This is not to bash social media and all of the great things that it is capable of. I myself have used the power of social media to get through a few doors and to connect with so many amazing people. But, just hear me out for one second.
It’s not hard to tell what my interests are if you scroll through my social media. As a freelance beauty and lifestyle writer, my timelines/feeds have naturally reflected what pretty much is my life, or rather what I talk about for a living. I follow tons of beauty gurus, makeup artists/enthusiasts, and brands to draw inspiration from when I’m having creative block and to stay in the know of all things beauty.
Social media has transformed the world, creating opportunities in ways generations before ours could have never imagined. We hear stories every day of how people’s lives, brands, and careers have grown astronomically because of social media presence. On the same note, social media has presented us with one particularly difficult and slightly uncomfortable problem–the pressure to measure up to the “beauty standards” that we see presented online.
There was a point in my life where I spent hours of my day scrolling through my timelines for foolishness. I became envious of all the people whose lives and looks I wished to emulate. My envy went from me just think these thoughts to subconsciously changing who I was. I convinced myself to purchase $400 weave that I hated and acrylic nails not practical for someone who types for a living.
At one point, I even had issues not wearing a full face of makeup every day. The pretty filter on SnapChat soon after became a norm. Yes, I am a beauty blogger but the everyday glam was a bit much. I’ve suffered through nights of gut-busting Spanx and heels that brought me damn near to the high heavens, all in the name of “beauty”–an unrealistic standard of beauty that quite honestly I was becoming overwhelming tired of trying to live up to.
With Kardashian-sque faces, slim waists and astronomically big behinds, it’s not hard to feel unattractive, or dare I say it, envious of all the practically unattainable beauty standards that lie within our newsfeeds. I wish my nose was a bit thinner, my teeth a bit straighter and my hair long and flowing down my back to match up to, or at least to be in the running with, the beautiful girls online who get paid to be pretty and popular. That isn’t my reality; hell, it barely is theirs.
Perception is NOT reality.
Social Media gives people the power to let you see them only how they allow you to see them. If you remove the 20+ filters and edits you will see that they actually didn’t wake up like this. Do you think people would choose the ugliest photos in their camera roll to share with the world? Not a chance.
Everyone, no matter how “perfect” they may look, is insecure about something.
Even the most drool worthy person on Instagram has something that they wish they could change. It’s just a part of human nature. We always tend to want something that we don’t have.
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There’s no need for you to compare yourself to others; being unique is a beautiful thing.
If everyone dressed alike, looked alike and acted alike, how boring would the world be? You probably wouldn’t even have friends with whom you share common interests with because everyone would be the same. You might as well stay at home away from boring human contact.
If you’re overwhelmed by the unrealistic standards of beauty that social media creates, you can always unplug.
Trust me, I’ve been there. If you find yourself feeling down because of the filtered lives of others, it’s definitely time for you take a step back and focus on you. Don’t choose to allow these expectations to be thrown on you.
The same way people can shape your perception of them online, you can shape the messages you recieve.
Social media, or any media for that matter, can only have power or influence over you if you allow it to. It, by all means, is okay to draw inspiration from things you see online. When it leads to negatively shaping your perception of yourself, it’s time to take a step back; filter out all the negative thoughts that stem from filtered reality online.
I am beautiful, whether it’s by anyone else’s ridiculous standards or not.