Things aren't always as they seem, and that's a message Drew Barrymore believes gets lost all too often in a world filled with the glitz and glam images of celebrities and the filters — both digital and metaphorical — used on social media.
That's why the actress, entrepreneur and mom launched a new hashtag on Instagram this week aimed at showing the gritty reality behind the polished pics and elevated expectations her fans and followers may be used to.
The "Santa Clarita Diet" star got the idea for her #TheWayItLooksToUs series of posts after showing up to her daughter's school late, unprepared and wearing sweatpants.
"I felt like I didn't look like a proper mom," she explained in a video she shared to kick off her campaign. "I started beating up on myself — so typical of what parents do to themselves."
But what should a "proper mom" or celebrated actress or wellness enthusiast or perfect partner look like? That's what her next four posts explored.
For instance, mommy bloggers often feel the need to put their children's best faces forward online. But anyone who's ever raised a little one knows that their best faces aren't necessarily the ones they wear most often.
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"We are told to make it look a certain way," Barrymore wrote alongside an illustration of two prim little girls.
Just swipe or click through to the video that follows that pic to see what the real world looks like for the 43-year-old when her daughters — Olive, 6, and Frankie, 4 — decide to redecorate.
(Spoiler alert: It looks frosted, thanks to a heavy coating of powdered sugar the girls applied to nearly every surface of the house.)
"Sure, I can be this with two hours of hair and makeup and amazing photography and lighting," she explained. "I also feel beautiful after a sweaty workout... But it all takes work! Which is good because we can achieve it. What I can’t hide is that some days are difficult and not so pretty... "
That prompt leads to the next pic in the post, which shows her with no makeup, hair undone and tears in her eyes. While she doesn't explain the specifics of that day, it looks a harried moment that anyone can relate to.
Then, following a pic of two athletic women hardly breaking a sweat in their stylish workout wear, Barrymore shared several of her own workout pics, featuring T-shirts with mismatched sweatpants or leggings, wrist weights, a cast and her personal battle to beat 25 pounds.
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"This takes me so much work," she wrote alongside the shots. "Diet and exercise and fighting like a lion for it! Damn you genetics! And yet thank you for all the good stuff."
And finally, she ended on a particularly personal note.
"Once upon a time... I remember reading an article that said I had gotten my happy ending after all," she posted in the caption of a red carpet photo of her and her then-husband Will Kopelman. "Looking at this picture, it sure looks that way.
However, in 2016, she and Kopelman divorced, and they transitioned from husband and wife to co-parents.
"Like many times in life for all of us, our plans change and our dreams are adjusted," she wrote. "But that doesn’t mean that every second wasn’t worth it."