It’s been a little while since I wrote a blog post discussing my views on social media- a topic that you all know I love to analyse. Over the past week, there have been several conversations raised amongst my friends and colleagues around Instagrammers editing their pictures and it got me thinking…
Why Self Love Isn’t Selfish
I’ve recently been thinking a lot about self love and sadly, feel that this term isn’t used as much as it should be. When was the last time you heard somebody say, ‘She/he has a lot of self-love’? Instead you’re more likely to have heard, ‘Oh doesn’t she/he just love her/himself.’ Right? Self love is quite often viewed as something negative. However, there’s a difference between loving ones self and arrogance. This post is not about the latter.
For me, self love is the building block for leading a happy life. It’s at the core of everything that we do, from our thoughts, to our actions and even down to the people that we choose to spend our time with.
Let’s Talk Body Positivity
I haven’t written anything personal in a while yet I think it’s about time that I do so, especially seeing as I’ve got a certain issue on my mind; body positivity.
Social media is great. It helps us connect with people that we may never have had a chance to encounter otherwise. It builds friendships, has helped many to find love, provides hours of fun and can be a great motivational tool (if you’re following the right feeds). On the other hand, there are a few issues generated from social networks that are pretty unhealthy to say the least. It can cause feuds, end relationships, feed our shopping obsessions, leaving your bank balance feeling pretty sorry for itself, and can turn even the most sane of us into obsessive stalkers. It’s OK, we’ve all been there.
The thing is, actions that would be frowned upon in real life become acceptable in our online world. We can see everything and if we can’t, we’ll find a way to do so. Crazy, I know.
‘What does this have anything to do with body positivity?’ I hear you say. Well, let me explain. Everything that we see and become obsessed with online, sparks how we feel in person. When we feel inadequate on social media, we also feel it in real life. Yes, it can bring the highs, but it can bring us crashing down just as quickly.
World renowned author, Paulo Coelho, writes that, ‘Two things prevent us from happiness; living in the past and observing others.’ Let’s focus on the latter. Yes, we are able to observe people in person, yet a deeper insight into lives from across the world is so easily accessible via social media that we can’t help but to look at it. With observation comes analysis and the dangerous act of comparison.
‘OMG, that bikini is amazing.’ *Clicks onto bikini page* ‘Ohhh that girl looks great in it…’ *Clicks onto girl’s feed* ‘Look how stunning she is!’ *Studies a few images* ‘How does she get her waist to be so tiny?!’ *10 images later* ‘Why aren’t my boobs that big… No, her butt cannot be real! Seriously, look how toned her legs are. If only I looked like this…’ *Now studying every single one of her friends* ‘All of these girls are gorgeous. I’m so ugly, hate my belly, wish my bum was bigger, oh and I’m getting a boob job.’ *Scrolled way back to 2015 on several Instagram accounts, now knows bikini girls life story and has eaten three packets of crisps while acquiring all of this really useful information*. You get the idea.
The thing is, it’s so easy for us to doubt our own image (amongst other things but let’s stick to image for the sake of this post) that we suddenly have insecurities that we weren’t quite so concerned about before and do you know what the worst part is? Social media isn’t real. The forced poses, 100’s of snaps before we get the right shot, filters and if we’re taking it to another level, bought followers and editing apps. You wouldn’t believe how many girls edit their pictures to make their boobs and bums bigger and waists smaller and it looks so believable. All of this for the gram, perhaps to hide their own insecurities and to portray a life that’s a little bit shinier than it actually is- making anybody admiring it feel a little less sparkly.
So I ask one thing. Carry on with social media and spend your time on their as you please, but do remember to take everything with a pinch of salt and most of all, don’t forget to focus on your own body more than anybody else’s. The most powerful thing- even more powerful than social media- is your own sense of self worth. Feeling more confident in our skin can have a number of benefits on our attitude, drive and success. Embrace your body with all of it’s beauty and flaws. Love it, rock it, live in it and try tell me that doesn’t feel great.
If There’s One Thing That You Do Today, Make Sure That It’s This.
I was reading an article last night that stated, ‘one in 40,000 people naturally have a model’s body type.‘ If you know me or have been following my blog for any length of time, then you will know that I feel very strongly about the impact that social media has on society and in particular, on self-esteem.
Social media (and media in general) has become a way to fill our minds with ‘what we want to be’, making us feel that little less happy with ourselves as we are, in the hope that we will buy into something else to make ourselves feel better. Whether the purchase is a product or lifestyle, it seems that we are always comparing and aspiring to be something that we’re not. This has to stop.
A Christmas Consideration
‘Tis the season to be jolly, yet it’s not so simple for everybody. I haven’t written a conscientious piece in while, but I think it’s about time that I do.
Whilst we’re gathering with friends, knocking back Prosecco and blasting out Christmas songs, it might not be quite so merry and bright for others- whether they show it or not. Yes, it’s Christmas and yes, it’s supposed to be a time of happiness, love and joy, yet it’s not invincible. Amongst the celebrations, we can still suffer from grievance, heartbreak, loneliness, depression and the list goes on.
I saw an ad on the tube last week. It showed an old lady alone at Christmas with absolutely nobody around. Unable to make a festive call to a loved one, never mind somebody to pull a cracker with across the dinner table. An advert yes, but a very real one at that. It made me think. For some, Christmas is the most difficult time of the year no matter what their struggle. Of course, why wouldn’t it be? It’s a time that we’re supposed to be happy, we have to buy presents and if you don’t join in on the fun you’re an absolute scrooge.
Now I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, as it could get rather depressing and I really don’t want to inflict that on you first thing on a Monday. My point is that everybody has their own issues to deal with and they don’t just disappear because it’s Christmas. So don’t forget to smile and be kind. Do something good for somebody else if you can. You never know, it could make all the difference.
For those of you that are going through a tough time, I guess what I really just wanted to say is, keep you’re head up. What may not seem like ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ can be (or can be made better) if you come at it with the right attitude. Let heavy hearts rest, don’t be too hard on yourself and do something good for yourself and for somebody else. Plan how you can step away from your troubles and take action. As a friend of mine once told me, ‘all bad things come to an end,’ and it’s true- it’s just how you choose to get there that makes the difference.
Sending love to you all this Christmas time. xx