Don’t Compare Yourself

Social media is exhausting. I said it, I know we’re all thinking it. I have had a presence on social media since the 5th grade so this feeling of social media being a damper on my life is not new. You might be thinking why do I have such a strong feeling on this matter and it’s because social media is fake. It’s all an act. That Tik Tok you just saw of that girl looking like she has no care in the world and the only thing that worries her is if she got reneged wrong, it’s fake. That Bikini picture that Kylie Jenner posted is fake. The life that we see people live on social media is fake.

Scrolling through these apps and seeing people living the most unattainable lives not only makes you look down on your own life, but it also keeps you tuned in to these people’s lives.

Creators know how to keep us watching, we are so invested in how to be like these people we don’t see that it’s so undeniably fake. As a teenage girl living in an age where we are conditioned to fawn over looking like the Instagram models we see on our feeds, I can say from firsthand experience it is so draining. We live in a society where being yourself just isn’t enough. No matter what you do you will never be skinny enough, your breasts will never be big or small enough, and your skin will never be clear enough. We are competing with digitally edited models. We will never win.

After living through a global pandemic, everyone is trying their best to go back to normal. But it seems as if these creators have been normal the whole time. Their day-to-day lives are scripted to the second to make the most of the day. Watching their daily routine on Tik-Tok it looks as if they never have a bad day. They never have a bad hair day or a pimple on their forehead that just won’t go away. From when they wake up, at a sharp 6 am, and from when they go to bed; they are perfect.

This generation has the most mental health problems in history, and I believe it is partly because of how we grew up. We grew up competing with digitally edited models and watching people’s daily routines of them doing literally everything possible in the span of 24 hours. We got the message from these videos that bad days aren’t okay and that looking impossible is the only way to be pretty. The easy solution to this is to turn off your phone, right? Just turning off your phone won’t get you away from these impossible body standards. You will see it on magazine covers, build boards, and in television and movies. I full-heartedly believe that my being on social media at such a young age has caused a lot of self-esteem issues for me. I do not think it’s the intention of these creators to make you feel bad about yourself, I’m sure when they look at other people’s content they feel the same as us. If you think about why they edit their pictures it all comes down to they are just as insecure as us. The retouching that goes on is just unacceptable. Just from a swipe of a resize tool you can go from a size 12 to a size 2. Even with knowing these pictures are edited it is still extremely difficult not to compare yourself to them. Not only do you yourself compare yourself to the models, so do boys

There is also a danger in being a content creator, putting yourself out therefore millions to see has its own consequences. Putting your worth in how many likes and or followers you get is not a sustainable way of getting happiness.

Like I stated earlier, content creators are just as insecure as we are, so those edits on their pictures are just a reflection of how insecure they are. The comments on the posts of these creators from haters and sometimes even fans are horrendous. It’s easy to see why these creators edit their photos to be the body standard that society sets for us.

This whole social media culture comes down to insecure people making other people insecure. Coming from a girl who spends most of her days comparing herself to what she sees online it’s not worth it. Making yourself look impossible with retouching isn’t going to make you feel better in the long run. All it does is make young girls feel like absolute crap about themselves. So ill end with this, you don’t have to look like the models. Every person’s body is beautiful, don’t strain yourself with competing with these Face Tuned barbies, you will never win.

This story is from the Oct. 2021 issue of The East Vision.