foibles, we will begin to chip away at the perfection that infects so much of social media. By seeing these real moments we will realize that we’re all just doing our best to get through, and that life is a lot funnier when it’s not filtered," she says.
Check out some hilarious images from @WomenIRL below, and head over to Instagram for more.