Photo by Jordan Worthy feat. Kennedy Dawn Stearns for Mad Sounds Issue 18 - Modern Muse
I scroll through Instagram each morning within five minutes of waking up. It has sadly become like second nature; my hands blindly reaching for my phone in the bed covers before my eyes can even open. The app loads and I am greeted with girls who always look better than I think I do. Their stomachs are flatter, their hair is less frizzy than my curly mess, and the handbag slung over their shoulder costs more than a down payment on a car.
I awaken myself each morning by thinking, “there’s no way I could ever be as cool or beautiful or successful as her,” and it is starting to tear me down. I know that I am not alone, the comments under each daily post of an Instagram “famous” girl tell me so. And while we think that the people we look at each day roll out of bed, head to the bathroom and take a picture looking like they do, I can assure you that that is not the case.
We subconsciously pose and fix our faces to give off the impression that we want the public to have of us. We cross our arms, as if to say, “I don’t need you…but I’m going to make you think that you need me.” We make direct eye contact and smile slyly, flirting through a glass screen. We turn our bodies to the side, put our hands on our hips, and make sure that we are not the person on the end in a group picture, proving, “I’m that much skinnier than you.”
It’s not only women who use these tricks. Men stand with their legs spread apart, arms crossed, and on a platform or angle in order to tower over their friends. This is done to express assertiveness, to say, “I’m the leader of the pack, just look at me.”
While we may not mean to, every time we pose for social media purposes, whether it’s an actual picture or even a text post, we position and tweak characteristics to appear as the best version of ourselves. So, when we look at the girls we admire so much on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., why do we think that this is who they really are, if we go through the same process ourselves?
We are living in the age of comparison, in the age of thinking everyone else has it better than us. While this may not be anything new, as I’m sure humans have been comparing themselves to their peers for centuries, we now do it two or three inches from our faces, every waking moment of every single day. The next time you find yourself stuck on the same profile for minutes that turn into hours, remember that that girl spent just as much time as you making herself look like that.