Celebrities are deleting their Instagram accounts: why a before and after photo is a wide-awake nightmare and the uncomfortable truth about societal conditioning that is literally killing people.
It’s becoming a common occurrence, I feel, to hear about more and more celebrities deleting their social media accounts. Most recently, Grammy winner Cardi B who had over 40 million followers. Her decision to disengage from the platform followed the footsteps of other celebs like Meghan Markle, Ed Sheeran, and Emma Stone. But even Kanye deleted his account, which I think really says something. Nobody loves Kanye more than Kanye. So, why is it that the people we follow don’t want anything to do with it?
I also saw a photo series on social media last week by the photographer Rankin (via Stylist magazine) where he photographed teenagers, kept the original, and asked the subjects to edit and filter their own photo until they felt it was acceptable enough to post on social media. He then placed the two photos side by side. It absolutely broke my heart. These young women – our future politicians, mothers, scientists, biochemists, authors, Nobel prize winners – thinned out their faces to appear skinnier, added makeup, tweaked their nubile cheekbones, and brightened their complexions in efforts to feel beautiful in someone else’s eyes. As if they came into this world unprepared to face it in the body they have, unedited. As if being “pretty” and “thin” is the epitome of their worth.
How did we get here?
How is this heavily-filtered, constantly looking for “perfection” culture normal?
And what does it mean that the perfect people we starve ourselves to emulate are abandoning the platform?
Social Media could both ruin and run your life, if you let it.
It’s becoming very apparent that we are conditioning people to believe from a young age that you need filters for ‘likes,’ and you need ‘likes’ to be validated. It’s the new norm. I’m guilty of it too - I grew up in the dawn of social media, where sharing your entire life on a public platform was a reflex, like breathing. Our A.I.M. away messages were streams of consciousness with locations (a/s/l, anyone?). At the same time, however, it can feel next-level scary to put your real, whole self out there in the world – cellulite, freckles, imperfect teeth and all – out of fear that you won’t be accepted or ‘liked.’ Which is the worst thing that could happen, really.
What a strange culture we’ve created.
Where we’re sharing everything and nothing at the same time.
That is to say, I was scared to be my whole self, not only on social media but it in all areas of my life (because it’s never just one or the other), until I healed how I viewed myself. PSYCH-K® came into my life and “I love myself” and “I accept myself” were some of the very first beliefs I instilled in my subconscious because I wanted to be operating from a place of self-love and acceptance as a baseline. After all, it was never, ever about getting approval from a stranger on the internet. I was always looking for it from myself.
After balancing for those baseline beliefs and getting my subconscious on the same page, I was finally able to look at my life through a lens that projected everything I now love in me onto everyone else. This couldn’t happen until I acknowledged all the debilitating, self-judging thoughts, feelings, and conditioning I had held on to so tightly, for so long. But once I was in this place, where I fully love and accept me for who I am at my core, I could fully love and accept someone else for who they are.
“They” (read: YOU) are another unique, beautiful soul having an equally unique and beautiful human experience - It’s really not that complicated.
Comparison is literally lethal
I know I’m not alone in these conditioned beliefs, because I’ve seen it. I’ve even seen it drive my own brother’s life into the ground, leading ultimately to his death. This rampant un-acceptance of self in light of comparison to another is something we tend to plaster all over everything else in our lives because being human is messy. It’s so powerful, in fact, that “I accept myself” is commonly the FIRST thing balanced for in most of my PSYCH-K® sessions with new clients. They come to the conclusion that THIS is the place to start. We’re all, ultimately, looking for the same thing.
Know this: There is no other YOU. THAT is your power.
So, how have we gotten to a place where there are “standards” for beauty, when every single being on this planet is born with their own unique set of DNA?!
Any why have homogenized aesthetics and receiving validation outside of ourselves become so desirable?
Disordered eating, suicide rates, substance abuse, anxiety, depression – they’re all on the rise, especially in younger and younger generations, but these are all just SYMPTOMS of what’s really going on. I’m not saying, by any means, that social media is the sole cause of our suffering - I’m essentially saying that we are. By subscribing to and promoting homogenized beauty ideals, and markers of what a “normal and successful” life looks like, we are hurting the very people we know – and telling them, essentially, to shut-up about it. If you find yourself doing things to fit in or be ‘liked,’ you’re basically sending out a vibe to the people around you that it’s okay to “live in this box that you’re conditioned to live in and try not to make waves; have those 2.5 kids in that new house with the white picket fence and the golden retriever and that haircut everyone else has and go to your 9-5 in that expensive car you’re still paying off, on repeat, every day, because that’s what’s instagrammable and how you achieve the American Dream.”
Diversity and Inclusion are v 2019 - here’s where to start
We live in a world that does not 100% embrace our innate diversity. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. We’re still, collectively, trying to shove people into these pre-fab boxed lives - probably originating in the 1950’s - so no one else is made to feel “uncomfortable” by our differences. There are no billboards or commercials encouraging the notion that YOU already know YOU best and that you are SO powerful. Empowerment of the individual doesn’t sell, just like health doesn’t make money. Instead we have a country with an alarming number of people, who don’t fit into these societal norms, absolutely sprinting from themselves.
This. Is. A. Problem.
What can you do about it?
Answer the following: how do you view yourself right now? Do you think you are lovable, valuable, and an integral part of this world? Do you love and accept who you are, unconditionally? Chances are, if you can’t find them, the answers to these questions reside in how you see and treat others… and you may not like what you find.
But that’s okay – we all start somewhere.
It starts with you.
It starts with all of us.
It starts with everyone becoming aware of and accepting that they were born perfectly equipped for this life! Who told you that you weren’t?! It also starts with you accepting that you are completely responsible for your own life and the choices you make (and that you are SO capable of making them – you’ve got this).
You ARE your own best expert and you already have the power within you to make your/our world better. So I encourage you to get uncomfortable. Be honest with how you are viewing, treating, and feeling about yourself right now, because how can you logically expect to coexist in peace with others and their differences if you refuse to first exist with your own?
When we ALL start operating from this place of love and acceptance over judgement and fear, we can make room for real, lasting change to take place. And, if for you this translates into taking a break from your social media accounts to get a little more grounded in who you are and recognize what you value in yourself, I’m sure Cardi B would be proud. You have all the permission you need to clear out the negativity from your life so you can make space for your whole-unique-different-beautiful self to show up. You are, ultimately, responsible for taking control of the elements you allow into your life - don’t you want them all working to support the best version of you?