In all honesty... How stupid and insanely twisted is this social media "reality" (illusion) taking place? Started going through the accounts I'm following on Instagram today and it hit me what kind of sick industry I'm contributing to. Not only a few, but dozens, of accounts with absolutely no substance, adding nothing of value to my life, that I was following for no particular reason. Other than having more pictures to scroll through when I get bored. Gorgeous girls with gorgeous bodies posing unnaturally, looking absolutely flawless in pretty clothes or bikinis, receiving thousands of likes for posting pictures promoting their appearances. We never stop to reflect over the fact that this has become completely acceptable; making a living out of social media by exposing your body and receiving likes and gaining followers who claim your life, your body and your whole existence to be "#goals". We don't stop to reflect over the fact that most of these accounts, most of these pictures have no actual substance, and contribute only to creating twisted body-images, delusional concepts of reality and well, making it possible for hot people to create illusions on social media and making a heck load of money out of it. Instagram (and other social media, Instagram especially) is a big fucking lie and we all know it.
Many of you have probably read about "social-media-exploiter-former-instagram-icon" Essena O'Neill, many of you haven't and that's completely fine - she's just another girl expressing what many others have thought but never had the fame or power of physical appearance to be able (or willing?) to cause such a big fuss about as she has. Don't get me wrong, I think it's amazing that she's leaving this sick industry behind and actually living life - without the mindset of figuring out ways to make every moment of the day picture-perfect and instagram-worthy. Isn't it crazy that people nowadays go do stuff with other people, or alone, for the sole purpose of creating pictures worthy of contributing to their social media-image and the illusion of their effortless lives as beautiful, skinny (with curves in the right places that is), trouble-less and popular people. And don't lie to yourself; these pictures are not "inspiration", "art" or "everyday life-glimpses" into other people's lives - it's an industry, a HUGE product-promoting, money-making industry that makes you THINK that these people's lives are actually as wonderful and interesting as they seem online. Which is probably not true that often - never true, I'd argue.
Anyways, this Essena-character realized, after wasting four years of building her fake-empire on social media, that she was more miserable than ever and that this obsession with likes and followers was toxic to her REAL life. She took down all her social media accounts, but did create a web page for spreading the word about how twisted this industry is. She re-posted pictures from her famous instagram with edited captions about the events that were actually taking place when the pictures were taken. I think this is a brilliant idea and exploits how it actually works - we all know that, let's say, a young girl with a lot of followers who posts a bikini picture with her butt/boobs being the obvious point of focus in the picture, is probably doing it to promote the bikini brand and getting paid for it AND for the validation - the comments, the likes, the attention. But we don't really think twice, we think she's pretty and wouldn't mind that body being what we see in the mirror, and we keep on scrolling thinking that it's okay and completely normal. We talk about creating healthier body images, loving our bodies and stop making such a big deal about appearance/bodies but I'd say it's worse than ever these days. Seems like such an old subject to write about media promoting unhealthy body images but the fact that we're getting absolutely nowhere makes me feel like we still need to write about it? These bodies, these people, these beautiful girls/boys are nowadays not only unattainable, photoshopped pictures in magazines BUT "real people" on social media whose lives we can follow - they exist, they are flawless, it's real and should therefore be attainable. Yet we sit there thinking that our lives will never be as glamorous, as beautiful and we will never be as happy/pretty. Cause they always look so happy right? Just casually floating around snapping pictures as they go and sharing their perfect life with the world.
The scariest part is that there are thousands of people doing exactly this on social media right now and companies are making loads of money off of it. So are the people creating this illusion. So, what I did tonight is that I went on my instagram, unfollowed all the accounts without substance - accounts that were based on physical appearance and actually sometimes made me feel body-conscious. I URGE YOU to do the same - please unfollow these accounts contributing to this nonsense. Do not support making money out of other people's insecurities, which is what these companies are doing; the likes are a reflection of people thoughts about not being good enough and striving to be picture-perfect. Do not support beautiful teenagers WASTING a substantial part of their life devoted to looking pretty online. Do not support this glamourized, sparkly, beautiful but totally fake idea of real life - this is nothing like reality. Not quite ready to give up social media, but if you feel like doing that please just go for it. Social media can be used as a powerful tool for spreading awareness about important things and serving as inspiration in a positive way - whether it's art, fashion, music, health, whatever. You might think your "follow" and your "like" won't make a difference anyway but it DOES - this whole sick and twisted side of the industry is alive because of the people actively or passively supporting it.
(And please FFS - stop using #goals, it makes me sick and utterly annoyed. It's a fucking picture. Being insta-famous is like being rich in monopoly. Yeah, totally #goals. PS. I do use the hashtag sometimes in a sarcastic, inside-joke way. It's hilarious, but only when used ironically.)
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