How do you fall in love with something that makes you feel so inadequate?
I’m talking about blogging, instagramming and the whole social media dynamic of course.
Truth be told, I’m still very much in love with the power of social media tools that we’ve seen developing over the years. Perhaps it’s because I’m old enough to remember a time without Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc (and perhaps occasionally I feel a bit nostalgic for that time where no body shared your late-night shenanigans). Perhaps, the ingenue within me still loves that I can share my (edited) life with others across the globe and get a glimpse into theirs from my little corner in Brussels. I’ve made acquaintances and friends whom I would have probably never met had it not been through social media.
But these apps that take up most of my screen time according to my iPhone, are also those which make me feel the most inadequate at times. As another campaign from one of my all-time favourite brands unraveled yesterday afternoon, I kept scrolling my Instagram feed and seeing image upon image of your typical influencer: mostly white, tall, slim and perfectly toned sun-kissed body, all holding the new It bag in some exotic location, while wearing the latest threads. I still love the brand that shared this campaign, and the new It bag is certainly high on my wish list, but yes: It is times like these, when social media reminds me that little 4’11’’ curvy, 30-something me has no place in all of this. Or at least that’s how it makes me feel …
A few hours before said campaign reignited these feelings, I was shooting some content for an upcoming post and as my photographer friend and I were having fun we shot a couple of boomerangs for Instagram. Only one made it for public viewing. The other ones managed to pick a shadow falling right underneath my belly making it stick out more than ever before. I have not deleted that boomerang. It is just going to be my memo to self that that belly has to go. There will be those who will tell me that everyone has imperfections, that I should ‘own’ my belly (it’s already there, I just want it to be flat not round and sticking out – then I’ll own it more proudly don’t worry). But despite all the body positive activism, it takes more than an Instagram post of someone’s back rolls accompanied by well thought-out, albeit now hackneyed, hashtags, to make someone feel good about their own flab.
I didn’t set out for this to be a negative or an upsetting post. Heck, I’m accompanying it by some shots of me wandering about happily in Paris. I just wanted to share a little insight into the love-hate rapport I have with the online world I seem to inhabit for a good number of hours every day … While I should be old enough to know that most of what is shared online is heavily edited and usually far from the reality it supposedly conveys, there is still much of me that aspires to be one of those who magically attract the hundreds and thousands of likes … who are always selected to appear in campaigns … who just ‘wake up like this’ every single day … who just fit the Instagram mold.
That being said, perhaps I wasn’t made to be part of the flock. Perhaps I was made to stand out despite my diminutive size. Perhaps I need to take a step back and explore this niche … perhaps being different in this social media world is not so bad after all …
What I'm wearing:
Zara navy blazer (similar): https://go.zara/2VfHSmr
Rouje Gabinette dress: http://bit.ly/2Vg7zmL
Veja Campo vegan suede-trimmed leather sneakers: http://bit.ly/2VhwcQ6
Dior Book Tote Toile de Jouy: http://bit.ly/2OiiQBh
Photography by Emma-Jane http://bit.ly/2VdX0AK