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The Instagram generation

By Phoebe Holden

Who are we? We are the millennials, we are generation Y. We are feminism and we are equality. We are yo pro’s and freelancers, we are a generation ruled by the internet and we are hated by anyone older than a twenty-something. We are often considered social media obsessed and high maintenance.

Who are we? We are liberals living in a world run by technology. I think there’s a lot of good that comes with the use of technology, we can use it to advertise and advance local businesses. We can use it to raise awareness on a huge scale as well as make a difference. We are labeled the ‘digital natives’ and regardless of whether or not this is a compliment we use it to our advantage. Just like anything else all these highlights come with low lights too. When I talk to my mum or my older sisters about social media they don’t quite relate when I tell them how much it affects my mental state. The social media generation is a new-ish one and it has an extremely dark side to it. Anyone (regardless of their gender) can, and will be, affected by self-confidence and comparison, it’s inevitable and it’s everywhere. It’s at the gym on a week night, it’s at the beach on a hot summers day, it’s at your local coffee shop on a Sunday and it’s in your work place. No matter who you are, if you are human you will find yourself with that horrible little monster looking back at your reflection demanding you to be thinner, hotter or more like ‘them’.

This is a result of social media or more specifically (in my opinion) Instagram. Instagram is this awesome way to share memories with your followers. It’s also a free advertising platform and a portal to make connections, find jobs and see the day to day life of literally anyone. Instagram is great for inspiration and anyone with creative interests. Instagram is awesome for finding great places to eat out and its awesome encouragement to gain an eating disorder or two.

Lets talk about our bodies, We all follow people on Instagram that we don’t know and it’s usually because of how either they or their account looks. We like to fantasize about the greener grass depicted in these magical Instagram pages and about having a similar body and life ourselves. We of course wont have this ‘perfect’ life and we definitely wont have ‘that’ body. We put so much pressure on being and looking good enough for our followers and it’s our worst trait. You are born with a body engineered and sculpted specifically for you and that body doesn’t know whats ‘in’ it doesn’t know what a ‘perfect’ number on the scales are and it doesn’t care what filter makes it look the most skinny. Your body has only one interest and that’s you, when you receive an injury whether it is self inflicted or accident related, your body will do everything in its power it heal itself. It will fight bacteria and heal your scars, it will shut itself down if it thinks you may be in danger and it will reject anything it doesn’t consider safe to consume. Your body is furiously working 24/7 to keep you safe and healthy, why would you want to trade that for something else? You are the only person on this entire planet with this body and it is you in every way shape and form.

Regardless of the size on your dress tag, you have a unique and beautiful glow about you that only your body can radiate. The people you follow on social media have incredible bodies, incredible lives, incredible relationships and picture perfect everything in between but they will never be you, they will never have your flaws or your best features, they will never have that freckle in that place that you do and they will never have that ‘thing’ everyone loves about you because that’s your ‘thing’ and they have their own ‘thing’ but its not your one.

I think our generation is so independent and successful but we just suck so badly at recognizing the importance of self-love. We need to stop comparing ourselves to our friends and the unrealistic standard society has set us. You don’t need a ‘thigh gap’ to be right, you don’t need an ‘ab crack’ to be enough. You are enough, get off the scales, get off technology, take a walk, read a book and look at your reflection for so long that you witness the weight of social media roll off your shoulders and make room for your shine.

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