Up until now my blog has been pretty light in terms of subject matter; a bit of skincare shit, a few recent purchases and some clothes. I set up a blog intended to fill it with content of that style, but I also promised myself that I’d make sure to make it more of a journal. A meeting of fact and opinion, a place where I can be myself and discuss candidly my perspectives and opinions, regardless of the topic.
So I thought I’d write my first honest post about me. I’m pretty much certain this will be deleted before it sees the light of day too long, but it’s been on my brain for 2 days straight and I need to get it off my chest. I want to be completely transparent and honest about who I am. Obviously, it’s pretty strange to bare my soul for strangers to read and judge but I find writing cathartic and there’s no point being a writer with no reader. I’m also fairly certain that I’m exemplifying how a lot of others feel, so if you can relate, even better.
What I need to talk about is social media. It’s a vast topic so I won’t even attempt to cover all of my varying opinions in one late night post. I want to talk about the judgement of others, but also judgement of yourself through social media (mainly Instagram).
I think people see me, or other bloggers or influencers on social media and jump to a lot of different conclusions; confident, successful, lucky, pretty all the way through to vain, self absorbed, conceited, boring. It goes on forever. It gets to a point that I care so much about the opinions of others that I have to force myself not to care at all. I go cold towards it.
It’s really difficult to look past the opinions of others and stay true to myself. I know I’ve never had anyone say anything malicious as yet, but I know people who have. I’ve only overheard snide comments about me starting a blog, or ‘not looking the same in real life’ or ‘thinking I come across like a bitch/slut/fake on Instagram’ and it’s just unnecessary. I wrote a tweet the other day that a lot of people seemed to agree with. A lot of the time, judgement, whether constructive or otherwise, is both unwanted an unnecessary. I honestly think most people are unaware of what I, and many other people, deal with on a daily basis. Making shitty comments on a persons personal choices isn’t helpful. Taking the piss out of someone for trying to make a positive change to their own circumstances (circumstances that the person judging knows nothing about) is just sad and is just a poor reflection of the person who’s casting judgement.
The point I’m trying to make is that perceptions on social media are quite often misconstrued, and therefore, many people’s opinions are founded on characteristics that the person being judged probably doesn’t even have. I often get told by acquaintances “I didn’t expect you to be like this at all.” I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I know I appear confident, to a point I probably appear vain, but I’m insecure just like everyone else, and I bet you every blogger or influencers out there is too. I seem successful yet I don’t have a job. I seem popular yet I have few friends. I seem constantly happy yet I have deep rooted problems that I combat and rise above every single day. Social media is an incredible platform to advertise yourself; it’s crammed with opportunity and inspiration, yet it’s also a source of wild comparison and insecurity.
What people need to understand is that up until now, you’ve seen what I want you to see. This is the first time I’m properly letting my guard down and visibly showing you my weaknesses and insecurities. Obviously, I want to be seen as confident, as beautiful, as brave, as honest. You may see me in a bikini and think I’m an attention seeker but what you don’t see are the years I physically hated my body, and my pride in finally being comfortable in who I am. I write long winded blogs about beauty and fashion because I’m a nerd. I do it because I love to write. If you think I’m doing this to get sent free shit and cheat the system, then your judgement is wrong. If you think I take pictures of my face because I’m self obsessed and shallow then you’re wrong. Quite often, I actually hate the way I look. I take pictures of my face to pinpoint the rare occasions when I do actually feel content within myself.
I’m learning to lower my barriers, almost using myself as an experiment, and I want to talk more about things that many don’t want to discuss because I want people to understand I’m real. We’re all real. I may look like I lead a fabulous life every single day, but I don’t. This is without doubt the worst year of my life, yet it’s the year my social media presence has grown bigger than I anticipated, and my life appears to be going from strength to strength on my ‘timeline’.
People think being sent free clothes makes me ‘one of those girls’; ‘oh she’s just trying to be a fake Instagram girl’. You think that’s me? You realise I’m a human being with feelings. I’m an over analyser and over thinker in every sense of the meaning. Flippant remarks or sly comments disguised as ‘jokes’ are the words that keep me up at night. Just because people see me post pictures every day on social media doesn’t mean they automatically know me. They don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.
This year is the first I’ve been single in many years. My grandmother died in February. I lost my job in June. I let my guard down and got hurt by two different guys I wish I’d never met. I’ve had family issue after family issue. I’ve suffered with recurring anxiety and depression. I’ve not had a break, I’ve not set foot in an airport, I’ve not made any memories worth sharing in future. It’s been a total fucking shocker. Anyone who knows me knows how reliant I am on other people for my own happiness. It’s been SO hard going through this independently, but I know I’ll look back at this year in years to come and know that this was the making of me. This was not my destruction, this was my making. This is the ground in which I grow from.
I want to write a post soon about my experiences with Mental Health. I actually cringe writing it as I’m so embarrassed and aware of how raw and vulnerable I’m making myself but I genuinely need to get it off my chest. People will roll their eyes, people will say I overreact, but you don’t know me. I can’t let those people stop me from sharing my perspective because I know how beneficial it will be to some people.
I know it could be perceived that I live a dream life. It’s not the case at all. I want to be seen as raw and real. No frills or bullshit. This being said, it doesn’t mean I’m always unhappy. The majority of the time, I am happy, really happy, because for the first time ever I’m learning to be unapologetically myself. But what I don’t yet post about are my unhappy days. I want you to understand that I’m not faking my life; what you see is me. It’s just the parts of me I choose to show. Be prepared to see a side you aren’t aware of.
The amount of people who messaged me after starting my blog was insane. So many people said, ‘shit, I didn’t know you could WRITE’ well surprise surprise, there’s a lot you don’t know. I appreciate the people who have supported me from the bottom of my soul, it genuinely means the world and your kind sweet messages counterbalance the negativity I feel towards social media. Id be lying if I said there wasn’t days I want to just log off and never return, but I’d be isolating myself even further. And honestly, blogging is one of the only things keeping me going right now.
My advice with this post is: please remember to be gentle with yourself, and gentle with others around you. The shit you see on social media is so manipulated it’s untrue. Stop comparing yourselves; ‘relationship goals’, ‘friendship goals’, ‘fitspo’ it’s all BULLSHIT. My pictures are me at my best. What you don’t see is me covered in spot cream, hair greasy and pulled back, all bloated and grim. You don’t see me when I’m tired and upset. When I’m anxious or insecure. You see me at my best, same with everyone else. But behind the filters, the lighting, and the meaningless captions, I’m just a normal person. With feelings and mad insecurities. But keeping that quiet doesn’t make me fake, it makes me normal. Equally, if you can feel yourself about to judge someone negatively (we’re all guilty of it) stop and take a moment in their shoes. They may be fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.
I started this blog for a number of reasons. To share my insight on fashion and beauty, but about life in general too. I felt like I needed to get this off my chest. I know I’ve only had a couple of shitty remarks so far but I’m saying this now to prepare for the future. I’m learning every day to relax and let go of the perceptions of others and to grow more comfortable within myself. To not compare myself to every beautiful woman in the street or perfect lifestyle on Instagram, and I want you to do the same. To flip our negative perspectives and judgements and be generally more positive people. The happiest I’ve felt in ages has been receiving your lovely messages about my blog, about helping you lot out, it makes my day. Obviously, my family and friends do an amazing amount to help too.
I just needed to write this to un-clutter my brain. As I said, it may be gone by the morning, but it was necessary for me to post this tonight.
Let me know if you’re struggling with anything like this, I’d love to chat to you.
Thanks for reading.