It has become evident that many women (adolescents and young girls) are feeling significant pressure to be seen to be living a perfect existence. This I believe is due, in part, to the rise and rise of all things social media, where it has become commonplace to see the 'good highly stylised life' rather than the 'mundane & unedited real life'. What concerns me further, is this influence is all many of the new generation of young women know, and live by.
I certainly understand this pressure. I recall some years back when social media became the new thing, trying to follow the glitzy articles, blogs or posts. Getting dragged into a new form of meditation, venturing to the gym to experience some new yoga craze, jumping on the gluten-free, vegan-free, life-free bandwagon. Just kidding myself that I was actually achieving something - anything - motivational by watching self help documentaries on youtube all day... And yet all of this did not budge that miserable space, a space that saw me comparing everything I had 'not' achieved to the photos and blogs of all those amazing tanned and stylish women who 'had'.
To add insult to injury I often felt even more hopeless given I had all these amazing tools literally at my finger tips that I should be drawing upon and learning from, (and lets not forget the bling bling photos of everyone else getting it right in wondrous parts of the world) and i just could not. Worse still, I suffered in this space (behind my screen) all alone.
After some honest reflection it finally occurred to me that most of what we see and read on social media is not real, and over the years since then it has remained mostly the same, only now we are bombarded with way more content, way more 'paid' influencers and way more subtle advertising! For all the blessings that technology has provided us, it has also left us feeling, ironically, less connected, more detached and way more self-critical than ever before.
A further irony is the most important tool I had overlooked throughout my soul searching was the act of actually reaching out to another human being, to genuinely and physically connect with someone on a tangible level (the old-school way I like to call it). And to be honest with them (and myself) about how I was feeling and/or struggling. What followed allowed me to learn more about self compassion, the power of being me and to never compare who I am with another.
I also decided that it was OK to leave my phone and all its distractions at home and to choose who \I follow based more on shared values and vision than anything else.
Brooke Cefai is a Counsellor & Wellbeing Facilitator who specialises in strengthening and empowering women's emotional and spiritual health. Brooke is extremely passionate about helping women re-connect with themselves & individual life stories, stories that are too often kept silenced. Brooke offers counselling and healing services at MISS FOX and online. To read more about Brooke's services, and to make a booking visit her page.