When we’re trying to figure out what to do with our lives, everything seems to be about success, money and being seen. Choose a major that will get you the good jobs or be the rebel and go to Art School, but only if you’re a true genius (with serious student loan issues afterwards). Start your own business, but only if you post a thousand pictures of your breakfast, leg day routine and cutesy kitten to support it.
We see you. We know what you’re doing. Success is likes- not how many people actually like you. Money means happiness – from barely paying your bills to 5 cars in the driveway because that’s the dream. Create – but only what others want to hear and see from you.
Be yourself – as long as you’re young, hot, approachable (because sure, you eat donuts and have no-makeup days, duh), fit, healthy, have a ton of friends, the best grades and a plan for afterwards. If that’s not the case, fake it until you finally make it: The money, the friends, the cars, the house (with a mortgage, but who talks about that), the husband (because being single stops being cool after 25) and 1.3 children.
Life in the 21st century is being under a magnifying glass all the time. And not that this is a bad thing in general, but whoever doesn’t fit into the filtered Instagram-world, full of perfect scrambled eggs and skinny waists and awareness-for-everything-but-not-really, is an outcast. It’s not enough to fit in with a group of friends, to fulfill your parents’ expectations, find a job and find yourself. But the view of million other people is suddenly very important. It defines who you are.
Don’t get me wrong- those are no new observations. But everyone is talking about being yourself while presenting the most sugar-coated, happy, perfectly composed versions of themselves, sprinkling in perfectly curated bits of “normality” because they want to be relatable. Models eat pizza at 2 a.m., beauty bloggers take out the trash without a full face of make-up. Everything screams:” Look at me, I’m perfect, but also completely human.”
Why? Why do we have to get caught up in materialism, consumerism, please-get-this-to-5000-likes and look-what-xyz-has-sponsored? What is authenticity in 2017? I’m judgemental, right?
I am not saying that quitting Social Media and everything is the solution, oh and, go live in the woods for a while. But I am just starting out on this journey and I am really concerned with what “being yourself” truly means. And if we will all eventually let ourselves be corrupted by senseless fame and recognition. Or if this is – very simply- human.