“Beauty is only skin deep”- Sir Thomas Overbury (1613 )
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (1878)
There has been a lot of noise on social media based on what it means to call yourself a social media influencer, calling into question what people are choosing to represent. One activist said that people are portraying a picture of unachievable beauty, creating a materialistic atmosphere showing followers that it only matters if you have numbers behind you but isn’t that what this world is all about? Isn’t this a message that has always been portrayed through centuries?
A disclosure, I write the majority of articles as a thinking person that doesn’t have all the answers. I do not write them to solve mankind’s issues or even to give a solution but if we want to get deep and take it all the way back as if it was a Thursday, mankind only raises their head and pays attention if you have numbers. It doesn’t make it particularly right but, if you want to close the deal, then the person with the most zero’s behind the number wins, money/ Numbers talks boo! So in a way, I do not understand why it is such a revelation.
I do get that the voice of the oppressed is becoming louder and there are more avenues to voice and challenge , but, Society has always had a call on what was beautiful or what was the standard benchmark of ‘when you’ve made it.’ Actually, let me rephrase that, society has portrayed what they feel is beautiful through magazine covers and told us what they think we should have through adverts and we have been gullible enough to fashion ourselves after it. That sounds better as we are just as much to blame! We have all at some point been sucked into wanting to follow the fashions of the world. I am not saying that I agree with the fact that people feel pressured to achieve the false reality but society is fake and will always try and manipulate what they feel is perfect. Being in the modelling industry, there has been times where even I felt out of place, as bookers and brands have a say over what they feel is perfect for them and you know what, they are 100 percent entitled- I am the one who put myself into the industry.
For example, I have always been insecure with how much bigger and dis-proportioned my boobs are with the rest of my size 6-8 body. Don’t get me wrong I embrace them and j’adore them now! But being on the receiving end to people always looking at them as if you put too much tissue down your bra in compared to your ‘marga’ waist was a lot at times. Especially in my early days of modelling. One time I went for a casting for a well known brand early in my career and I left wanted a breast reduction lol. I remember standing in a adjustable swimsuit , all the models had been given the same style but it legit barely covered a nipple lol compared to the other less endowed girls who it fit perfectly. It was safe to say I did not get the job and remember texting my boyfriend at the time ( who obviously was not in agreement of popping the fun bags lol) upset that my body was not the perfect beautiful size of the other models.
I would say that was a low point of my career as it made me not want to go for jobs afraid that my body wasn’t the ‘norm’. Honestly, if it wasn’t for a good support network and self belief, I think I would have stopped modelling altogether- no lies! To some reading this it may not be a big deal, but body confidence is real and even though I personally wouldn’t want to change a thing about my body anymore, societies ‘standard’ can call your confidence into question. I thus turned to building my Instagram as I felt it was one of the only ways I could have jurisdiction over what I was proud of and make my own opportunities.
Even though I am small fish in the social media pond, I am able to make my own opportunities and focus on portraying my beauty the way I want to, I have had the opportunity to work with brands and meet people I do not feel I would be able to without the use of social media. I feel that I am able to create my own ‘standard’ and be my own beautiful. Yes, there are people that edit the life from their photos but, 9 times out of 10 they admit it – Photoshop is not a secret anymore and if they do retouch their photos, personally I feel it is there prerogative, we are being just as bad casting judgement on something they post and feel is beautiful to them. I say good on them and there enhanced face tuned bootay!!!
Now is not the time to be tearing each other down about what is right or wrong, I do understand that as influences people are impressionable but my question is, if our little sister, cousin, brother, best friend or whoever is impressionable what are we doing to tell them they are beautiful in there own way, what are we doing to influence our own back yard ? If people in my circle such as friends and family didn’t install particular views and down to this day challenge my mindset, I would not be as strong minded as I am today to love myself as I am despite things that could have knocked me.
I am not going to lie, I feel proud when I see numbers behind my name as I worked dang hard to get there. It is not the whole focus of my life but it is something I am passionate in sharing that hard work pays off and if a 5’3(and a half), big boobed, tiny waist, curly haired chick like me can influence to love every part of you then long may it last.
Real recognises real xx