I picked up Glamour magazine yesterday, partly I admit because I finally found one with the free Clinique red lipstick (it’s a total dream, BTW) but also because I’m a big fan of Tanya Burr and I really wanted to read her interview. I flicked straight to it on the tube, pretty much expecting it to be like her videos – frothy, sweet, girly, not very deep. I have to say, I really didn’t expect it to make me think.
In the article, Tanya clearly comes across as more adult – it’s a deliberate decision, I think, emphasised by the mature, seductive photography – and it’s apparent that she’s at a crossroads with her career. I can see how for a Youtuber with a young following it is quite difficult to know how to ‘grow up’ – presumably, Tanya doesn’t want – and can’t- spend the rest of her life baking cheerily in Christmas pyjamas, but that’s what her viewers crave. I thought that was really interesting, but what really got me thinking was her discussion around her decision to stop ‘vlogging’ so much – videoing her daily life and putting it on the internet – particularly in relation to her marriage.
Tanya and I got married within a month of each other and her description of how she felt afterwards really mirrors how I felt too. I didn’t think anything would change and yet suddenly my relationship felt deeper, more special – more sacrosanct, almost. After our honeymoon I felt like we were inseparable to a point where I think I became a bit clingy and I almost wanted us to spend all our time on our own.
Tanya had an extremely private wedding and honeymoon and noted that she didn’t want to share it because it was too special. Now, obviously, I have nothing like the following Tanya has and nor could I even imagine it – but when we got married, everyone shared it on Facebook anyway, and I was quite happy about that, and I blogged about it because I wanted to write it down so I had my memories intact for years to come.
But when I went to share our honeymoon photos on Facebook, something stopped me. Similarly, although I’d shared a few blog posts about Bali, I went to write my post about the Gili Islands a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t.
Our few precious days in the paradise that was the Gili Islands were some of the happiest days of my life and I just don’t know that I want those memories pawed through by other people, getting their opinions all over them. Does that make sense? I know most people would be lovely. But even on Facebook I have – doesn’t everyone have? – some ‘friends’ who aren’t really friends; ex boyfriends, people from university I don’t really like anymore, friends of my husband who I have to pretend to like, and so on. People who are jealous, people who would make rude comments about you.
And normally I don’t mind. A rude comment on a blog post about an outfit I bought from New Look or a meal I had in London really doesn’t bother me. I guess Tanya has that feeling 100 fold, with entire communities creating hate pages about her (and I mean seriously, girls – stop it. You look jealous whether you are or not, and it’s just a really weird hobby to have – imagine if everybody knew you were doing it, how embarrassed you’d be!) and I’m sure she doesn’t mind either. But clearly, we are both overprotective of our marriages. No, sorry. You can’t have this one. This memory is mine.
In a world where the lines between sharing and oversharing become evermore blurred and reality and social media start to merge into one, I find it oddly refreshing and comforting to know that one of the world’s biggest Youtubers, when it comes down to it, feels exactly the same as I do. Yes, allowing people access to your life is fun – you can share your experiences, your good times and bad, your pretty photographs of candles and baths and cupcakes – but there are some things, some real things, that belong to you and you alone.
I wrote a post previously about taking a backseat from social media and since then, I’ve really allowed most of it to creep back into my life – but I think Tanya’s Glamour interview, as well as making me like and respect her even more than I already did, has made me want to hold certain things back again. I’m perfectly happy with my decision to share my wedding posts (probably because I don’t have 3 million followers), but my Gili Islands post is going to be a secret forever, and there will be no honeymoon albums on Facebook for this girl.
Have any of you ever felt like this? Is there anything you just can't share?
Oh, and Tanya – thank you, and I hope you and Jim have a wonderful Christmas!