We all do it.
You are bored on a Wednesday night, scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, completing your nightly snoop. You observe the amazing Instagram-famous models; with 10 or more ass shots, pictures on the beach, and captions discussing what makes the perfect body. We see other women who are our peers doing just the same.
Not only do we observe, we participate.
We spend hours getting ready on a Friday night, taking a perfectly posed picture in our best outfit to garner the most Insta likes possible. We care if that guy at the bar thinks we look “hot”. I am guilty of this, along with so many other women. It has become a socialized method of madness to express ourselves through our outfit, our looks, and our beauty.
To me, it seems that every other girl I see has perfected their beauty regimen and delivers more Instagram worthy smiles than I do. However, these thoughts are probably coming from my own insecurities. I imagine that most other women probably feel the same way I do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like there is always one thing or another I wish I could be doing better.
“No, I shouldn’t have eaten that cookie today at lunch and yes, I SHOULD have run on Tuesday night even though I was just feeling like I needed my bed. Damn lazy me.”
Yet, when I reflect on who I am instead of how I look, I feel quite different.
I am proud of the experiences I have sought out for myself. I feel accomplished in my self-development and motivated to continue my current endeavors. I have dynamic interests and an ability to share them with others, creating lasting friendships.
I feel like I have something to offer the world.
Isn’t it interesting that when I look within myself, I believe in myself a lot more, rather than when I look in the mirror at the exterior.
I look at photos of my mom and her friends in their 20s and all they were worried about was who was buying the next beer. They were dressed in higher-than-high Levi mom-jeans circa 1982 and various turtlenecks, knit sweaters, or coloured tees. They were as covered as the bouncer examining your ID on a December evening while it’s pelting down snow, and you’re in your small top and tight jeans allowing just about every snowflake to individually seep into your skin like the frosty little b*tches that they are.
This is why I ask: when did this trend drastically change? When did it become the norm to focus on looking so “hot” that the tops got smaller and smaller, eventually leading to the selection of small bra-like “crops” that I pick up while shopping wondering “how the hell do I even wear this?”
Sometimes, I wish we all went to the bar in jeans and our favourite knit sweaters. I wish guys would ask me questions about who I am, where I’ve been and where I plan to go.
It makes me wonder where it began and where it will end. Do boys take less time to get to know us because we are asking them to only look at our bodies? Has social media and the images along with it changed expectations for what our value is as women?
It’s not the next perfect Instagram photo you put up that makes you an interesting individual, and it’s not the dress you wear on Friday night that is going to land you the man of your dreams. Who you ARE is going to do that.
So why do we spend so much time focusing on the exterior?
Although I know we are very far off from ever-changing this norm, or these societal habits, I imagine if we all shift our thoughts a little more towards impressing others with our minds, instead of with our thighs, we could see a change in the attitudes of the people we meet. I want to be considered an amazing, kind girl, not an amazing, looking girl.
I want to spend a little more time thinking, who would I impress if the world was blind?