Reality is getting blurry. Take a look at your news feed. First, you’ve got to sort the objective news from the fake news from the kind-of-true-but-distilled-through-a-definite-point-of-view news. And then there are the images from celebs and friends and acquaintances: Sure, some show the messy edges of life, but many – especially the ones from those in the public eye – are filtered and curated and represent a very controlled sliver of what is really going on in a person’s life.

Important note: Reality is most definitely blurred in the picture above. A group of magicians did my hair and makeup. One of Canada’s best photographers set the lighting to “youth, please” before I stepped on-set. I was even coached to perch on the edge of the stool rather than sit fully on it. Because perch + extra-long flared trousers = coveted giraffe legs. I’m owning my truth, which is that I always prefer a gently massaged reality if an image is being created that will live in the public sphere. However, I think it’s very (very) important to recognize that it is just that: an image. It can be thrilling – liberating, even – to project and craft a bigger, better-lit you. But it can be exhausting to live up to – or a trap that’s hard to escape.

Juggling the desire to present your best (filtered) self while still being who you really are is a challenge we explore in our Summer 2017 issue. How much of our style is influenced by what we see in compelling social-media posts (“Is Instagram Stealing our Style?“)? In “Is It Unfeminist To Wear White At Your Wedding?” one writer questions her feminist identity after choosing a white wedding dress. Coco Chanel, an enduring icon, was a master at treading the hazy line between reality and invention; she built her career on reimagining a woman’s idea of herself. “A Perfume Born Out Of The Spirit Of Liberation” is an exclusive look at a new perfume from the French house that pays homage to Gabrielle – the woman she was before she transformed into Coco. Finally, in “The Must Luxurious Travel Destinations In Canada” we share some of Canada’s best holiday spots for dreaming, getting fit or self-reflecting.

Speaking of holidays, I spend my precious summer vacation time at my husband’s family cottage, where I am most definitely playing a role: that of a woman who’s comfortable in nature. My stability hangs by a thread every time a cricket chirps, but I’ve learned that faking it can sometimes be beneficial. I’ve come to love lounging (not perching) in a Muskoka chair in my “cottage pants,” a trashy novel and a bag of ketchup chips nearby and a frozen-mix drink in my hand. I’ve even got the photos to prove it.



Vanessa Craft


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This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.