Look At Reality

24.5.19


It's easy for us all to get sucked up into the ginormous vacuum that is social media nowadays. I mean, hey, you've probably been sent to this blog post via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, right? It's oddly a huge part of our daily lives now - something that we seem to feel a little astray without, something that feels like a 'need' to have, filled up with 'need' to be likes. There's just no escaping it... unless, of course, we all decide to all join hands as a society, ditch are high-tech savvy phones altogether, and live our lives like we did back in 2000 where all we could do was download mp3s on to our Sony Ericsson Walkmans, and, let's face it, that's pretty unlikely to happen.

Don't get me wrong, I love social media. It's a huge part of what I do and one of my favourite creative outlets, however over the years, things have changed on that side of the internet. Things have become idealistic and perfectionist and it's difficult not to try and rise up to the challenge of being a part of it too. After all, everyone's posting their *amazing* lives on there - long gone are the days of posting simple selfies and pictures of your favourite packet of crisps - it all feels like a competitive sea of far-fetched realities and sometimes I think we need to take ourselves out of it and look at the world around us too.





BLAZER - MISS SELFRIDGE (GIFTED) // BODYSUIT - NASTY GAL (GIFTED)

Now, I'm not going to sit here and type away as if i'm not party to this whole situation - of course I am, I'm a blogger for crying out loud! I spend my life posting pretty outfits and sharing with you the exciting things I get to do, mostly whilst sat at home, munching away on some digestive biscuits and staring blankly at Netflix playing on my laptop screen - I can be a big ol' phony too! But there are somethings out there, somethings that just completely cheat reality all together.

Here, undoubtedly, I'm talking about the likes of Face-tune, Photoshop and any of those other things out there that people are using to alter their appearances online. And, hands up, I'll openly say I've used Face-tune to airbrush a spot out of my photos, or to alter the colour of something in the background of a shot, but there comes a point where the photos out there online become so altered, so edited and tweaked, that the original photo and the edited one are just downright contradictory.







My friend Hayleigh showed me an Instagram recently, 'beauty.false' it's called, and it was a page dedicated to showing the difference between the way people present themselves online and the way they look, or are, in real life. On this particular day that she showed me, I was feeling SO down about myself. The kind of day where I looked in the mirror and couldn't see a single positive thing. It was a day spent scrolling through Instagram and comparing myself to each and every beautiful, thin, blonde, woman on there and wondering why life didn't let me come into the world looking like that too.

Yet, after Hayleigh showed this page to me, I had a sudden realization that everything I was looking at, comparing myself too, penalizing myself over, wasn't even real. Everything I had compared my body to had been photoshopped, everything I had compared my skin to had been airbrushed and everything I had spent hours stressing over wasn't even worth it. The people I was looking at, didn't even really look like that either!

All these people that I had been comparing myself too were, off-line from Instagram, just like me too. They all have spots, cellulite, stomachs that don't constantly look like washboards, up days, down days, messy hair days, good hair days, wear glasses, don't wear glasses, body hair, dark body hair, light body hair, eye bags, scars, chipped nail varnish, bumps and bruises, whatever it may be... but we just don't see it.





PHOTOS BY LAUREN WEARE 

Again, sure, I don't look like my Instagram photos 24/7 (god damn, I wish I did), but I know for a fact, and will safely assure you, that each of those photos goes through a process of editing before it's posted. Okay, maybe not the kind of editing that takes 20lbs off of me or plonks me in a different location than I actually am, but I use VSCO filters, I get rid of an annoying spot, and I've also spent 5 years learning my best angles, poses and understanding how to work myself best in front of camera. It's a photo at the end of the day - not me walking through the streets - I can't always be the perfectly posed, A6 filtered, version of myself.

Neither can you, neither can any of us.

Something I spend a lot of time doing now, is looking at the people around me. I look up, walking round town and notice each and every unique type of person there is out there. You realise that real-life is a completely different ballgame, and it's refreshing to kind of come back down to earth after feeling trapped in an online bubble.

I notice women in real life and see how I'm not so different from them. I notice thighs, bums and hips and the way that people's boobs don't sit constantly under their chins; I notice how clothes don't always sit flawlessly on bodies and the way that hair blows in the wind; I notice how we're all shopping for that perfect skin-care that will solve our acne woes and I notice how each woman, each person, sounds, moves and looks incomparable to another. We're all ourselves at the end of the day, and no amount of photoshop and good lighting can change that in the real world.

When everything is taken into consideration, there are sooo many people on this planet, and not a single one of us on it is perfect. We all have breakouts, cheat-days and our periods (bleugh), but at the end of it all, we're all individuals and I think that's really cool. Take a look around you the next time that you're out, and notice all the lovely characteristics each person has - some may be like you and some may be not, but either way, not everyone is the same and that's an important thing to remember.

Also, remind yourself to take everything you see online with a pinch of salt, especially when it comes to body-comparison. No one is going to post a photo of themselves where they feel like they look 'bloated' or it's a 'bad angle', so scroll past, enjoy the photo, but don't fixate on it. Instead, go hang out with your friends, be around people you love and focus on their amazing qualities - qualities that surpass someone's appearance too.


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