Is social media making us hate ourselves?

Kat from Tales of a Pale Face at the beach
If there’s one thing we women are REALLY good at, it’s criticising ourselves. I mean, how many times have you looked in the mirror/seen a photo of yourself/looked down at your cankles (note: you don’t have cankles) and thought something along the lines of ‘god, I look like shit/I’m so fat/I hate my spots etc. etc’? All these things that shitty little voice in your head tells you day in and day out that you’d never dream of saying to your best mate, but somehow feel it’s ok to say to yourself.

I had a moment over the weekend where my boyfriend had very kindly agreed to be my photographer (apparently bribing him with burgers is the key) and take some shots of me for this here blog. Cue hours of me reviewing the photos, critiquing every single one and hating them all because I thought I spotted the slight hint of a double chin and that my crooked teeth looked more hideous than usual. What had been a really fun and lovely day out in the sunshine suddenly turned into something that made me feel even worse about myself and those little voices inside my head just wouldn’t go away.

Social media is a huge part of my life, but I often question if it’s making us hate ourselves. We see those shiny pictures our favourite Instagrammers post and wonder why we don’t look like that, or are stuck in our office while they’re off on a beach somewhere drinking pina coladas. I KNOW these aren’t a real representation of what life is like all of the time (not to mention how much some of them get filtered) but it doesn’t stop those feelings of self-critique from poking through.

We’re encouraged to be online, be social, be creative and yet I feel sometimes that it’s not always healthy to be so connected. But I’m really not ready to pull the plug on my social accounts either.

Instead, I’m trying to ignore those little voices inside my head and just go for it – put myself out there a bit more instead of hiding away behind the camera and sticking to what feels safe. All those little flaws that we point out to ourselves when we look in the mirror are ones that other people don’t even notice. I posted one of the photos onto Instagram from the weekend and unsurprisingly, no-one made any nasty comments about double chins or crooked teeth – instead, there were some really lovely ones about having a beautiful smile (thank you for that).

I keep saying I’ll post some outfit posts once I lose some weight, but you know what, I’m not waiting any more. Yes, I might feel hideously self-conscious, but I doubt that will change even if I do drop 20lbs. Self-love and confidence shouldn't be about a number on the scales and I want to make my part of the internet (literally hate that phrase but whatevs) a positive place. It’s time to ignore all the self-negativity and just do it. End of.

*And if anyone wants to volunteer to help take some outfit pics so I don’t have to keep bribing my boyfriend with burgers I will be eternally grateful…*


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