Instagram is Ruining Our Weekends

Instagram is Ruining Our Weekends

I didn’t know we were brilliant when we chose a high school for our teenagers that was full uniform, but I’m here to tell you that we are geniuses.

In the age of Instagram, it is apparently impossible to post any part of your life if you have worn an outfit before. As an example where I didn’t know this rule that I think you will agree sounds reasonable, “Why can’t you wear that lovely blue dress you wore to your cousin’s wedding to the semi-formal? No one you know was there.” Don’t suggest this. Just take my word on it.

The truth is it doesn’t matter that no one has seen her wear this particular garment in person; the fact that it appeared on social media is enough to render this option void. Before you ask, this is true even if it is not their personal account or they were not tagged. So, yes, those alterations you made to make that perfectly lovely little black dress even littler, are sunk money. But the photo was beautiful if you are lucky enough not to be blocked from her accounts because of that time you liked something.

It is not just formal occasions either. Every weekend, our daughter has nothing to wear, and it is a stomping, tear-worthy, harrowing assertion. I recall seven full hours of waiting in change rooms and saying, “you look amazing in that,” and the ring of the register to follow this month alone. And, yet, she has nothing to wear. Imagine if she had this stress before heading to school every morning? I’m not sure I would have survived the teenage years and to hear our daughter’s account, she wouldn’t have endured the ridicule of wearing an outfit more than once because I can’t possibly understand.

I remember how hard it is to be a teenager and in this era of in-your-face judgement, it is even more difficult. She can cry or stomp around all she wants, she can raid my closet, but it doesn’t change the fact that she feels she has nothing she wants to wear. We’ve all had that feeling, but now there is added pressure.

If you have not gone through this yet, I will answer your questions before you have to ask them.

Why can’t kids exchange outfits?

Our daughter does exchange outfits, on occasion, but these are thought through ahead of time and night drop-offs, quick errands are not uncommon before a social event. I can’t imagine this to be an everyday occurrence for school.

Why can’t you insist she wear it again?

I’ve tried. Don’t be like me. She’s got to work it out on her own. Offer to drive her to the store if there is time, but there usually isn’t. My suggestion is, don’t engage. She will figure it out.

What can I do to avoid having this problem with our teenager?

If you are able to hack into Instagram, put nothing but old, fat, hairy men on all their feeds, they might stop looking and caring. Bonus: You will be celebrated as a hero. That, it seems, is our only option to avoid all of this. Get hacking.

Where do we get inexpensive alternatives to avoid the stress?

The great news is that kids love thrift store shopping and the stigma of going to Value Village is something our generation carries, not theirs. I am waiting for one of her donations to return, but that hasn’t happened yet.

What do you do if you don’t have a school nearby that has uniforms?

Our daughter will wear outfits more than once if there is no photo planned, so maybe all of this doesn’t even matter for kids going to school without uniforms. Maybe I’m just trying to fill my blog for this ridiculous 30-day-challenge and this was all that came to mind.

Or, maybe this is a real warning. If your adorable middle-school daughter is graduating this year, put her to work this summer or find her a school with a uniform. Those may be your only options. Do both, and you will be happy you did.


Photo by Chen Feng on Unsplash

I thought I would introduce you to some of my fellow 30 Day Writing Challenge friends. Today, check out Nick North. Nick used to live as a woman, and it now living as his true self. His blog is inspirational, honest, and funny just remember to come back here and visit.


  1. I took the option of not having kids. Not that I have anything against kids–I’m a godfather to two amazing young people which also gives me an excuse to do a Marlon Brando impersonation on a regular basis, and I have two amazing nieces.
    Although now I understand the appeal of those stores where you can sell your “gently used” clothing and buy new stuff.
    Christopher recently posted…Dear John…My Profile

  2. I have always hated shopping (still do), but love thrift stores. I remember as a kid having outfits I wore a week apart until someone mentioned my wearing my “Tuesday dress”. That put an end to common sense dressing. Fortunately, my mother loved shopping so she would go out and buy me about 10 outfits, bring them home, I would choose the one(s) I liked and the rest would go back. But that was in the days when clothes were affordable. Maybe that’s why I like thrift stores – someone has already done the shopping for me – I just need to select the color. BTW – my final year of high school I went to a private school with uniforms. I LOVED that part – no thinking required.

    • You had a fabulous mother who obviously loved to shop. I am not that mother. I am happy to play Candy Crush while I wait though. When I was a kid my aunt was the manager for Suzy Shier. One Christmas, after close, my grandmother and I came in and I got to try on anything I wanted without the pressure of waiting or of other people. I put a bunch of items on hold and the family just had to shop from the hold rack for Christmas for me. It was amazing!

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