Happiness is the ultimate desire of mankind. Everything that we do at its purest level is for happiness, and why not? But the problem begins when we start measuring this happiness compared to the social media standards.
It’s significant to realize how social media is ruining your life, the way you think of yourself and you don't even know it. Think back to the time when you didn't care about the clothes you wore or how many of them you had. You weren't concerned about how your hair was styled and you didn't even think anything about the way your eyebrows, nose, cheekbones, stomach, or thighs looked. Since then, something has changed. Not all at once, but gradually you started to become aware of those things.
You scroll through social media and look at those rich and glamorous influencers like the Kardashians, Gigi Hadid, Daisy Keech, or your favorite Bollywood actresses. Their curved, skinny bodies, expensive outfits, ‘Happy’ vacation posts, and rich lifestyle impact young girls' minds. One such research found that more than 32% of young, female Instagram subscribers find themselves unhappy as they are not ‘Perfect’. This feeling of inferiority has led them to realize that they are not good enough leaving them with low self-esteem, negative body image, anxiety, depression, and, in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts.
How people fake their lives with their ’Not-so-real’ posts
With the rise of social media in the past decade, teenagers, especially young girls have discovered the world of beauty, fashion, and makeup through the internet, and over time it started controlling their lives. So let's talk about Instagram reels and videos particularly in fashion & beauty. Once you begin to become aware of your physical appearance and see these ‘fashion influencers’ wearing makeup with the perfect eyeliner flick, doing cute hairstyles, wearing fashionable clothing you may start to feel insecure. You may think you aren't pretty enough or you aren't skinny enough to pull out ‘that look’.
It all began to get consumed in this world of buying tons of products, and spending hours and hours focused on your appearance. We regularly view these girls who we think are pretty and seem so happy and start believing that the reason they seem happy, is because of the way they look. Dressing up in your favorite outfit, putting on nail polish, curling hair, and doing makeup or putting up filters makes you feel happier and confident. But is it really?
Materialism is prevalent in today’s society
We live in a world where materialism runs rampant through the streets, catching the eyes of all those who are searching for happiness and don't know where to find it. You may watch clothing haul videos, where girls spend so much money on clothes, that they don't even need which then makes you feel like you're lacking something So you go out and you buy a bunch of clothes to add to your already jam-packed closet, and boy does that make you happy?
Fast-forward a month later and you've already worn the clothes a few times, and they just don't satisfy you the same way they did before. So, to combat that empty feeling you go and buy more. You buy more because you thought you didn't have enough, but that actually worsened the problem. Because no amount of clothing, shoes, makeup, or any material object is going to fill the emptiness or heal your internal issues.
If you think it takes a certain amount of branded clothes, or a makeup routine that makes your face look flawless, or that skinny, curvy figure you crave can make you happy, then know that this will be a never-ending cycle.
The Post -> Likes -> Happiness Cycle
Have you ever posted a picture on Instagram and refresh the page every few minutes to see how many likes it was getting. If so, you are far from alone. Being concerned with one social media status has become the norm. We only post our best pictures, showing the edited highlight reel of our lives. The ones we post are the ones where we feel looking attractive. Our skin looks tan enough, our thighs look far enough, our makeup is on point.
The reason we want to share these images of ourselves with others is that we want validation. We seek social approval and relevance through likes, retweets, and shares. We feel like we need to prove our lives to other people. Show them that we are skinny, we are beautiful, we do have a ton of friends or we do have a life. But is it really much of a life? If so many of the things you do, are just so you can post about them on social media, ask yourself if that’s your real self?
That’s just not it. Young girls are now so obsessed with this ‘Thinspiration’ that some of them go extreme and develop unhealthy eating disorders in the name of fitness. Such a sense of inferiority have gotten them to even get breast and butt implants or nose/lip jobs that ruined their lives completely.
Even the Celebrities we adore also have their own life problems
Not loving our real selves and focusing on real-world celebrities is a BIG problem. We want to look like they have an amazing life-like them and be valued like them. In short, we want to be them. But why? What makes us idolize these people who are really no different than ourselves?
Well, you see that's the problem right there. Most people don't understand that we are all the same because of how often celebrities are placed on a pedestal. By thinking that they are different, we make them different. But how do we even know that they are happy? Can we base it purely on the fact that they seem happy?
No. In fact, most celebrities are just as miserable in their own life as everyone else. Fame and success can't fix the internal struggle that one has created with their self. Celebrities may seem happy because of those things, but they're not. If they are truly happy they're not gonna have hundreds of edited pictures of themselves in designer clothing, wearing makeup that took two hours to do
They aren't going to do bikini photo shoots, or take pictures of their butt to give you fitness inspiration. Fitness and physical activity should be done to feel good, be healthy, and not attain a certain physique. They do these things because:
a) if they are models and doing brand shoots, then it’s just them doing their jobs
b) or, they too are searching for happiness just like us.
Yes. And unfortunately, there are so many young girls who get inspired and follow these people, thinking that if they were more like them, then they’ll be happy. This mentality opens the doors to a life of self-hate. It creates long-lasting mental and emotional pain, and sometimes even physical pain in the form of self-harm and eating disorders.
This way, when we look in the mirror, we just don't like what we see, and we strongly identify with that image we see in the mirror. We may even call to ourselves ‘I'm ugly,’ ‘I need to change the way I look’, ‘I'm fat’, ‘I need to lose weight,’ ‘I don't deserve to eat because of how fat I am,’ and what not.
What you must realize is that ‘That is not you’. By changing our external appearance, we only hide our problems and don’t fix them. Each one of us has some insecurities and it’s begging to be released. So take a step back and be honest with yourself. You're not your body, face, or hair.
You are not your label, status, or job. You are you, and you are enough! So, don't let any of it control or define you. Free yourself from this illusion of a fake, glossed social media world.
Return to that place where you weren't, so caught up in how you looked and how others perceive you. For that is your true nature!
You should really check out this 3-minute video by Ditch the Label that shows the reality behind many picture-perfect Instagram photos. Ditch the Label is an anti-bullying organization working in the USA, UK, and Mexico.
The video highlights how the “perfect” lives seen in social media photos are often faked and completely different from the person’s reality. Users can appear to be living lavish, “perfect” lives, but in reality, they are often mundane like everybody else.