As you may or may not have heard vegan blogger and social media famous Essena O'Niell has officially "quit" social media. I will tag her website below if you want to know more but essentially she is making a point about what social media has turned into. Now she is spreading her word through her new website and she hopes that people will spend the word by mouth rather than through phone screens.
Now after watching her videos and reading her posts I decided I wanted to write about it myself and kind of reflect upon what Essena discusses. One of the key things that she mentions continuously is this idea of insecurity and how social media not only worsens this but almost promotes it. Now that may sound a little dramatic to say but think about it. We are constantly scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc. comparing ourselves to all the "beautiful", "skinny", "perfect" models that consume our daily lives. We are constantly comparing ourselves and judging ourselves, it's horrible. It leads us to hating our bodies and can even go as far as hating ourselves. I completely understand and relate to this because I've spent my fair share of time self-hating and gazing at these models dreaming of the possibility to have those perfect Victoria Secret ab lines. But guess what! It's all fake. All of it. Sure these models do work incredibly hard but at the end of the day all the pictures are still manipulated. All of them. Even there Instagrams, which is suppose to be a more personal insight into these models lives, are edited on endless apps.
Personally I have had serious issues with this and I think it's fair to say that everyone has at one point in their life (at least in the newer generations). But how come, then, is it that we constantly body shame, both others and ourselves, when we see that it's wrong. I hate to say it but it is the idea of social media that is at fault. I love social media, I have no shame in saying that and I will not be "quitting" because I believe that it can be used for good. Peoples lives are saved through social media, awareness is spread in hours and it allows us all to connect and bond in seconds. I have this blog and post on Instagram because I love it. I think it's fun, I love writing, I love cooking and I want to share my adventures, foods and experiences with others. Not because I want to "brag" about the life I live but because I personally love reading other peoples stories and adventures, so I figured hey maybe there's someone out there that wants to hear about my stories. I currently reach maybe 7 people with these blog posts but that's not going to stop me, because I do this for me just as much as I do it for anyone else.
With that said though, I do think Essena has an incredibly powerful and important message that I want everyone to know and think about. As much good as social media can do, it also can do a lot of bad for a lot of people. During the winter of my Junior year of High School I was incredibly unhappy with my body and was constantly body shamming myself. I constantly felt horrible and insecure. I started eating less and "healthier" and working out excessively. Guess what, this isn't a healthy lifestyle!!! Surprise! Surprise! Now, my body had changed a lot during that year because of stress (junior year duh), anxiety, my body still adjusting to birth control and a relatively loose life style with regard to what I ate. As a kid I did live healthy thanks to my mom (thanks mom!) but I was also able to eat burgers and fries and ice cream and all that good stuff without it having a huge impact on my body. Obviously this has to end at some point, and the High School period is exactly when that starts to happen for most people. But thats for another post, my point is that just like every other 16 year old I was constantly body shaming and doing so throughout social media. And to this day I still do it. But completely differently and I catch myself when I do it. When I have these "weak" moments I try to snap out of it right away or I am lucky enough to have amazing family and friends to snap me out of it for me. :) It's all a bunch of bullshit (excuse me) but it really is. Everyone is so different and so is everybody's body type. How can we possibly define "the perfect" body when NEWS FLASH THERE IS NO PERFECT BODY! We are all perfect in our own special way and if there is one thing I want you to take away from this rant post it is that I want you to tell yourself that you are beautiful. Tell yourself that you are beautiful whenever you catch yourself staring at that Victoria Secret swimsuit advertisement, every time you look in the mirror, every single day. Yes this is a lot of "talk" from me because as I just said I still have my weak moments but I'm going to take this advice and hope you will too.
Let's stop all of this hate and spread the love instead! It's so much easier and much more fun to send love to someone or even yourself. Others feel amazing when you send love their way and you feel wonderful and warm inside because in that one little deed, you can know that you brightened someones day just that little bit. And all it takes is a couple of kind words.
So I encourage you to check our Essena's website because she really has everything to loose from making such a statement and major move (her entire career is based on social media). You don't have to agree with her, just listen and maybe you'll end up changing your perspective. I don't completely agree with all of what she says but it also motivated me enough to write this, which I think says something about how important this topic is.
Thanks for reading! Sweet dreams!
Xoxo Sea Salt & Poms