intofoldywold (1)

Social media has been criticised for creating a platform on which people can present a flawless, perfect version of themselves, thus creating further insecurities. To an extent, this has been true. As a teenage girl, I love curating my Instagram, getting the perfect picture of an outfit that I feel is on point and I love following other perfectly curated accounts as well. However there has also been a revolution of honesty on social media, brought about by the apps such as Snapchat and Instagram accounts such as @GirlWithNoJob and @TheFatJewish (their handles are as bluntly honest as their content).

Snapchat has successfully taken away the middle man between the celebrity and the fan. Models such as Olivia Culpo (for those of you who don’t know her, she was Miss USA) share their normal, awkward, and hilarious day to day lives on snapchat, making them more accessible and less like someone you compare yourself to negatively but instead positively. Surprise: they’re human! It allows the imperfect to be embraced as opposed to constantly keeping up appearances or promoting some sort of product or TV show. Snapchat is a platform which allows someone who might have been an unhealthy role model through the eyes of a magazine become a healthy role model; you get to see that they are as normal as the rest of us. Yes these models and actors alike are still unbelievably beautiful and live blessed lifestyles but they are taken off the pedestal of being a super-human who is perfect in every way. Kylie and Kendall Jenner (whilst still perfectly polished) dance and sing a long badly in the car just like any other sisters (I speak from experience). Oliver Heldens and Calvin Harris take weird selfies, whilst David Guetta feels the need to share multiple snaps of his feet. No judgement, we all have them. Furthermore live stories that everyone can contribute to celebrate people’s differences, awkwardness and strange talents, bringing the world closer together and allowing people to recognise that there is nothing weird about their weirdness. In terms of self-esteem, social media seems to be contributing more and more to making people feel better about themselves and celebrating who they are; stepping away from #LoadsOfFilters to a more honest take on our realities.

This candid honesty of Snapchat and increasing honesty of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, who doesn’t attempt to hide her clumsiness or attain flawless standards, prevents the middle man (i.e. magazines) from having the last say on who our role models are. The filter that separates them from us has been lifted. There is something far more palatable about relatable and honest celebrities than unattainably perfect ones. All of this links in with the overwhelming success of brutally honest Instragram accounts that say what everyone else is thinking, leaving macarons and inspirational quotes behind. They encourage us to recognise our neurotic obsessions, or unadulterated vanity or perhaps embarrassing habits. Whilst these might sound like negative traits, they are also traits that everyone thinks that no one else has. These accounts are self-assuring (whilst simultaneously hilariously relatable) for everyone who thinks they’re the only one who spend hours in front of their laptops, or taking countless selfies or dancing in the mirror (even Obama does this, apparently). People are no longer so ashamed in their shortcomings or so afraid to be themselves because accounts such as GirlWithNoJob encourage us to embrace who we really are and share it with our friends. This is me, this is real etc etc.

As for myself, I feel as though I’ve become increasingly less self conscious and apologetic for who I am. I no longer hold back from making puns (trust me, no one finds Lily funnier than Lily), I feel more comfortable not wearing makeup and perhaps more importantly don’t feel ashamed for taking a selfie from time to time ‘cus im feelin’ myself. It is clear that people are becoming increasingly comfortable in their own skin as opposed to their skin + Perpetua filter… which can only be a good thing.

Follow Lily on twitter: @lilysiddiqi

Illustration: Sarah Clifford


  1. 23rd September 2015 / 10:40 am

    I love this post! Seriously highlights the current selfie culture that we live in and how subconsciously damaging it can be. That’s not to say I don’t take one every now and then, but to be comfortable with my-strange-self is something I’m only getting to grips with now I’ve entered the ‘real’ working world.
    Juanita x ~

  2. blankicc
    24th September 2015 / 5:06 pm

    Well, it seems that the main source of my self consciousness was not having snapchat.
    Because, I am the one of the girls who look at all these gorgeous women with perfect outfits, on beautiful beaches, happy and flawless. And it makes you think – why them? Is it only because they’re pretty? Rich? What would be like to live their lives, to travel, to experience, to dance all night and still be beautiful in the morning?
    Every day I have to remind myself. That what I see on the screen of my cell is (maybe) not the reality. Every day I have to tell myself that these beautiful women’s work is to be pretty. The ”only” thing they have to do is go to the gym and remove they makeup and eat healthy and take care of their looks and have their picture taken, my themselves of perfect professional photographer.
    They also wake up in the morning with messy hair, and they also have cramps when on their period.
    It’s just that you and me don’t know about that. Because when they’re crying because they found out their flawless boyfriend cheated on them, their followers will never see them that way. Tomorrow, she will wipe off tears and post that picture of her in that designer dress where her legs look fantastic, even though she’s maybe eating ice cream in her pyjamas.
    Every day I have to remind myself that everybody is human, with flaws and cramps and heartbreaks and joys.

  3. 3rd October 2015 / 9:44 pm

    Great post! Couldn’t have said it better myself, i was actually thinking of writing a similar post.
    Personally, on my Instagram and my posts i try not to edit them.