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    I Instagrammed Like Chrissy Teigen For A Month And It Proved Women Are Treated Differently After They Become Moms

    It was harder than I thought.

    Hi, I'm Krista and β€” as a mom β€” I worry about other people's perception of me, especially on social media.

    My favorite thing about Chrissy Teigen is how she is unapologetically herself – and has remained herself after becoming a wife and a mom.

    Unfortunately, women who become moms get judged pretty harshly β€” and for ridiculous reasons. Chrissy has openly talked about how comments about her mothering affect her. During an interview with the Today show, she explained, "Not only do we have our own personal judgement and vendetta against ourselves, but we also have to read and hear these voices online all the time. It's hard to weed out."

    Even though I only have about 0.000000000001% the amount of followers as Chrissy on Instagram, I still relate to how she feels when it comes to criticism online. For example, on days when I think, "OK, Krista, you brushed your hair, you cleaned up nice today, take a pic, and share that shit!" I get super nervous to post it (and a lot of times I don't post it at all) because I worry what others β€” specifically moms β€” will think or say about me.

    I'm mad at myself for sometimes allowing the opinions of others to dictate what I choose to share. But, I'm human, and just like everyone else, I want to be accepted β€” especially in the "mom" world. So I decided to challenge myself to recreate some of Chrissy Teigen's Instagram photos in hopes of crushing the anxiety I get about what other people think.

    The photos I picked to recreate are ones that pushed me outside of my comfort zone and are very different from what I would typically post...

    I decided to ease myself into the experiment with this avocado photo first. It was different from anything I've ever posted before, but it wasn't ~too scary~. / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    I, personally, don't have a beautiful baby daughter like Luna to hold. My son is 11 years old, so holding him on my hip wasn't really an option! The good news is I have a dog named Oatmeal and she fit on my hip just fine.

    I was able to take the photos in a FENCED IN backyard, so I didn't have to worry about people walking by or wondering what the hell I was doing wearing a swimsuit in February. Being able to focus my attention on my dog helped because I didn't have to look at the camera or overthink the pose. However, clicking the "post" button on Instagram was nerve-wracking!

    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    After I posted it, I tried not to look at my phone for about an hour. When I did look, I had a lot of avocado fans who enjoyed the lil' photoshoot. PHEW. This was the first photo, so I felt like the positive comments helped give me the confidence boost I needed to create the other ones I picked.

    Next, it was time to dive into the first set of ~scary~ pics. Luckily, I have supportive friends who didn't bat an eye when I said I needed help recreating some Chrissy Teigen swimsuit photos. / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    No lie, this was during a friend's birthday weekend and I had about two spiked seltzers beforehand for a little liquid courage.

    After posting the two photos, I started getting in my own head thinking about who would see them and what they would think. Would moms think I was trying to show off my body or get attention from men? I hate that society makes me feel this way, but it is the truth. / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    I lost 14 followers after I posted the swimsuit pics. For context, I don't have a lot of followers. I am basically invisible on Instagram!!! Anyway, I went from 1,374 to 1,360 followers. So the swimsuit pic only lost me about 1% of my total following. However, if Chrissy lost 1% of her following, she would lose roughly 284,000 followers (she currently has over 28 million followers).

    After it happened, I tried not to let it get to me. I mean, really, why did I care that people were UNFOLLOWING me for one photo? It was silly that I was letting people I didn't even know affect my thoughts. But, I couldn't help it. I just wanted to know why those 14 people unfollowed me. Did they think I was too into myself or did they think I wasn't a good mom for posing that way on the internet? It made me feel β€” for lack of a better word β€” shitty.

    I also started to wonder if I would have lost followers if I wasn't a mom. Do people think it is more acceptable for women to post photos of their bodies if they don't have children? Or, maybe I was overthinking the whole thing and people simply unfollowed because they didn't want to see me in a swimsuit, which is OK! Either way, I tried to forget about it and move on.

    Chrissy posts a lot of photos with her husband John, so I decided to recruit my husband Phil for a pic. / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    Fun fact: My son took this photo and he said β€” and I quote β€” "You both look ridiculous."

    I don't own boots this cool or tall, so I had to borrow this outfit from a friend. I also realized I don't wear boots like this for a reason because I tripped and fell over. But, aside from the boot mishap, posing for the photo was pretty easy because I got to hide under the sunglasses. All I had to do was put on lipstick and make sure my hair was brushed. Easy peasy.

    I felt like this pic was more of a "what the heck are they doing and why is this Instagram-worthy" type of photo. Celebs do off-the-wall, funny poses and get admired for it, so I wondered what kind of reaction a commoner (me) would get.

    So what kind of reaction did I get??? None really. Just a couple friends with the fire emoji for support and less likes than the previous photos. I was really just wanting to stop the experiment all together at this point, but I decided to have a glass of wine and keep going.

    STX Entertainment

    I love Chrissy Teigen's sense of humor and I've never posted a butt pic, so I chose this photo as my next challenge. / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    Another fun fact: This was taken in a BuzzFeed conference room by a very supportive coworker.

    My caption for this photo was, "Testing out the placement of my tattoo." I figured people would assume I was joking (which I was, lol), but some men thought I was serious. One man even said, "That's an asinine place for a tattoo." πŸ™„My likes were diminishing with every new post. Whatever, marching on...

    I knew I would be doing Chrissy a disservice if I didn't post a photo with some sort of food, so I found this one. / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    If you live under a rock, Chrissy is bomb-ass cook!!! She even sells her own cookbooks, so you should try some of her recipes because they are good.

    After posting the meat pic, I lost more followers. Eight to be exact. Here's me trying to stay positive at this point:

    This last pic I chose was the hardest for me to post because posing in only a towel and heels is just something that I wouldn't normally do! / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    I worried – yet again – that people would judge me! Maybe other moms would think I was trying to be sexy for their husbands β€” which EW and NO β€” but I couldn't help having these thoughts. I really started understanding how bad my self-esteem is at this point. I saw how much I was placing my value at the hands of other people, which is not OK.

    I posted the pic on a Tuesday night, took a quick screenshot of my following, and set my phone aside for the night. When I looked the next afternoon, I had four new followers β€” all of which were men πŸ₯΄ β€” but I noticed my following had still dropped by seven. So although I gained four new followers, I actually lost 11 followers from the photo.

    Krista Torres / Instagram


    I did this experiment throughout the course of a month and I don't think I've ever had this much anxiety surrounding social media. It made me realize how toxic my brain can be when it comes to the opinions of others β€” sometimes even complete strangers. I know my worth is not based on likes, comments, or followers, but I have to consciously remind myself of that.

    It also confirmed my belief that some people hold women to different standards after they become moms. (This was already pretty obvious to me after writing articles like this and this and this and this and this and this.) But, some of my female coworkers – who aren't mothers β€” have also re-created celebrity Instagrams, receiving pretty positive feedback overall. The feedback from my photos felt less supportive and more negative and β€” even though I gained some followers β€” I still lost 32 followers overall. You can read Farrah's experience re-creating Gigi Hadid, Nina's experience re-creating Selena Gomez, and Lara's experience re-creating Kylie Jenner for reference.

    So my experience wasn't super fun, but I am super glad I did it (and that it's over, lol) because I learned a lot about myself. The purpose of this wasn't to get more followers, it was to truly understand just how much power the social media has over me. And, unfortunately, it's a lot. But, I am going to work on changing that! I am going to be kinder to myself...AND STOP ALLOWING STRANGERS TO HAVE POWER OVER MY SELF-WORTH!

    Thanks, Chrissy, for helping show others how to embrace who they are and be proud of their bodies...

    ...And their butts β€” or lack thereof!

    Xpos / Cobra Team / BACKGRID / Krista Torres / BuzzFeed