When it comes to the internet, it’s a rather tricky topic to discuss as whole, given how much it’s advanced over the years and how big it really is. Like with many things in life, there are many pros and cons to weigh up about it. The reality is, no one really prepared us for such a revolution in regards to how we communicate with one another. We’re engaging, connecting and sharing almost constantly. It appears that we are more or less certain about what others are up to at any given time, regardless of whether we like them or not. This is due to our ever-improving “stalking” skills (when did the use of that word become so non-nonchalant?) causing us to be able to know where to look to find out what we actually really don’t need to know about someone.
But that raises the question, what is true and what is not? It’s almost impossible to tell – I’ve mentioned this before in a previous post; it only takes one picture of someone beaming the smile of all smiles for everyone to receive the impression that all is right in their world. The perfect lighting, the perfect filter, maybe a few other adjustments here and there, is the recipe for the ultimate ‘candid’ picture. That is of course if candid translates to a million outtake shots in your camera roll, a careful selection of the perfect shot, and the process of editing that follows before the upload…
Before I go any further, I have to get one thing straight – I am not bad mouthing the internet at all, and to be fair, I am more than familiar with the above rituals when it comes to updating my Instagram feed. I have gained so much from the internet, and the fact that we have so much available at our finger tips whenever we desire is mesmerising to me. But I have come to find lately that I am comparing myself to others more than ever before, due to their flawless exteriors and pretty visuals. It makes me feel as if I should be looking flawless 24/7, and if I fail to, I’m a failure of some sort. I even know in the back of my head that this is wrong and definitely not the case, so the million dollar question is – why am I so fixated on it?
This, my friends, is the biggest con of all when it comes to being present online.
We are constantly being told what should be perceived as beautiful. When I was growing up, I had a face full of freckles that I was often picked on for, therefore my vulnerable, young brain was given the impression that freckles resemble ugliness, and at age eight or nine I was longing for my mother to buy me some foundation so I could try to cover them up, and maybe they’d fade over time.
Yet, they’re now a major trend in the make up world, with faux freckles appearing from left right and centre. But of course, these are perfectly applied and aligned, and, obviously, faux. They can be removed at the end of the day – something my eight-year-old self had longed for. So it’s confusing to some that insecurities can be turned into a trend and therefore deemed beautiful.
I know that they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I strongly live by this phrase (or at least try to), but it’s incredibly debilitating and exhausting trying to keep up with what is “in” regarding beauty. Moles, freckles, gap teeth, thick eyebrows… What once was seen as unattractive is now desirable. And that’s all good and well, don’t get me wrong – everyone, and I mean everyone, should feel beautiful in the skin they’re in, but what happens when the next trend comes around?
I think it’s important to shut yourself off from social media for a while. I absolutely adore expressing myself through fashion and visuals – it’s a creative outlet and my favourite hobby ever. But it comes with it’s downfalls, and that’s an understatement. As someone who feels as if they were born with low self esteem, it can be dangerous, which is why when you find yourself pining to look like someone’s cropped, edited selfie, that’s when you need to lock your phone and disconnect for a little while. Go for a walk, read a book, phone a friend… The internet is a wide and wonderful place and there’s no shame in using it, but it shouldn’t make us feel like absolute crap.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little ramble. I don’t want to seem like a massive whiner, but I’m sure I’m not the only one in this boat. We’re all beautiful in our own individual ways – if you want to take a selfie and edit the hell out of it, that’s fine! But just because you don’t look like that all of the time, doesn’t matter in the slightest. No, you’re not a ‘catfish’. You’re human.
Until next time,
Thanks for Reading | Lucy Violet x