CONSTRUCTED CONTENT VS REALITY; MY UNFILTERED THOUGHTS
Just a heads up; this is likely to be quite a controversial one.
We all know the routine: Scroll through Twitter, share a few thoughts, retweet a couple of people, like a handful of Tweets, go to Instagram. Scroll through Instagram, double tap a couple of pictures, look at the “Explore” page, go to Facebook. Scroll through Facebook, share funny posts, stalk some old school friends, back to Twitter. Throw Snapchat and Pinterest into the mix and you have the continuous daily routine of most teens and young adults.
Don’t get me wrong - social media is fantastic. It is one of the greatest platforms to share ideas, comedy, personal stories and it is an ingenious tool for marketing and targeting specific people for little to no cost. Essentially, it's the reason I'm able to live out my day-to-day life. But, as great as all of that is, social media is also one of the most damaging aspects of our generation.
The landscape of blogging, and online content creation, has certainly changed over the years - especially with the stratospheric rise of Instagram. Bloggers were once loved for being the girl’s next door, your online best friend, and having a relatable authenticity that differentiated themselves from the magazines and models – but that's not so much the case these days. Instead, that's been replaced with immaculately displayed breakfasts in a 5* hotel room, the “perfectly undone” candid in bed shots wearing silk robes - and sunglasses, eye roll, Gucci bags galore, and frolicking about in the Maldives for a shoot that wouldn’t look out of place on the pages of Vogue. Such levels of construction and in some extreme cases, serious photoshopping, take away from the very things that made bloggers so different and special in the first place.
One of the glaring issues of the changing landscape of blogging is the whole "constructed content vs reality". There’s creating inspiring, stylish content, and then there’s creating a total fantasy land that is in no way a reflection of your life, and effectively seems deceptive to the audience. But where does that line lie? It’s constantly changing.
Blogger or non-blogger, we all post the prettiest photos of ourselves on the internet, and write about the most positive aspects and experiences. I mean, would you rather show your best side or your worst side on the web, realistically? I'm the first to admit that I put the best version of myself online. Perhaps that’s vain and vacuous, and perhaps that is unfair of me, but it’s the truth – people don’t come to my page for badly posed shots or uninspiring locations, and for me, when the likes of Instagram is a marketing tool, it's not exactly good practice.
Criticism over ad campaigns and magazines for overly airbrushing their images has come on hard and strong over the years for the unfair, unrealistic, and damaging beauty standards it can set women – yet at least it’s something we have become aware of. But as for bloggers, because they’re “real” people sharing “real” lives, there’s a certain assumed honesty in the pictures they post. Well, sorry to lift the lid on this semi-secret, but more bloggers than you think most certainly edit their photos - from tiny tweaks to true transformations. Thanks to the invention of apps such as Facetune and Lightroom, a skinnier, more perfect silhouette with smooth, imperfection free skin is just a quick debit payment and a few 'skilled' swipes away.
People may seem surprised at this but I’ve heard some admitting to getting rid of double chins, slimming down thighs, cinching stomachs, thinning out arms, just to name a few little bits. You only need to meet a blogger in real life at an event to see that she’s not quite like the images she posts online. It happens -and often.
I'm not saying I'm a saint, of course in time I've learned which angles flatter my body and I'm certainly going to remove a spot or two if necessary but one thing I'm always conscious of is that it's still me. I would hate for someone to raise an eyebrow when they meet me in real life and so no matter how much I want to make myself look leaner, or taller, or even change the shape of my nose, my vow to stay as authentic as possible will always trump all of those desires.
What are YOUR thoughts? I'd love to know!