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How one woman is changing lives, one hashtag at a time!

Instagram, a heavily filtered space on the internet that we are all guilty of spending too much time on. 

Jo Lurie
Jo Lurie creator of #TheGramSham / Supplied

I spend hours scrolling through perfect layouts of azure or pink aesthetics and the Xpro filtered, fabulous lives of the people I wish to one day emulate with their 50 000 followers.

I spend even more time carefully curating the world I allow people to see, you know, the flawless, thinner, always happy world where my make up is always done and I always have good lighting. It's really not true. 

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One woman is taking a stand and asking us to share just one post that shows our truth for that one moment in our lives.

I had no idea how much influence I had until I was tagged in an Instagram post in June by Jo Lurie talking about something called #TheGramSham. 

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This is not a meaningless challenge. This is not an attention seeking exercise to go viral. This is a very real cry for help from a concerned human and someone who works in your industry and knows how hard you’ve all worked to get where you are. Please let it be heard. The 16th of June is Youth Day and our youth are in serious danger. They look to this very platform as a model of what their lives can be. They look to you, as their role models, to see what their dreams look like. But they forget that you are showing them a single frame, a snapshot, a pose, a scene, an edit of what your life looks like. They believe what they see on the ‘Gram is your life, but that’s not your whole truth. No one lives their Instagram life all day, every day, but they think you do. They’ve bought into a dream. They have lost touch with how hard you have worked, how much you have struggled, how unglamorous your hustle has been. They don’t know that your life isn’t always pretty. The result of that? They feel like they’re failing because their lives are messy, real, raw, ugly, sometimes downright disappointing, and often don’t fit into the neat lines of a photo frame. They feel hopeless and helpless. They feel like they aren’t enough. Depression and suicide are on the rise. Please can I ask you a solid? On the 16th of June, please give the youth of South Africa a gift. Post something really real on Instagram. Whether it’s a selfie, a story, a picture of you coming up in your industry, anything you choose to share. You’ll know your truth. Show us what’s real to you. Use the hashtag #TheGramSham and just for one day, just one time, let’s not sell dreams, let’s expose the Instagram sham, and show kids that they’re enough. Actually, they’re more than enough. Show them that your life isn’t perfect, but you have many beautiful moments. Show them that their dreams aren’t so unattainable. Let’s do this, South Africa. Please spread the word.

A post shared by Jo Lurie (@thejolurie) on

"Born out of a deep concern that our Youth are being set up for massive failure by the fake dreams being sold to them by their role models on Instagram, #TheGramSham came to life for Youth Day 2018." Jo explains; "A few days before Youth Day, an appeal was made for people to share their truth with the youth. We needed at least one day of truth-telling on Instagram and no dream selling. The response was phenomenal. #TheGramSham made an enormous impact and exposed a much bigger truth to a much bigger audience than anticipated. The collective truth was that we all struggle with something and it doesn’t mean you’re failing, it just means you’re living."

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And the response was incredible! Even our very own Kriya Gangia and Rozanne Mackenzie took to their Instagram to share their moments!

Because of the incredible response, and the way these truths touched me personally, I invited Jo Lurie, the creator, into the studio to tell us more about it! 

Will you join the movement? Let me know below! And use the # #TheGramSham!

Image courtesy of Jo Lurie. Instagram courtesy of Jo Lurie, Rozanne Mackenzie and Kriya Gangia.

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