My New Experimental Instagram

Yeah, so what’s that about?

From @oliviaarosss to @iamoliviaross

So, if you follow me on social media, you might be wondering why you’ve seen an entirely new instagram account pop up with my likeness. Not that you were worried, but it is mine.

Basically, I’m a little bit over social media. Can we all agree it’s sort of insane when an egg gets 30 million likes? Does anything matter? I know making another Instagram seems counterintuitive to that thought, but here I am. On the other hand, I have always been a strong advocate for the freedom and expansion of social media. It’s a wonderful world of connectivity and creativity, of course yes there are lines but this isn’t the post for that discussion.

.My old account is still active, it’s my main account still and this account is more of an… experiment for me. I will never be one of those amazing, brave people who goes through life without social media or with a seriously self controlled presence and activity. Creativity and communication are two of the most important things in the world to me and Instagram opens the door for those things. Then comes my career, as a model it’s really helpful to have a large following. Yes, by helpful, I mean necessary. At least, it is when you’re trying to get work and aren’t a Kendall Jenner type. People make a living off this app y’all - this isn’t news! Call sheets at castings often ask for models’ Instagram usernames and follower count. Truthfully, when I see those, it’s hard not to feel discouraged.

I have a pretty mild following on Instagram. It’s very close to 5k, which isn’t anything to scoff at, but it doesn’t come close to touching what some of colleagues have generated. I refuse to buy followers or programs that do the unfollowing and refollowing thing, so I’m stuck trying to hustle my way to a few new followers with every hashtag. Besides the vanity of it all (and let’s be clear, there definitely is some of that) - I seek to have a large following so that I can expand my own platform. I have worked and fought hard in the fashion industry for a seat at the table, and while as a mid-sized model, I don’t feel I quite have it yet, I keep showing up to the party. Just the same as I have this blog, I think I have a lot to offer given what I have been through in life and the best way for me to justify some of it is being able to use my experiences to help other people, especially other women. If I can’t do anything else in life, that’s all I really want.

Of course, having a large following also leads to financial gain, not just career-wise, but through collaborations, opportunities and more. Point-blank: A larger following is lucrative and beneficial to my goals.

I’ve had my old account since I was in high school, and I feel restricted. I have been gaining and losing roughly the same amount of followers weekly for a while. I can’t seem to break past 5k followers, so I feel stuck. The only times I get a really great engagement on my posts are when I’m half-naked (which is fine, but I personally want to be about more than that) and while I love showing off my confidence, I want to feel I can be as authentic as possible. I want to cultivate a following that cares when I try to open up a discussion about loss, likes a body-posi pic and who interact with me all in the same week. Life is about the people we have in it, often including those who are online. I feel like if I want to be genuinely me, online, that I have to also commit to that kind of engagement. Just because people exist online, doesn’t mean they aren’t people in real life.

Honestly, I want to see if starting off new makes any difference in the way I am able to interact on Instagram, how I gain a following, and really just my desire to be authentic online without at all compromising what I believe in. This account may not last - don’t unfollow my old one (@oliviaarosss, unless you don’t like me but then why would you follow me at all?) and just know that maybe this is just another social media experiment, but... it could turn into something hopeful and good (for me, and I hope for you too.) It may seem silly to place this value on a photo sharing app, but let’s not kid ourselves.

I don’t know what that will mean for my old account if this whole thing doesn’t work the way I hope for it to, I will probably go back to it and try a new approach. I know I don’t want to give up the memories on my original account, my amazing followers and everything else that is on that account. If I ended up “retiring” it, it may become an archive for me.

So, we will see. I’m challenging myself this year to go outside of my comfort zone, and explore new things without feeling pressure. So, welcome to this account, I suppose. Please follow me there if you aren’t already, and feel free to spread the word. Like, no pressure at all…. totally. (This would be a place for a gif of me sweating profusely…)

In conclusion: This is the part where I shamelessly self-promote: I need followers to have a greater impact, to up my game and reach more lovely people. Each person is important to me and maybe I sound greedy or self-involved, but hopefully you know me a little better than that by now. If not, well, that’s okay - I still hope you stick around.

x Olivia