The Power of Self(ie)

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Courtesy: http://publicdomainarchive.com/

Feeling less than is a horrible sinking ship that is hard to get yourself out of.  Not only are you operating in a small sphere of day to day interaction, but now more than ever we’re exposed to society at instant light speeds via social media and news sites.  With these wonderful technological advances come the good, and the bad.  Not only are we subject to our own criticisms, but if you put yourself out there in any way, the whole world can now pile on.  Every decision scrutinized, every photo dissected, and all confidence undermined.  I find myself feeling bad about myself more and more because I see these women around me whom I consider beautiful, confident, and all around amazing getting knocked down by the internet truth anonymous justice squads.  If they can’t be above reproach, what hope do I have?

So, imagine my surprise at this  Buzzfeed post about Beyoncé photoshopping her thigh gap.  What!  Beyoncé is a beautiful and talented woman!  She manages to appear confident and sexy while still seeming approachable and fun.  Sure, I’ve never met her, but she puts herself out there, and I admire a lot of what she does.  At first I was saddened that Beyoncé was doing this.  Then I thought about this feeling I have, self-loathing and self-doubt, and I wondered to myself, does Beyoncé really go through the same thing?  Does she feel compelled to Photoshop herself because even she does not live outside the reach of unrealistic beauty standards on Instagram?  I mean.. how can you get more beautiful than this…

However, instead of taking a minute and thinking about how beautiful women such as Beyoncé feel this impetus to alter their images, and examining why this might be…. People are jumping to sleuth it out and post it screaming “GOTCHA!!! I CAUGHT YOU FEELING ASHAMED OF YOURSELF AND PHOTOSHOPPING YOUR IRRATIONAL SELF-PERCEIVED FLAWS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF!!!” If it wasn’t that, it would be people pointing out cellulite or the slightest of imperfections saying “GOTCHA!! I CAUGHT YOU BEING HUMAN!”.

I think that moments like this should really give us pause to examine why our society is so obsessed with an unbelievable ideal that even the most adored among us fall victim to the weight. So maybe, instead of trying to Sherlock Holmes your way into internet popularity by calling someone out for just trying to post a picture that makes them feel good about themselves, we start embracing each other and not making people feel the need to do this?

I prefer to think that Beyoncé does not get embroiled in the cloud that is body hatred. I prefer to think that instead this is just some overzealous assistant who is supposed to just be posting the images color corrected for Beyoncé, but decided to make some more adjustments because of a warped ingrained view of society.

5 Replies to “The Power of Self(ie)”

  1. Well said. At the same time, I don’t feel photoshop has a place on Instagram. Instagram’s native filters bug me but they’re native so I’m okay with them. The collage apps are helpful to cut down on Instaspam. Instagram should be candid and “real life”. I don’t follow any celebrities on there because they don’t seem to agree with me.

    I realize this strays from your well-made point but it’s something that annoys me.

    1. Thank you 🙂
      Yeah, I know you’re not super into instagram. But, part of the whole marketing for instagram was to make it polaroid-esque, and those faux filters are part of that experience. It’s fun, and I like them sometimes.

  2. No, I totally get Instagram. I’m not completely anti-Instagram and never was, my beef was with this flood of people who came out of the woodwork when Instagram first started that suddenly decided that because their Instagram pictures looked cool due to pre-made filters, that they were now photographers. That was my only beef.

    My beef with Instagram now, is people using it as just another social media platform to upload anything to, like photoshopped pics and memes.

    1. Ahhhh, yeah. The memes annoy me, those and the inspirational quote photos, blergh. If someone wants to filter their face, cat, or something else really happening to them.. Fine. But the fake nonsense makes me mad too.

      1. Yes, exactly! That’s why the Beyonce thing bothers me, that she’s another celebrity “misusing” Instagram, we’ll say, to promote themselves rather than interact with fans.

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