Instagram life vs Real life

I flew into Syracuse yesterday for my talk today. The city welcomed me with wind & snow so I stayed in the hotel last night. Figured I'd grab some wine at the hotel bar and ended up with a pretty funny encounter.

I was in my typical attire - hoodie, sweats and no make up. Traveling with my assistant so we were keeping it low key.

It was a fairly quiet hotel bar. No more than 4 guests. Most the evening was just us and the bartender.

Towards the end of the night, the bartender asked if I was Arden Cho, his boss had texted him asking to confirm because she had suspicions it was me. I laughed, said yes, then of course we started chatting about work, life, etc. Later one of the other customers chimed in because he was surprised he had found me on instagram.

Wow it's so cool you can have a disguise in real life vs instagram. You look so different. I laughed and said, yes, I don't have my face on. I guess I never considered it a disguise because this is my norm, but it's funny to see the other perspective. I often hear things like - wow, you're SO short in real life or you look SO different. It definitely makes me a bit uneasy and insecure but I realize it's also a perspective. Maybe it's a gift that I look different in different environments and scenarios. But I know I usually feel like I'm invisible - which is probably what you wouldn't expect to hear from me. 

I guess sometimes I don't even realize how far instagram is from the reality. I use it mostly as my highlight reel or sharing my work. Also sharing moments from my life that I think are instagram worthy. I guess it definitely is no longer a reality. I'm not trying to be fake or hide who I am but I feel like I can't share everything or post too much because of the "instagram asthetic". I guess that's why I started this blog. I can be more authentic here. I feel safer on this platform and less judged. My instagram page isn't even aesthetically pleasing, I try to be because it's part of my job but I honestly have no clue how some people make their pages look so perfect. 

I also don't share certain parts of my life, like some of my close friends and their families or loved ones if they're not comfortable with the exposure. Not everyone signs up for this lifestlye or lack of privacy.

Anyways, this made me think instagram is really misleading, social media is also so deceiving. I fall victim to scrolling through and seeing other pages, feeling envious, jealous and sad. But then I know my page might have to same result for others. Which isn't my intent at all. Most of my posts are images from photoshoots where I have a team of people making me look way better than I do in real life.

Instagram is like a live photo album or a memory book of my work. It's not the reality. So I hope you can take it for what it is. If it's affected you negatively, I'm sorry. It's something I hope I can look back at when I'm 60 and tell my kids - mom used to be kind of cool.

All Photography by Luke Rieke
Make Up & Hair by Sara Tagaloa
Wardrobe Styling by Katie Qian
Assisted by Eunice Lee