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The Realest, Most Vulnerable Thing I’ve Ever Seen on Instagram.

0 Heart it! Khara-Jade Warren 1.1k
January 29, 2018
Khara-Jade Warren
0 Heart it! 1.1k

I’ve been following this beautiful family for a while.

I first noticed them when the first womens’ marches took place and mama, Danielle Aceino, posted a pic of her and her three boys holding their feminist signs. She spoke about how her boys were born feminists and I fell in love with them all instantly.

Both Danielle and her husband are great storytellers and photographers and their pictures and stories and three boys are simply gorgeous. They soon became my favorite Instagram fam. Their photos capture all the magic of little boys in a time when I feel we don’t celebrate that original innocence, or the all the beautiful strengths and quirks innate to little boys enough. Their stories also remind me to see the wonder in my own two, even when they’re driving me crazy with their energy and loudness and insane need to rough and tumble with each other.

Everything about their children and their life seemed charmed to me. They are all so beautiful, and clearly full of love for each other. Then of course, Instagram only tells us part of the story.

But the other day Jimmy, Danielle’s husband posted something that stopped me in my tracks. I had gotten the feeling times were tough for them from their last few posts.

Omg Gus I so feel you today. He has pink eye, which is a first in our house, but it’s coming off of two weeks of stomach bugs which has left us feeling raw and vulnerable and weak, just all around malaise in the Aceino motel. Meanwhile Dani and I are rapidly sinking under the stress of everything failing and it’s taking all our strength to just look each other in the eyes and keep putting one foot in front of the other. We’ve got quite a few jobs pending and I may start driving for a limo service part time in the coming weeks (we are exploring every option and trying to turn nothing down) but suffice it to say this season is hands down one of the most brutal and humiliating we’ve had. The kids are feeling it and we are having a hard time being that pillar of security for them when we ourselves feel completely exposed and insecure. I’m not asking for anything from anyone other than a big virtual hug. We are so amazed at the kind a beautiful people we’ve met and interacted with here on Instagram and have no shame being totally transparent and vulnerable. It is not easy and it’s often scary, thinking omg what did I just do.. But the reality is we are a culture of masks and inauthenticity. We want to hurt with the hurting and celebrate with the joyful but more often than not we’re a once-and-no-more kind of culture. “I heard you but this has been going on for a while now hasn’t it? Don’t you think something should have changed by now?” This is our (and often enough, my) response to BOTH peoples suffering AND people’s happiness. “Can’t be all unicorns and rainbows everyday right…?” Dani and I want to lead by example and knock that shit off. If someone is dealing with something over and over again, so be it. If they are happy and content for a long period of time, who am I to try to burst their bubble, maybe I could learn something. And the other way too, maybe by sitting time and again with my hurting friends I might gain something exceedingly valuable. We had blockaded ourselves from experiencing the real real of being human and connected. So here we are, open, honest, unapologetic. We just need a big hug right now. Peace to all.

A post shared by Jimmy Aceino (@jimmyaceino) on

But I had no idea how tough. And when I read Jimmy’s words I just sobbed. Because we’ve been there as a family before. We’ve been in that place of just not knowing what to do from day to day. We put ourselves in huge debt and moved across the world twice because of this, just trying to find a way to move forward, to thrive instead of just survive.

Jimmy spoke about how they were struggling financially and with their living conditions, how they’d done everything they could and left it too long because, like all of us, of their pride and determination to make it on their own. But now he was asking for help. Openly, on Instagram. Acknowledging that some folks wouldn’t take kindly to this open request for the charity of strangers, but that he really did have nothing to lose anymore. And I know this feeling. I know it so well. To be prepared to do anything it takes to provide for your family.

This can happen to any of us, no matter who we are, what background we come from, and what talents or qualifications we have. Privilege does shield many of us from utter destitution. I know if it hadn’t been for the help of families and credit cards, (and we’re just average middle-class people) we could have been out on the streets several times, and I went to a good school and was top of my class…

Our social media images are just personas. Real life is the guts and tears and tiny triumphs and crushing failures behind the beautiful pictures. This is why I’ve fallen more in love with the Aceinos than ever. Their brave and brutal vulnerability. And people’s responses of support and practical help. It gives me hope that if we only drop our posing and bravado, we can still connect genuinely and deeply with one another online. Forget the inspirational quotes and sexy selfies. This is what social media should be about.

Here is Jimmy’s post. His link to support them is in his bio, if so inspired. I know I am:

And here is Dani’s. May we all catch a bout of vulnerability (that doesn’t clear up) off of these guys:

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0 Heart it! Khara-Jade Warren 1.1k
0 Heart it! 1.1k

Elephant Journal Jan 29, 2018 9:23am

A powerful revealing of what it’s like behind Instagram perfection. Shared! ~ Way

    Khara-Jade Warren Jan 29, 2018 11:00am

    Thank you for sharing Way. <3

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