Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Why Isn't My Life Like That?


I'm a worrier. Mainly I worry that I'm doing something wrong in my life, that I should have achieved "milestones" by now. In particular this is affected by the image of teenagers in the media. For example, I worry that because I have no interest in going out and getting drunk (like a "normal" 15 year old), I am going to miss out (the dreaded FOMO!). It also happens on the blogging side of things, which I'm sure a lot of you guys have felt, when you see someone who's achieving more than you in a shorter time period. I just find myself asking "Why am I not like that? Am I doing something wrong?" This sort of thing is one of my personal worries, but this is one particular worry that I can see spiralling out of control very soon. 

In our modern world, perfection is everywhere. It's on billboards, on Instagram feeds and on magazine covers. We are spoon fed pictures of beautiful models with spotless, smooth skin, not a lump or bump in sight, with every feature perfectly in proportion. When we spend as much time reading magazines and scrolling down Instagram as we do, sometimes we forget that this is not a realistic portrait of life. We are only shown the parts that are the most aesthetically pleasing, the cream of the crop. So realistically the average person is going to struggle to recreate such perfection without a makeup artist, a professional camera and lighting and a lot of cash!

However it doesn't always appear to be unrealistic, Instagram ensures that the perfection and highlights of each person's day is published and documented, excluding the parts where they lose their keys, mess up at work or cut themselves a large slice of cheesecake instead of the miniscule portion they photographed. So to onlookers, their lives are perfect! You see their sunny, smiling selfie, with 5 or 6 "close friends" behind them and wonder why you don't have as many best friends as them. For some, this is poisonous. It can cause someone to feel deeply unhappy about their life and body, imagine if all you saw were these pictures of these people's lives and you started to believe that this is the way everyone else's life is. It would make yours seem inadequate and pretty rubbish in comparison, which nobody should be made to feel.

Personally I've experienced this feeling of inadequacy quite a few times, with the girls in my year or the high profile bloggers on my Instagram feed. Sometimes I've felt like I'm failing at being a teenager, because I see girls with "everything". Good looks, athletic talent, boys hanging off their every word, popularity. School means that you are constantly exposed to these comparisons and feelings of being inadequate, but that sort of heirarchy is bound to arise in such a small society of teenagers.

 I find comfort in acknowledging the things that I know I am good at and make me different such as my blogging and my love of theatre. This helps me with my self confidence, it helps to remind yourself that we are all equal in our worth. What really makes me sad is when those girls who appear superior, actually believe that they are better than others and proceed to treat them with less respect and say horrible things. 

Sometimes we need to step back, tell ourselves that this isn't what people's lives are like all the time! Everyone has their fair share of good and bad in their lives, they just choose to showcase the good!

However some go further and begin to call people "fake" just because they choose to show the rose tinted version of their lives. We'd all rather put our best face forward, but it doesn't mean that your filtered photo isn't realistic, it certainly doesn't mean that you are promoting an unrealistic view of life.

Say you need a new profile picture, if you are anything like me you will take dozens of selfies before you take one that you feel comfortable posting. It doesn't mean that the best one is fake, and the discarded ones are more authentic, it's all you and you can choose what you show to the world. If you are a lifestyle blogger and blog about your personal life, it is your choice what you write about.

Whether you post about the things in your life that make you happy and don't feel comfortable posting about your breakup or feel comfortable with most things, it is your choice and don't let anyone tell you differently!

I was inspired partly by the #lbloggers twitter chat on Sunday hosted by the lovely Sorcha of Bright Field Notes. The topic was Authenticity vs Affectation and started some pretty interesting debates. Here's a few of my favourite answers as well as some of my own!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

1 comment:

  1. Realistically - nobody shows the whole of their lives online. I like to think I share the worst parts on my blog - but I share the best parts too. It's human nature to want to hide failures and promote success, it's not fake - you're parts of the internet are for you and you alone, and you should only share on them what you feel is appropriate for you personally. It can be frustrating to think that your life should be some other way because everybody else's seemingly is, but it really isn't that easy at all.

    Sammy xo.


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