Honesty is the best policy…
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