United States of America
Written By: lolhaha
March 17, 2015
“Sometimes you get so obsessed with wanting society to accept you that you forget to accept yourself.”
Five minutes. It’s been five minutes. Only ten likes. Did people not like my tank top? Oh my god. Does it show off too much? They probably think I’m a slut. Ha, they probably already did. Ugh. No, it’s probably because I’m ugly. Whatever. I’ll delete it later, anyways.
Unlike photos, we can't filter our thoughts. Especially when criticizing and attacking ourselves. How many times have you looked at yourself and thought “FAT,” or something equally as negative? It’s fine, you can admit it. No one is going to see you. I’m raising my hand too.
Everyone has their insecurities. Little things that you stare at for hours on end and wish on the stars that you can change. Maybe it's your hair, if that's what you call this "little" frizzy monster on your head. Or maybe your crooked nose-- (you're secretly thinking about getting nose surgery). Or maybe your eyebrows, or "fat" thighs or your your double chins. I mean, nobody except you notices them, but you'll never believe that.
These are the things that lead to depression, which then leads to harming oneself and then ends in committing suicide. You want statics? How about this: Each year 2 million teenagers attempt suicide, and each year thousands of them “succeed”.
So we tell women.. and men, “It’s not how you look like that matters. You are beautiful on the inside.”
I believe, as a not very attractive-looking person, that this is completely true. Some might say I’m biased, but I promise I am not. I’m sure most people (mature teenagers and adults) agree with me. How I look shouldn’t matter, if I study my ass off everyday and excel in all my classes.
So let me ask you, WHY in the world is everyone so okay with selfies?
Selfies are just another way that society teaches women that the most important thing about you is how you look. You are not the hundred you got last week, or the award you won last year. You are not how compassionate and forgiving you are. You are not your best qualities that makes your friends and family love you. No, you are how perfect your hair looks and how your eyes shines and how your mascara is “on point”. You’re how the lighting makes your legs skinnier and how the angle shows your breasts.
Teenagers take selfies because we need constant approval. We make the position perfect, wear that perfect smile/pout/duck-face and take a picture in the same pose about 25 times. Then we choose the perfect one and throw away all the others. We then proceed to paint filter after filter on it. We caption it something we think others would like and hashtag it with things like “blessed” and “love”.
Taking a selfie is not a form of empowerment or self expression. Because, if you loved your body, you wouldn’t need to take a photo to see if other people are satisfied with it to feel validated. Taking a selfie means that you base your worth in how much likes that one “perfect” picture gets.
You need comments like “QT!” and “HOT!” to verify that you are beautiful. Why? Who cares about what some kids on the internet think about you? The lack of these double-taps shouldn’t make someone feel any less.
And this problem is not just women’s. Men take selfies too, although admittedly not as much as girls. But studies have been done on the male gender on this subject, too. “The researchers found that posting more photos was correlated with both narcissism and psychopathy,” says Huffington Post. I partly concur with the statement. Although I agree taking pictures after pictures of yourself is vain, I believe it comes from a place of insecurity. Deep inside, you just don’t believe you’re good enough. But you want to be proven wrong, so you go ahead and post selfie after selfie. But sometimes it backfires and you feel down for every moment that goes by without a like. That's what really goes on in our minds, but we never share that outloud. Instead we keep it in and post another selfie, an even "better" one this time.
Some might argue and say that these selfies help you capture a memory. But they don’t. Because your best memory most likely consists of imperfect moments. That time that you were with all of your best friends and someone told a joke that had all of you you laughing so hard that snot came out of your nose is just not going to cut it. Because, Oh. My. God! How are you going to filter that? Nevertheless though, ten years later when catching up with your friends, none of you are going to remember that photo you snapped of the sunset. While of the other hand, that joke is going to make all of you crack up again, smiling sadly with nostalgia.
Memories are supposed to be remembered, captured by the lenses of your mind. You don’t need a photo on a social media that you’ll probably delete next month, when those moment will forever be imprinted and living in you.
We shouldn’t be focused on taking that perfect photo and posting it online, begging for the acceptance from strangers. In fact more often than not, it invites people who don’t even know you, to comment disgusting and hateful things. And the worst thing is that although you smile at comments that say "You're beautiful", it only stays for a little while. On the contrary, comments that put you down stay swirling in your mind for a long, long time.
It’s not what other people think in your flawless moment that should matter. It’s how you think of yourself every moment of the day.
To take or not to take. That is the question. I believe "not to take" is the answer.
“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own."
---Dr. Steve Maraboli