Just…. my 2 cents worth.
I was going on about my research on how media influences the perception of beauty people have, more than they think. The best analogy I can think of to describe this pitiable situation is likening media as a treadmill, except it is one that we may never get off. It is a treadmill that we tread constantly, on our endless hunt for beauty. No one gets off the hook that easily. For those who fall behind, are labelled as weird or a plain loser. Just because they are unable to meet the normative standards that others are achieving and pursuing, they get marginalised, discriminated and scorned upon. For those who tread on to keep up with the hype, it is always a tough struggle, to keep pushing our limits and beyond ourselves.
So, there’s this discussion on TED and I found that what Lena Elizabeth summarised was really true and applicable to our society. She mentioned that "People can get caught up in cultivating their own image rather than interacting with others. My worry is that we will be faced with a generation where everyone acts like the star of their own reality show."
Something in her words really struck me. I mean, just look around us. We are enshrouded in this social media world that really forces us to pay attention to our own image and how others perceive us. Just look at how Instagram is filled with daily stashes of selfies, peoples’ OOTD and admirable way of living. These pictures screams silently but potently right in your face: Hey look, I am pretty/I have the newest, trendiest clothes to wear/I am popular and have a lot of activities happening for me/I have a lot of friends/I am having all these good luxurious stuffs/I am happy as can ever be. And what do you get from scrolling through all these feeds from your Instagram timeline? Just nothing but feeling the void, jealousy and the need to do and feel the same as well. “I NEED TO BE PRETTY TOO/I NEED THOSE CLOTHES AND THE NEWEST CLOTHES/I NEED TO GOOD FOOD TO TAKE PICTURES WITH/I JUST NEED TO TAKE THIS GROUP SHOT WITH EVERYONE I MEET(never mind that we aren’t that close but, we’re still friends right)/I NEED TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT MY LIFE IS JUST AS WELL TOO,” those are just scatter of thoughts that runs through my mind.
All these…. Seems so delusional to me. What’s wrong with people who are so caught up in creating a picture-perfect image that they want people to perceive them as? Are you so insecure with yourself that you need such assurances from the number of likes you get or the number of followers you have? Do you need confirmation from people about how nice your dress is or how pretty you look?
I know I’m being a hypocrite ‘cause I too, still use Instagram. But hey, peer pressure is indeed a terrifying influencing power and then there’s social conformity. I used to not have an Instagram account but sometimes, because I’d feel so left out from not knowing what people were talking about from what they saw on Instagram, so I kind of created it. I am just a teenager who gets sweeps by the societal influence but still, I think there’s something really wrong in this culture that is brewing wickedly.
Maybe it's time we stop stalking people online and judging them, before we really get to know them personally. Maybe it's time to stop thinking of how others may think of us. Maybe it's time to stop trying so hard to fit into the grandiose yet unreal picture. Maybe it's time we stop trying to be perfect and just be us. Maybe it's time we get a grip of our lives and wake up from this illusory thought that beauty has to be approved by social media users. Maybe it's time we be shaper of our own thoughts, defender of our own beliefs and master of our own lives.
And maybe........... it's time for me to sleep because I'm blabbering nonsensical thoughts at this ungodly hour, just 2 hours before dawn breaks on this sunny island.