What Does it Mean to be Authentic?

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What a time to be alive… in the sense that entrepreneurship as a career path is bigger than ever and many people are able to do so through the internet and social media. It’s crazy to think that the job title “blogger” or “content creator” was beyond foreign to most people a decade ago. And the idea of “social media influencer?” Forget about it. With so many blogs/podcasts/YouTube channels/Instagram accounts/etc. being started these days, it’s no surprise many people are searching for shortcuts to success. One thing prominent content creators always talk about? Being authentic. But what does it really mean to be authentic? Especially in today’s digital world?

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

In my experience – what you see isn’t typically what you get. It’s really difficult to be exactly the same person in real life as your online persona. It makes sense – you show the best parts of yourself and your life on social media. No one wants to see a page filled with complaining and photos that aren’t aesthetically pleasing! So how do you incorporate an authentic voice with an aesthetic people actually want to look at?

What does it really mean to be authentic?

Even with my own content, I find myself facing a dilemma. On the one hand, scrolling through Instagram I feel like I see the same flat lays and outfit shots so often it can be difficult to distinguish one account to another. On the other hand, this is because certain images really do perform better on social media. Product flat lays, palm trees, sunsets, cocktails, avocado toast, macaroons, flowers – there’s a reason why you see so many of these shots.

When it comes to brand collaborations, it can become even trickier for bloggers and content creators. You want to work with brands you love and actually use, but many people also rely on brand collaborations to make a living. So how authentic are these collaborations and #sponsored posts? It’s tough to say – a general rule of thumb is to only accept sponsorships that are “authentic” to your brand, but what this means between the lines is different for every individual.

Then comes the part of being authentic about your life on social media. It isn’t always possible to showcase every aspect of my life because I work full time during the week. This is why you won’t see me active on Instagram stories or Snapchat Monday through Friday. Is it not authentic to shoot batches of content and space them out over the week?

The reason why I bring this up is because I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to be authentic for me and what direction I want to take my content. Things with the blog have been quiet, but I’m ready to get back to posting several times a week. Writing and posting to my blog has always been my favorite component of everything that encompasses fashion/lifestyle blogging and I’m excited to get back into it.

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

For me, being authentic is incredibly important. To be authentic means to be myself as much as possible through my blog (although some parts are always kept private). I can say that in terms of the products and lines I promote on my blog and social media, they are always ones I love (and not every single one is sponsored or even gifted). I will not work with brands that I do not absolutely love and I will not post photos of products I do not actually use or have not tried. It’s hard to resist trying every new trend that comes your way, but it is important to stay true to your personal style and voice.

On that note – this LBD has been on heavy rotation this spring. I adore the open back detail and scalloped hem. I’ve talked before about how much I love Magali Pascal – the brand never disappoints and their new collections every season are always something I look forward to. Worn here with a wallet on chain bag and my favorite Botkier sneakers.

Now I’m off to finish the second season of Master of None and pack for a week back home in Minnesota!

xx, Amy

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

24 Discussion to this post

  1. Great post! I think it’s important for everyone to take a step back once in awhile to really get into what makes you YOU.

    Love, Lindsey
    http://www.thenomisniche.com/

  2. I absolutely love this post. I think as Influencers we are always struggling between showing beautifully curated photos and real life. I always tell people I always hope that I don’t disappoint them in person because what they see on social media isn’t always my everyday life. =) I think if we stay as true to ourselves as much as possible and do things that make us happy, eventually that will pay off in the long run. You are always authentic in my eyes and I truly respect you in so many ways. Keep doing what you’re doing Amy because you are very inspirational in your young age! =) xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

  3. Rina says:

    That’s one thing I love about you and your blog, your authenticity shines through! I totally get what you mean though with the struggle to be authentic sometimes when there are so many people doing similar things to you. I really appreciate these real posts you have and that is one way I see how authentic you are! Keep up the great photos and content, you’re always killing it!

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

  4. Areli says:

    amy this such a great post, it really gets you thinking!! Also, love this cute outfit!!
    xx,
    Areli’s April // On Bloglovin

  5. Lauren says:

    That’s exactly why I love your content, you stay true and you’re not all over the place. There’s consistency to your work and it really shows in your blog.

    xx
    Lauren
    http://www.shoesandsashimi.com

  6. Jessica C. says:

    Very well written, Amy! It’s a topic that’s on most blogger’s mind, I am sure. But how to achieve and stick with authenticity is so hard… especially when you’re still searching for and trying to define your brand and voice. I already know that we can come to you for honest and genuine review on things, and I’m sure your other readers feel the same way!

    Jessica || Cubicle Chic

  7. Karen Farber says:

    I love this article and agree with everything you are talking about! It’s so hard now a days finding a balance for our blogs/Instagram. I’ve been struggling with sharing my daily life now that I’m not traveling daily since most days I’m at home working. I don’t think it’s inauthentic to plan out your posts. If that’s the way you can keep blogging, then do it! I think everyone just needs to stay true to the content they actually feel passionate about and post about that 🙂

    Absolutely in love with Magali Pascal as well!

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Really loved the genuine honesty in this post, Amy! I understand how you feel – authenticity is definitely one of the gray topics that aren’t really discussed amongst bloggers, but it nevertheless super important. Always appreciate the advice and real advice that you give in your posts! <3

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

  9. Carmen says:

    I really like that you came up with this topic dear. Being authentic always gets more difficult but in the end, it’s what describes us. Of course macarons and avocado toasts are nice. However, I don’t like to be overloaded with pics like these. I think doing or looking at things differently always brings us a bit further.
    Have a great rest of your week hun!
    xx, Carmen – http://www.carmitive.com

  10. Jessi Malay says:

    You definitely have so much insightful and meaningful thoughts in this blog post hun! I enjoyed reading it so much! Thanks so much for sharing! LOVE that romper by the way.. so chic! <3

    XO Jessi,
    http://www.mywhitet.com/favorite-statement-tops-100/

  11. yuka says:

    ooo the back of your dress is so pretty! and I love that you paired the fancier dress with casual sneakers! looks really cool

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

  12. Jessica says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s not easy to open up like this! But your blog is amazing – just keep doing what you’re doing!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  13. I struggle with this all the time. And it’s something I’m always aware of and paranoid about hahaha. Am I being authentic?! It’s hard in the blog sometimes, especially when it comes to sponsorships. I always try to select things that are my style and fit my persona but then I look at the final product of something and feel like I’ve failed miserably. It’s hard to keep up to date with things these days too. Life is super busy. I don’t have the luxury of traveling every month or posting fabulous outfits daily because of work. Everything has to be planned unfortunately and I think that’s why I’ve strayed a little when it comes to posting on Instagram. That and I haven’t done anything worthwhile to capture or mention. The only things I manage are flat lays and I don’t want every photo to be a flat lay lol.

    Sxx
    http://www.daringcoco.com

  14. Adelina says:

    This is so true! More and more kids want to be “youtube stars” and “content creators” when they grow up! So interesting how the times are changing.

    http://www.thecharmingolive.com
    xx, Adelina

  15. Dolna says:

    Well, the struggle is real, exactly how you wrote it. There is a very thin line being non-authentic for the sake of engagement and for keeping the numbers up. When I started blogging an old friend of mine who lives in the US (I am in Germany) asked me about where I get my designer stuff and if I wore them all the time, and I had to admit that there were outfits that I created only for a blog post. That talk with her was a huge wake up call (luckily at the very beginning of the whole blogging thing) to realise that whatever goes out there from me, that needs to be real, the real me. Shouldn’t just create something for the sake of popularity, but for me, because I love it. So I have changed my whole attitude regarding blogging and actually started to get more engagement since then. Great post! x

    http://www.silksofine.com/the-most-fabulous-heels-you-cant-say-no-to/

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Thank you for sharing babe! Isn’t it crazy how being authentic and true to ourselves can resonate more than anything else?! Makes sense though, right? Wish you nothing but the best of luck on your journey xx

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