Retweet! Like! Share! Subscribe! We hear this all day everyday while we consume social media. These are the measurements used for our life in the 21st Century. We are living in the age where we let our social media profiles define who we are, who we decide we can be, and how we feel about ourselves. We may have fallen trap to this ‘filter’ generation and found ourselves continuously comparing our lives to the curated ones online. Constantly asking ‘am I doing something wrong?’, ‘am I good enough?’ or ‘am I beautiful enough?’ are the results of this comparison. Social media has become a contest, where the more followers and likes you have equal the more beautiful or exciting a person is. This is far from the truth.
Unrealistic beauty standards have always existed in the media, and now, with the prevalence of social media it has entered our lives in a way that many of us cannot deny. Social media would have you believing the ideal beauty looks one specific way ignoring the diversity of beauty that exists within the human race.
You are more than your online profile: The majority of people online don’t even look like their online persona; many are fulfilling the unrealistic and sometimes unattainable standards that exist currently. This is why Photoshop and photo editing software apps are very popular, allowing the poster to manipulate their body in any way they wish to fit this standard. Many only ever post that one selfie that came out just right—after taking 500 pictures overall— and is manipulated by numerous filters. Kylie Jenner herself has admitted to this, even as she has been viewed as an effortless beauty by many. You do not need to compete with that because being you is not a competition. There is no need to change who you are to get more likes; true engagement occurs when you show the real you. You are more than your online profile and your beauty stands out because it is unique.
Likes do not define you, You are enough: Your face, body, skin and hair are unique to you and as cliché as it may sound, you need to love the skin that you are in, because it is the only one you get. Why spend your life bemoaning how you don’t like one aspect of your physique, when you can spend the time finding all the things that make you beautiful? Show this off, find the love from within, without looking for external validation which often comes at a negative cost to mental health.
Live your life offline: Why let current online trends dictate whether you can wear those skinny jeans this season? If those jeans make you feel beautiful; wear them honey! Do what makes you happy and makes you feel the most you! Ditch the ridiculous expectations and live your life offline.
So next time you start comparing yourself to an online persona, make a conscious effort to value yourself; value the very part of you that you are comparing. Make a conscious effort to love yourself, and if all else fails remove yourself from the platform that gives you great anxiety. Beauty is only skin deep, and it cannot be defined.