Instagram is filled with actors, models, and nobodies who somehow, even though they might not know the multiplication table, have achieved to attract millions of followers. They are on a mission to sell you the fulfillment of your dreams. Life-changing anti-wrinkle serum -for only $39,99, super lip-enhancing lipstick -for only $13,45, and the cherry on the top: a life-coach seminar that will change your life forever-$16 000. That’s all you need to become a complete woman. Beautiful, confident, successful. If you look good, you will feel good and be good. Or is it quite the reverse: If you are good, you will feel good and eventually look good?
In this world, there is no place for the ugly. If you think you are ugly, in fact, you should know that you are simply broke. And if your nose, lip, jaw, chin do not meet certain standards you are doomed to eternal unhappiness. But, good news, there is a fix for everything. You just need to invest some money in yourself and the winds of luck will blow your way. It is so easy to fall into this vicious cycle while watching others from heavily filtered glasses. Their realities look so perfect, and their appearance so flawless. Texture-less super skin, hourglass shapes, cellulite-free booties, bright teeth, sharp contours, feathery-eyelashes, designer clothes… This is a very familiar theme we have seen being played everywhere in the media in the pre-social media era, and it has just poured itself into the online network. Just e new tool where every beauty-product corporate has spread its tentacles to make more and more money.
We just mentioned perfect bodies, skins, and clothes. And in our society’s awakening, realizing and accepting that most of us are far from perfect, so has come the ‘awakening’ of influencers who try to make every post more ‘relatable’ and ‘approachable’. We are witnessing the ‘body acceptance’, ‘happy size’, and ‘accepting different’ movements. They seem to be filling this tapestry of posts with colorful patterns. And just the existence of such a massive display of diversity is in itself plausible. But how appearance, an attribute known to be a helping hand in bringing a bit more luck in people’s lives, has come to invade our entire lives? I look skinny, I look fat, I look tired, my hair is too dry… If I were a cow, being fed to produce milk and then finally a healthy amount of meat, it would make some sense. But I feel like I am more than a cow, and that my weight it is not an indicator of what human being I am and what do I bring in the society. So why looks have gained so much attention? Because look sells, because we are continuously fed with these sponsored avatars of beauty, so that we buy endless eyeliners, contact lenses, perfumes, lipsticks, corsets, clothes, shoes(even during pandemics, while most of us are working from homes).
There is this huge shift of attention from substance to appearance.
I can’t help but wonder: Have we not willingly/unwillingly become part of the show industry? Are we all craving attention, likes, followers, meaningless emojis while complaining we have time for nothing and feel lonelier than ever? How have we come to a point where on vacations we can’t enjoy the sea without taking some pictures? How we as parents can’t feel pride in our child’s achievement if we don’t post a picture of him holding a prize? How we as partners are sending kisses to each other on Instagram while scrolling in our phones from two different rooms of the same house?
What we see, can inspire and motivate us. But not if we keep scrolling and scrolling. More than day-dreaming or night-dreaming, we should be working to make these dreams come true. Don’t let your tired you be naive. A lipstick, a nose-job, a lip-job will not make you happy for longer than a month, I promise.
In your pursuit of happiness draw a line that extends until the end of your life. Set a list of things you plan to achieve in order to be happy. If that includes you having an aesthetic intervention, so be it. But do not give it too much importance. After each planned achievement, ask yourself: ok, you achieved that. Now what? What’s next. And you should always ask this yourself in advance. For example: by the time I am 40, I want to own a house with x attributes. Than what? After that, I would like to focus on enjoying motherhood and invest in a retirement plan. Ok, then what? If I can, I would be able to travel the world until my health allows me that. And so on. Make a life-long plan. In the upcoming years, this plan will naturally change. And that’s ok. Its purpose is to remind you of what you are aiming for. So that if you somehow get lost, and find yourself asking “What am I doing?” you will have a back-up plan to remind you what’s the most important.
Keep your head up, and don’t let yourself get drowned in the internet ocean.