You see a photo of her, and her, and her, and in your mind, you begin to question all the people who told you that your hair is beautiful and that your eyes sparkle when you smile. Because when you see those other girls, you can’t help but think to yourself, ‘they’re beautiful, and I just don’t look anything like them.’
So, slowly you refrain from posting that photo of yourself, and you begin to edit every aspect of your life with filters and photoshop. You begin to compete and compare. You try so hard to hide your flaws, that you slowly stop accepting your flaws, and you begin to feel bitter that you have any in the first place.
This is a problem I have witnessed in so many people. People who are afraid of being imperfect. People who are afraid of being judged. People who are afraid of being human.
Personally, I think that social media has a huge part to play in the insecurities that we feel. I, alongside many others, have felt the pressures to look a specific way because of what has, quite literally, been forced infront of my eyes. Many would respond to this and say, ‘if you don’t want to see what she posts, unfollow her’ — but as many of you know, the latest news coverage isn’t about potential solutions for climate change, but instead about Kim Kardashian’s latest nude Instagram photo.
It’s hard to get away, and sometimes this’ll lead to those days when you scroll through social media, and you subconsciously find yourself wishing you had the things that you don’t. I’ll ask you honestly, did you post your latest photo because you really wanted to, or did you post it because you thought that’s what everybody else would want to see? Do you feel worse if it doesn’t get enough likes? Do you ever post in retaliation for the envy you feel? And now here’s an important one: do you seek validation from others? I can’t hear your answers, but you can, and you’re the only one who needs to anyway.
So, how do we stop ourselves from being affected by the social standards which we’re constantly surrounded by? Well, it’s simple: don’t let the fear of being different, stop you from being you. But that’s easier said than done. Like anything in life, self love and acceptance comes with practise. I guess you could say, one post at a time. And posting photos for yourself, is a good place to start.
Don’t get caught up in the superficial side of social media, don’t believe that your worth can be calculated in likes or follows. Spend your time valuing yourself and empowering the people around you. Share what makes you happy, show the world that you accept your flaws and that you’re proud of your journey. Interact with others who do the same.
I’d much rather be a part of a platform where the contribution made is full of appreciation and kindness, rather than jealousy and judgement. Create your own space, your own little world — be the energy that you want to attract.