How many ‘influencers’ do you follow on Instagram? I follow A TON, or at least, I used to – especially beauty, lifestyle, fashion influencers. Watching them in their cute bodysuit, showing off their perfect body, and enjoying their lives somewhere tropical made me really admire their lives, and almost made me want to become like them.
In the beginning, it was a pure admiration! Their lives are full of inspirations: outfit ideas, new clothing brands, makeup routines, and even home décor ideas. Not long after, I started to realize that the admiration was actually affecting me in a very negative way. It made me compare myself to the ‘successful’ influencers. They have the perfect ‘Victoria’s Secret’ bodies, and the perfect happy lives full of fun events and amazing trips. And then there was me – just in my normal, not-that-impressive body, working Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. It was very toxic.
I didn’t like anything about myself: the way I look, the way I talk, or the way I look in photos. My daily routine became looking at photos of those beautiful girls and finding the things I wish I had. I was very depressed, depressed to the point where I had to stop going on social media like YouTube and Instagram. I would take selfies but was afraid of posting them because I was scared that people who I know in person would look at them and judge me for trying too hard.
Now that I look back at it, I think the obsession with my look is one of the biggest reasons why I had been battling an eating disorder which caused skin breakouts, dizziness, lack of iron and salt, and sore throat from vomiting. This is something I think I’ll talk about more in a separate post in the future to give it the importance it deserves. As I know this is something many people go through and face everyday.
However, when I began disconnecting myself from social media, that’s when I started to recover from these damaging side effects. I spent lots of time thinking about myself and reflected on what I truly want my life to be, and what I want myself to be. To be clear, it took me a LONG time to be where I am now, about a few years. What helped me to regain self-confidence is that I kept myself busy and productive – whether it’s work, hobbies, or just hanging out with friends, making my days full of things I love/want/have to do made me feel really good about myself. And that’s one of the reasons why I started my Instagram again and this blog.
For anyone that ever feels that social media affects them negatively and is going through the same issue, just remember to take things day by day, and try to live your life in the way that’s best for YOU. I’ll go into more details about what exactly helped me in part two of this blog post, coming soon. In the meantime, I hope this helped in some way!