Last week someone snapchated me after about a year of not talking to each other. It wasn’t due to any one significant reason but a few little mediocre ones. All I’m saying is, he did some annoying/questionable things. But before I changed numbers I remembered him whatsapping me trying to meet up before he moved back to his country of origin. I, like all people who can’t be bothered to confront someone, ignored him. Anyway, long story short, he got back in touch and sent me a snap on a Saturday night about a week ago.
The reason as to why I’m yapping about this is because I was trying to set up some context my pandas. You see, I hadn’t seen this person in over a year. People change in a year and I certainly got fatter in a year. Everything is a chain reaction. Once I got fatter, I had to start changing things slightly when capturing myself for others to see. A bit like an optical illusion, that of which even Criss Angel would be most proud of. There was no smiling. If there was, it would be captured from afar. Otherwise I had to strategically smirk, only just slightly, making sure it came across as warm, without showing teeth. The reason being so as my cheeks wouldn’t puff up like a blow fish and my eyes wouldn’t be squinty like Tom Hanks’. I give you my about.me profile photo as exhibit A, to the right of this page. Did I portray warmth… No, in fact I look snooty as fuck. I was my very own walking caricature when I gained weight. And thus I had to resort to illusions and trickery when taking snapchats, Facebook uploads and Instagram selfies. Why you might ask? Well, because our society of beauty clad Aphrodites are making me lose my marbles.
I’m going to reveal something to you guys. When my long lost friend snapchatted me I was looking like a dog. Glasses were on, no make-up on my face, bags under my eyes, shit was crammed in between my teeth, hair was so disgusting even the rats wouldn’t look to it as a home. I was beyond dishevelled. Obviously I had to send a snap back to not be impolite. And do you know what this loser (ME!) did? I physically got my make-up out and proceeded to apply contouring techniques to get the desired effect. I’m talking black winged eyes, bronzed cheeks and Snow Whites lips. I kid you not, I went full out. Hair and all. Next was taking the perfect snap. I situated myself near my balcony window for the best lighting conditions known to man. I lowered my chin, I tilted my head slightly to the right because my nose looks best at that angle. Jesus as I write this I want to hit myself over the head. But it’s all true. And this wouldn’t be a real confession if I wasn’t being completely honest. Next I push my left shoulder out a little to coax my collar bone out of hiding. Finally, I raise my eyebrows slightly to give off an “Oh I’m just slightly surprised, holding the meaning of life ” look and finally I push my upper lip in a slight pout which not only makes my upper lip bigger (not in an ‘I pump my lips sort of way’) but it also makes the tip of my nose a little smaller. And voilà… the “quick” snapchat photo is born. Obviously I take a shot and then delete it until I get one that I’m somewhat satisfied with. How in the gods of feta cheese did I turn out this way? Sometimes I step out of myself and I realise how ridiculous all this is. Hence why I’m talking about it now. But most of the time I truly want to scream because I’m fairly certain that Beauty in the social media world has taken a toll on women like me.
When I go on Instagram the women on there make me really doubt myself. But it’s not fair for me to blame them, they’re just following society. And it says that beauty is in. It is always in. It is the cool girl at school. It is an A on your homework assignment. It is the promotion you get at work. It is that high when someone calls you pretty and you chase that feeling for the rest of your life. Because, we all want to be liked. And in this day and age, your personality comes second and your looks is what others judge first. It takes roughly 6 seconds to look at someone and get an impression of them. If they are put together you assume that they have their life sorted. If they look like me on my every days, which is a dishevelled werewolf, then you would assume that my life is pretty boring. Even though I might be a fun person once you get to know me, all that becomes moot if I don’t get my foot in the door with my looks. It’s sad isn’t it? How smart, beautiful on the inside and out women have to arrange their photos in a way to make themselves more confident. Magazines have tortured us for years and social media has exacerbated it to epic proportions. You might be sitting there thinking I’ve gone bonkers. And maybe I have. But the persona I put of myself on my social media channels has been meticulously curated, photo-wise.
When I finally took a moment after I sent that snap, I realised this need to always look perfect is ridiculous. I will never be perfect. And not everyone will like me. So I need to somehow take a selfie that has no filters on it and gasp, dare I even say, no make-up. Even when my friends take a photo of me (which is rare) I end up begging them not to post it. I’m starting to think this is some sort of disease. Surely, I’m not the only one.
Either way, this need of creating the perfect illusion is turning out to be my own personal monster. It goes everywhere with me. I started to think that it has gotten worse now that I gained more weight. And maybe it has. But I have always had this need to fix and prettify my photos since I got my very first Sony digital compact camera. Yet, somehow now, with how society is and how women portray themselves, it’s gotten worse. I see it and this, my dear fluffy pandas, is a hard game to play. It is a lonely game where the battles are lost more than they are won. And still, I pursue the path that society has placed upon me. That Beauty has placed upon me. The pursuit of everlasting beauty and the riches that come with it.
❤ ❤ ❤
By the way, I have yet to see any rewards in doing what I do. Yes, the photos that I take, boost up my confidence. But when I truly take time out and think about all of this, it has done more damage than good. The only solution? Is to start looking at myself in the mirror, face on, no make-up and learn to love me for who I am. Because as you know, real beauty is more than skin deep.
Panda out… x