Would you ever post a photo depicting you at your darkest moment? Snap a selfie when you’re bawling your eyes out, having a panic attack, or feeling bogged down by stress and pressure? The answer is most likely ‘no’. Why would we want to disrupt our beautiful curation of all of the happy moments with something real and vulnerable?
As we navigate this social media driven age, it’s easy to feel that every moment should be documented and shared. We can get caught up in the image of ourselves that we’ve curated online and forget about the well rounded and much more complicated humans that we actually are. Unfortunately in doing this, we create a toxic cycle for ourselves and others. We feel pressure to share an unrealistically perfect image of ourselves and in response, our audience develops an unrealistic perception and expectation of us while also feeding their own anxiety to match our levels of ‘perfection.’ We’ve got 19 year old ‘Instagram models’ quitting social media on the brink of nervous breakdowns because of how brain washed they feel. I see more people staring through their camera lens than using their naked eye to take in the beauty around them. Not to mention, there’s a growing fear of vulnerability and of sharing our real stories and identities.
I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that this fake reality is going to change. Media as an industry is a giant beast and isn’t going to stop feeding us images of society’s standard for beauty and happiness. It’s up to us as individuals to look after our own minds and bodies and not get sucked into the negativity. Perhaps you incorporate these messages into your daily meditation or read an affirmation before bed each night. Either way, it’s important to distance yourself from what is altered and edited. Give yourself the opportunity to instead draw nearer to reality and images/messages of human wholeness. People who have good days, bad days, real bodies, flaws, emotions, and concern for something bigger than themselves.
Seek something real today. And be mindful of what’s manipulating you.
Wishing you beauty and worthiness!