Social Media is a Trap.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

*warning, this is a very long, ranty post that originally started out as a thank you note to someone for bringing attention to this subject but transformed into a jumbled mess of angry words and honest feelings that i figured i'd share. i need to go to sleep*

Social media is a trap.
On the outside it looks glorious with its shiny features that can connect you with thousands of users globally, but beneath it all there’s a haunting truth that is slowly tarnishing the adolescences of so many young people within this generation of technology.

A report has been circling today (or yesterday, now): “The Good Childhood Report 2016”
It states that 1 in 7 young females are unhappy with their lives. 1 in 3 of them are unhappy with their appearance. This number has dramatically increased over the years and I’m certain that social media plays a huge role in this devastating outcome.
Why do I think this? Because it almost ruined my fucking teenage years.
From the age of thirteen, I grew more active online. The days of sending nudges over MSN was slowly dwindling whilst Facebook was growing larger and larger by the second. Tumblr grew popular, Twitter was making the rounds, and Instagram was just around the corner to expose the celebrity lifestyle and give us “average” people a glimpse into the unattainable.
Nowadays, it’s the likes of the Kardashians posting their arses everywhere and clothing brands posting gross comments on how dieting is cute (not mentioning any names lol jk Urban Outfitters). It’s all about money and fashion; who’s wearing the latest designer gear and who’s got the most expensive make-up? You’ve got Kylie Jenner transforming from a timid little girl into this sexualised being with plastic surgery and raunchy outfits. She’s only just turned 19, for Christ’s sake. She’s just reached the end of her adolescence yet she’s splashing cash on “fixing” parts of her body that aren’t broken. Whilst she’s able to afford this shit, now you’ve got thousands of teenage girls in a similar age bracket that see how she went from thin-lipped to a pout princess and now she’s getting all of the attention. Does that mean our teenage girls of today must have plump lips, big breasts and a perfectly chiselled out face to draw any attention to themselves? It’s fucking upsetting, but even more so that it’s growing increasingly worse as the years continue.
Really, we should all be ignoring those celebrity photographs. The ones where they’re posing in front of a private jet or holding onto the arm of a bloke with more abs than brain cells (probs harsh, not sorry). However, it’s easy to forget that for the most part it’s fabricated. A photograph doesn’t capture the entire image, just a small section of it. We’re never going to see what they really see, and it’s all just fucking pretend anyway. But try telling that to an impressionable young teenager who idolises these mannequins.
I spent 8 years comparing myself to this idea of the “perfect” woman; she was skinny and tanned, her tits were perky and her hair was long, thick and wavy. That was what I wanted to look like, anyway. “Maybe then boys would like me.” Honestly, I really thought that to myself and now I just find it laughable that I would ever change any part of my appearance to make a bloke take interest. But anyway, reverting back to my story. This “perfect” non-existent framework I created slowly grew into an obsession. I was too overweight, I was too ugly. What could I do to change this? And I did a terrible thing at a terribly young age: I begun to starve myself. I was fourteen years old and I was fixated on calorie counting and avoiding meals. I wouldn’t eat in front of others and I’d make up excuses to my parents or leave the house to go out with my friends just so I wouldn’t have to pull up a chair at the dining table. Within a couple of months, I lost an unhealthy amount of weight but the saddest part was that I didn’t even notice. I still saw the same girl looking back at me. And when you think that you’ve tried so hard to not achieve any results, your inner demons begin to destroy you bit by bit. That was the start of this cruel cycle of self-loathing that only very recently have I begun to come out of – but even now, to this day I still have little eating habits that developed from that time of my life.
This unhealthy amount of pressure on women by social media just needs to stop. We automatically compare ourselves to others - whether it’s in a positive or a negative light - and when you’re constantly exposed to the lifestyles of the rich and the famous (thanks, Good Charlotte) on Twitter or Instagram, especially for impressionable adolescents it’s so easy to get sucked into a world that just isn’t your own. I suppose that’s an innate feature of a human, though. But there should be more outlets to remind our teenagers of reality. The world where the amount of followers you have means nothing at all. Why are we ignoring the kind comments of our closest friends and our loving families, is it because we’re scraping for “likes” on a selfie? It’s destroying the only true relationships that matter.
It’s about time we remind our girls that the UK’s average dress size is around the 14-16 mark. Let’s stop calling models of our national average ‘plus-size’ and instead focus on promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle, regardless of the number sewn into a piece of clothing. We need to be telling our girls that they are beautiful; their imperfections are what make them so special and that there is no fucking framework of this perfect girl and to never let a boy determine how you portray and perceive yourself. Wear what you like. Eat what you want. And please, stick your fucking middle finger up to anybody that tells you otherwise.
I have never once felt beautiful and I blame it on social media. It’s something I’m working on though, and this is where this post - as probably confusing and incoherent as it may be - relates back to the reason why I decided to begin this blog in the first place. I’m far from Kylie Jenner and I know that. I’m also never going to be posting £100’s worth of makeup in a single photo and boasting about all the products that the average girl will never be able to afford. I’m sick and tired of these blogs that try to reach out to the average person, yet they’re constantly flaunting their expensive gear. Like, just fucking do one. As for me? I’m literally just a poor student that enjoys trying to make herself feel good, and that’s all I really want from this all, to make someone else feel good too. I’ll be pretty damn pleased with myself for that.
But anyway. It’s almost half midnight and I feel like I’m no longer making sense. It’s like a mix of anger and passion has just poured itself out of me and they’re merging into a hot mess; that sounds like a pretty decent sign to shut up.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll make more sense of this.

But, until then,

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