An Action Sports Outdoorswoman And Social Media

I love Instagram. I love “doin’ it for the ‘gram”. I  love keeping in touch with IRL friends and new online friends, as well as seeing my favorite celebrities, athletes and brands.

I am by no means a crazy Instagram influencer.

I do love posting pictures and videos that align with my personal brand.

I use the similar filters to obtain a put-together look.

I like to stick to natural backgrounds because most of things I like to do are outdoor-oriented.

I have definitely formed relationships with smaller brands thanks to my Instagram reach. And it makes me happy.

I genuinely love creating myself a personal brand (holla at a marketing degree!).

@a.j.cutler on instagram

But the app’s culture and the male-centric action sports culture has definitely given me some push back on the type of outdoor photos I should post.

My highest liked  photos are usually a portrait of me with a stunning background. Or a shot of me in tight leggings and a crop top posing in front of mountains. This “Instagram aesthetic” that is all over the app.

But what about my action sports side? Posting videos of me shredding the dirt pow or a picture of me climbing high on a wall aren’t received as well as close-up shots of me candidly smiling.

So the part of me that wants to continue to grow my audience veers back to the “Instagram girl” nature pics due to the high engagement.

hot spring in jackson hole

And honestly I see nothing wrong with it. There are two sides of me.

Part of me is very feminine – and I hate using this verbiage because feminine isn’t confined to soft, dainty things. There’s so many more ways to embrace womanhood and femininity without just being confined into the society-set definition.

But I do love looking pretty. I like doing my hair and looking nice.

And quite frankly, having beautiful pictures taken of me helps boost my self confidence. Usually it’s a picture at the top of a bike ride. Or in the parking lot after skiing. Maybe a small solo photo shoot while camping.

These basic photos are still is reminiscent of the activities that I love to do, but it just doesn’t showcase the skill, which is the real reason why I love to do those activities.

Which comes to the other side of me. I seek the adrenaline and the accomplishments that come with skiing. Or climbing. Or mountain biking.

I want to progress in my sports.

I want to be better.

And sometimes that comes with failing and not looking pretty. Sometimes that means that I’m not showing a perfectly done up face with a wide smile and smizing eyes. It’s an action shot biking through a muddy puddle or barely staying afloat when skiing off a cliff.

biking in American Fork Canyon, Utah

While I am being pushed to grow my Instagram in the ways that society is telling me to, I am torn because I want to grow my audience as authentically as possible. I want my feed and stories to be an accurate representation of me as a person, and so I need to realize that I should not feel pressured to only post Insta-perfection.

So next time when striving for the most perfect photo and caption to post, remember that it’s okay to be authentically you. Whether it’s in a bikini lounging on the beach. Or in a bikini doing a silly cannonball off a cliff. Or covered head to toe in ski gear playing in a light snow storm. Or sending it off a kicker in a spread eagle or throwing an imperfect 360. Any combination of these are valid, and embrace everything that makes you you.

You don’t have to fit perfectly in one box. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in as many boxes as you want. And let your social media showcase you as a strong, beautiful, proud outdoorswoman.


Your nacforadventurer and also an outdoor gal striving for Instagram authenticity,





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