She has silky hair, a super charming smile, her chic outfits make you dizzy. She is one of those people who has an incredible talent to leave the house in a white dress and put it back in the closet in the evening all the same perfect white. Her hair always looks like she has just come out of a stylist and it makes no difference whether it is raining outside, windy or there is an incredible storm, her hair is always just perfect! It seems people like her were born with an extra gene – which I shall call the ideal gene. She is a social media ‘IT Girl’ – a beautiful, stylish, young woman living a ‘perfect life’ on the internet.
The rise of popularity of social media has brought about a new generation of bloggers, instagramers and fbers. As the young generation plunged into a new world, so did I. I was studying at high school, I was someone whom you would call a good girl. I studied well, was involved in sports, my favourite pastime was reading books. I did not go to clubs and spent a lot of time at home with my family. Then, at some point, I’ve started reading fashion blogs and I was fascinated with what I saw, especially the beautiful girls living ‘perfect lives.’
People often told me that I was pretty, but I would never believe them. I was not happy with myself and I wanted to be a cover girl. I spent hours looking through the profiles of ‘ideal girls.’ I tried to copy them in everything and I wanted to be like them. I thought that it would make me happier than I was in my ‘normal’ life.
My motto became “less calories more Prada.” My life became a constant race for perfection. After a while, things changed, I began to travel a lot, my wardrobe looked more like a fashion boutique and favourite books were moved into the attic, to gather dust.
Vogue became my Bible and Anna Wintour, my spiritual leader. I learnt how to make great compositions for just the right photo. The primary task when going out for brunch was a good Photo Oh. I would only have some sort of tiny salad which did not exceed 200 calories.
I increasingly began receiving comments like, “You are living a dream,” “I want your life,” I wish I could dress like you.” I lived in a beautiful world of designer handbags, fabulous parties and endless journeys – #BreakfastInParisLunchInMilan. #XmasInThailand #ShoppingInDubai.
Looking through my photos again, I realised that my life did look just as I had wanted it to look, but the important word is that it only LOOKED – it was all about the image, about capturing a moment, creating a well-planned out composition.
#BreakfastInParisLunchInMilan and any of the other trips just refer to completely unmemorable trips in which I was more concerned with self-admiration and the amount of likes I received on instagram.
Hanging my perfectly white dress in the closet one evening after the party of the year, I felt exhausted. I hadn’t enjoyed myself at the party at all, I did not sit down or relax for one moment during the whole evening. I didn’t even come close to my favourite red wine and tried to keep other people at arm’s length.
In real life, there is no such thing as perfect hair. Living on an island where for eight months the humidity exceeds 70% and for the remaining four months, the wind does its best to knock you down, I know first-hand what a bad hair day is. It is only now, when I look back do I understand that I have missed the best moments in my life because I was worrying about my untidy hair, a speck on my left sleeve, or a badly matched outfit.
Here is the bitter truth. That type of lifestyle did not make me any happier. I had a 1000 friends on my social media pages but in real life they were much fewer than that. From being a ‘good girl’ I had turned into an eternally hungry and whining dummy. It seems that in the pursuit of ‘perfection,’ I had lost an important part of myself. I ran for what turned out to be something that I did not need.
My life was not an endless feast; it was just as I had exhibited it with bright filters, good angles and the right pose. We are not pictures, not dolls, no one is born with ‘the ideal gene.’ Happiness is not in 15000 likes on instagram, it is in every new day, in the world around us, we need only to break away from the screens and start seeing it.
Guest author: Romea Adler