If you’re a typical individual living in our society in 2019, you probably use Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. You might even have all three. The fact is that it’s more common to have social media than not. It’s just how the world rolls nowadays.
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with social media, but I’ve also known the world without it. It is a crazy thing to go from relying on girly magazines to finding out about the latest trends in fashion and gossip instantly with a couple clicks. So, when I say “I’m lucky enough…” what I mean is, I see the advantages of social media and how it can help us. Nevertheless, I also see the downfalls. Here are the three things social media has taught me about beauty:
1. Everyone’s beautiful and perfect.
I open Instagram and I scroll through hundreds of photos that reveal socially perfect bodies, amazing make-up, creative people and an array of endless perfection. I love looking at these photos, feel inspired and motivated to reach my own goals.
The problem is… this inspiration can easily turn into an unattainable goal.
When I first got into social media, I didn’t pay particular attention to any of these trends or people. I don’t know when this changed, but I feel like I woke up one day and I suddenly started caring. I needed to own the latest trends in make-up, I needed to shop at those brands, I needed those appliances. I just needed them. But why? Why did I let social media get under my skin so easily?
2. This reality is unreachable because it’s fake.
I’d pushed myself into a world where you need to be at the top of your game 24/7. Your photos have to be perfect, your body tight and toned, and you have to be happy and grateful all the time. And if you’re not, your time’s up. But some do it extremely well. What I found out recently, though, is that it’s all fake.
No one can be happy all the time. No one is perfect. What you see are only photos. Photos that are altered with filters and Photoshop. And photos do not, ever, depict reality. If you think about it, a photo is a second of your life. Or a second of a day. You can feel absolutely terrible and smile for a second for that one perfect photo. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Fortunately, social media has also taught me that there are wonderful people out there who really strive to show their reality. I’ll scroll through their profiles, and I’ll see them going to a magical ball and at home in their pajamas or putting on a facial mask. I see them and their ups and downs, the beauty and the beast.
3. We have to focus on ourselves.
At the end of the day, we only have our own life. I have dreams and hopes for the future and I still love looking at Insta-perfect photos. But what I don’t do anymore is let them infiltrate my daily life. They’re just photos, and even though I like taking care of myself, my body and my mind I don’t let these seemingly perfect lives affect how I feel about myself. I try to focus on feeling good and happy, whether that involves a $800 kettle or a free walk in the park. I’ve learned to separate social media and beauty from my day-to-day life.
What has social media taught you about beauty? Are you also struggling to find a balance between what you see and what you believe in? Do you think things will change in the near future and we’ll embrace all kinds of beauty? I surely hope so. The world is a much better place when it accepts and embraces all sizes, colors and shapes.
Social media has taught me that I need to create my own definition of beauty.