What you can’t see behind the Step and Repeat

Things aren’t always as they seem on social media. It can be easy to look at all the pretty photos and wonderful events and exciting places people are going and lose sight of the reality behind the photos.

We don’t know if that dress is 15 years old, or if those earrings are borrowed, or maybe that vacation was done a shoestring budget. We just see the photos and sometimes experience a sense of inadequacy.

Why doesn’t my life look like that? How come I never go anywhere cool? I wish I could have been there. The list goes on and on.

I’ve done it and perhaps you have too.

Last week I went to an event that, as my husband likes to say, “Looked good on paper.” It was a red carpet premiere of a movie in the Los Angeles area. I was so excited to be invited by my friend, Catherine and packed a bag to head to her house a few hours from me.

In my mind, the premiere would be at a fancy Hollywood theater, but in reality, it was at a funky old theater in Pasadena. Which was fine, it just didn’t match my expectations of the event.

We had a wonderful evening, but it honestly felt a little funny being so dressed up walking from the theater to a restaurant six blocks away for the “after-party”. I had a wonderful time chatting with several women at the party and the food was good, although overpriced.

Red Carpet Premiere

The next day I shared a photo of the two of us in front of the step and repeat for the premiere. It looked so “Hollywood” and I tagged the theater we were in. I started seeing other photos of the event but noticed something different. Many were tagging their location as Hollywood.

Makes it sound cooler, doesn’t it?

Look, I’m not judging anyone here, I just want to say I hope you don’t look at what happens online and experience FOMO or inadequacy or compare yourself in any way to what you see.

It’s not “real”. It is just a snapshot in time framed to look a certain way. It is natural for us to want to put our best self out there. Just know that we are all getting up in the mornings and sitting on the toilet just like everyone else.

Enjoy the photos, check out the scenery, click like and then scroll to the next one and know you didn’t miss out. Your life is every bit as important and wonderful and amazing even without a step and repeat.


What is a Step and Repeat? It’s that cool backdrop you see behind the movie stars as they are heading into an event. There is usually a repeat of the event name printed on it and the idea is to step in front of it for photos to be taken. Step and Repeat!

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Reader Comments

  1. Julie Reinwald

    I love your honesty about this event, and your reminder that so much of what we see either isn’t real or is just a snapshot in time. I love using social media, but I know it can have very harmful effects for unrealistic expectations.

  2. Lisa Selwitz

    Great post. I’ve been suffering with this malady for awhile lately. Everyone else is going fun places but me…boo hoo and poor me…lol…thanks for putting it in perspective.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you, Amy! We did have a great time together and it was so fun getting dressed up!
      I, for one, can lose perspective with so much of what I see online. I hope this helps others too.

  3. Catherine

    Brilliant sister. I love that you shared this. The real moment. Not the perceived moment or the bigger than life Hollywood expectation. That’s not why we were there any way. So much on social media isn’t what it seems. As Julie Bee says it’s a frame. That’s all. That frame is designed to look fabulous. There’s a world outside that frame. Oftentimes a lot of mess. No judgment. We felt the same way. Time to bring more real back to reality. We are craving it.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you! We are so on the same page. Like I wrote, “It is just a snapshot in time framed to look a certain way.” Julie Bee is absolutely right!
      But we had a ball for sure and chatting with all of the women we met was the most vital part of the evening! X

  4. Anonymous

    Thank you . I know this disease of FOMO, the struggle of feeling enough, comparison. I take notice of reality vs show. I am intellectually aware and yet slip into emotional hardwired reactions. I think that post menopause and my upcoming 60th birthday this year is triggering a lot of junk. I’m working on it. This is why I was prompted to respond to you, it is women like you that are helping women like me feel stronger and not alone.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you for such a lovely comment. I believe so many of us feel the same way, whether we admit it or not. It takes bravery to see it, pull it out and exam it. If you have been following my journey, you know my 60th birthday trigger so much for me too! Working on it is all we can do, right? We are in this together, friend. X

  5. Serena West

    I have to constantly remind myself of this everyday, so thank you for allowing us to see that you’re in the same boat too. And I laughed out loud when you said we all wake up and sit on the toilet – too true – even the queen!

    Serena West

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