Everyone knows that the first thing you look at, touch, or acknowledge in the morning is your phone. That little, expensive piece of metal and plastic is quite possibly your most valued possession.
You awake, all crusty eyed and morning breathed, and snooze your third alarm clock. After that, the scrolling begins. You get your news from Twitter, sift through your texts from mom, and then move onto the real deal – Instagram.
As you move down the feed you see Jessica’s boyfriend surprised her with Louboutins for her birthday. “Wonder what my boyfriend will do for my birthday?” you think to yourself. Next, you run into your favourite fashion blogger’s post. “Wow, she’s so skinny. And how is her skin so flawless? Should I try coconut oil?” Another post features a girl you went to high school with and she’s in a bikini promoting some teeth whitener – everyone comments about how beautiful she is – her hair, ass, abs, she looks perfect, almost too perfect.
It’s not even 8 a.m. and you feel like the scum on the floor of that shitty movie theater back in your hometown.
You haven’t even had a chance to check out your reflection in the mirror before social media kicked you down.
Your worth was determined the moment you compared the people on your feed to yourself and decided you were “less than”.
If it’s hard for me to feel good about myself, how are pubescent girls suffering through puberty dealing with this? It seems like we’re living in a ‘post it’ era where if you didn’t post a picture on Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat, it didn’t happen. And so the good times and the bad times get published for the world to see. We’re all under scrutiny from each other.
We polish our captions, our hashtags, our emojis, the filters we layer, and the changes we make.
However, what’s funny is how everyone is going through this same process of curating yet when we run into some Insta-famous model on our feed, we think they were gifted with “natural” beauty? Don’t get me wrong, natural beauty is possible but beauty is also subjective. Why are we being so hard on ourselves? The next time you’re about to post a pic on Instagram, focus on the dialogue you’re having with yourself. You’ll notice it’s pretty close to verbal abuse.
I can’t tell you to discount the aesthetics that surround us all. It can be difficult to reprogram ourselves at this point but we have to work on shaking its importance. We have to accept that perfection isn’t a template someone can replicate. Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
We’ve become masters of filtering what the social world sees, but we often forget that our favourite Instagrams have been put through the same multi-step editing process before they hit that “share” button.
When you wake up tomorrow morning, I hope you remember to have more of a “f*ck you” attitude towards Instagram and the social sphere as a whole.
Be confident in yourself and own your real reflection, not the one on your phone screen.