Lissette Calveiro aspiring social media instagram star forced to come to terms with the reality of her image vs the reality of her being. Aspirational millennial.
In a sobering tale of trying to become a celestial social media star, comes the tale of Lissette Calveiro a 26 year former Miami woman who migrated to NYC in 2013 with the belief that if she tried hard enough and posted enough pictures all her dreams would come true. Except they didn’t.
In a report via the UK’s dailymail, Calveiro tells of leaving her hometown of Miami in 2013 to move to NYC where she aspired to live the ‘Sex and the City’ dream. Which might make sense (and even then…) if one is awash in money or has a clever plan to fund such idyllic lifestyle trappings. Never mind the fact that Calveiro was an unpaid intern when she arrived to NYC.
Determined to show that she too could also become a celestial darling, Calveiro began to document her uber lifestyle on Instagram with the hope that it would lead to a large fan base and all the possibilities that such social media following entails. Except unfortunately for Calveiro, trying to parlay the desirable Jetset lifestyle came at a heavy price- her eventually becoming dead broke. Welcome to NYC, Lisette.
Explained Calveiro who has 13,000 followers on Instgram, ‘I wanted to tell my story about this young millennial living in New York.’
And thus began the dizzy adventure of ever documenting the aspirational lifestyle, which involved being seen at the right restaurant brunches while dressed in this season’s designer items.
Offered Lisete, ‘I was shopping …for clothes to take ‘the perfect gram’’.
And then came the dizzy understanding, although her social media (aka make believe) lifestyle looked glamorous, she was struggling financially, given that her internship only paid for a transportation stipend.
Lissette Calveiro, ‘I was living beyond my dreams- but determined.’
Living off her savings, hustled and got a part-time retail job. Even after moving back to Miami in fall 2013 and landing a full-time publicist gig, Calveiro sank $10,000 into debt trying to live an Instagram-worthy life.
Told Lissette, ‘I was living above my means’.
But then again that’s part of the problem.
In the race to show off latest fashion trends, the latest exotic vacation, mere mortals can only sit on the sidelines and wonder if only they too could live the aspirational lifestyle.
According to Fashionista, you would need to spend about $31,400 a year to ‘to maintain the standards of physical beauty represented daily in our Instagram feeds’.
Calveiro can relate. While living with her parents in Miami, most of her salary went to dining out, shopping sprees and traveling — all to curate a covetable life online.
Conceded Calveiro, ‘I was living a lie’.
Adding, ‘Debt was looming over my head.’
One imagines Calveiro not the only one suffering for the sake of appearances.
But that didn’t stop Lissette. Calveiro would treat herself to monthly $200 shopping sprees so she wouldn’t be seen on Instagram wearing the same outfit twice. Every month, she’d also splurge on a designer item, such as a $1,000 vintage Louis Vuitton bag or an accessory from Kate Spade, so she could show it off to her followers.
Lissette Calveiro social media jet setter: ‘Do I need the internet to validate my existence?’
Then there was the desire to look like a jet-setter, traveling to a new location — such as Las Vegas, the Bahamas and Los Angeles — every month for a year.
‘Snapchat had these [geo-] filters [like digital passport stamps] and I wanted to collect at least 12,’ Calveiro said.
Her biggest splurge was a $700 round-trip ticket to Austin, Texas, for a Sia concert in November 2016.
Although she traveled some for work, Calveiro said, ‘If you break it down, a lot of the travel I was doing in 2016 was strictly for Instagram.’
She had a sobering reality check toward the end of 2016, when she landed a p.r. job in Manhattan.
Explained Lissette, ‘I knew that moving to New York, I had to get my act together or I wasn’t going to survive’.
Soon after Lissette put a clamp on expenditures, where she went into a ‘mini-isolation from the world,’ slowing down her Instagram activity.
Offered Calveiro, ‘A lot of it was recycled content’.
Upon retuning to NYC, the budding Instagram star moved in with a roommate to an Inwood apartment, where her rent was $700 a month. And she began cooking — giving herself a weekly grocery budget of $35 a week.
Fourteen months in, Calveiro was able to pay off her debt. After working with a financial coach, she now uses an app called Digit, which funnels money from her paycheck to a savings account after she’s paid her rent and living expenses (she keeps a cushion of $300 in checking).
Lissette Calveiro: readjusting reality to perception.
Coming to terms with reality has led to re contemplated ways to pull off an ultra glam existence. Instead of shopping sprees of yesteryear, Calveiro shells out $130 for a Rent the Runway monthly membership — so she can have a revolving door of new clothes for hire.
She moved to Soho in February, but shares a pad with two roommates; they each pay under $1,300 a month.
‘Nobody talks about [his or her] finances on Instagram,’ she said. ‘It worries me how much I see girls care about image.’
Reflects Calveiro, “I had a lot of opportunities to save,’
Adding, ‘I could’ve invested that money in something.’
While reiterating, ‘I find more meaning in what I’m doing. It goes back to me being more authentic. Whenever someone says they like my coat I say, ‘Oh, can you believe I got this coat at H&M for $50?’ ’
Isn’t it time you lived your life for an illusion and the aspirational image of others, as opposed to the reality of one’s own being ….?