First time when you get those comments like “I wanna be like you, I look up to you, tell me what did you do to get to that point where you are now?”, you understand you’re a role model and your actions really matter.
This day the world is really superficially focused. There are Kylie Jenner make-ups, all these fitness booms that don’t care how you feel but how you look, and studies showing that you make more money the more attractive you look. That gives a lot of pressure especially for young girls who are uncertain of themselves. (source: www.forbes.com)
So in the end, what really matters in this materialistic world and how can you keep your head together around all these advertisements and social media images of unrealistically perfect women? My first advice is to be real. I have strong intuition and I can notice right away when someone is faking it. Also I hate it when I have a certain impression of a person because of social media, and when I meet that person in nature, reality is something really different from what I’ve assumed. I give you an example: Lately there has been trending a “bad girl” image on Instagram. You know the type – long nails, braids, crop-tops and net stockings, matte lipstick, strong eyeliner…
And these girls are usually in their early twenties. The funniest thing is, when you meet them in real life, they’re the sweetest girls you know. There are no bad girl vibes in real life although they look like ones. After giving a lot of thought to this subject and thinking of myself as a 20 year-old young girl, not a teenager but not yet a grown up woman, I know I was also searching for myself. Who am I, What do I want to do when I grow up, What types of men do I want to date etc.
But what I’m really grateful of, I’ve always been real and I hope you to do the same. Look at the pictures above. There are two types of magazine covers. Left one is the published one. Right one is a graphic designers redo of the first one. There is a really important point here: Do you really wanna talk only about makeup, hair, outfits, boys etc all these superficial subjects and not to be taken seriously? Or do you want to make a change and be smart, strong, independent woman, who has a lot of more important things to say? Does your actions support the first cover or the second one? If you have a daughter or you think you would have one in the future, which type of these two covers would you want her to be?
Social media can be a very cruel place. There are a lot of opportunities as well, but how many of us can say they don’t give a sh*t of what people think about them? Also, you see all these beautiful people who must be out of this world. But I’ll tell you a secret – they’re not real. I mean their photos aren’t. See the pictures above. The left one is the real one, not retouched, and the right one is. If you look closely, you’ll notice I’m much slimmer and taller on the right photo. And it’s all done within couple of minutes with an app called Facetune on my iPhone. And there are a lot similar apps out there. Here I wanted to set an example and not you to download the app. I think they all should be banned.
It’s that easy to make yourself look totally different, and it’s horrible and unethical. For me, I have run two times a half marathon and have done sports all of my life. I know I’m in a good shape, but why do I still feel bad when I see the pic on the right? I could be much slimmer and taller according to that photo. But I am not and I shouldn’t feel bad about that fact. In today’s world these feelings are everyday reality for millions of young girls and fashion industry is making it worse and worse all the time.
So the lesson learned here: Don’t trust what you see in social media, magazines, blogs, ads… Photoshop, all these free apps you can use, makeup, right lightning and poses – anyone can look like a supermodel with a little help! So don’t feel bad when going through that Instagram explore section, the persons you see there might not look same in the nature. Instead of thinking 24/7 how you look or how you should look, support the real world of clever girls with dreams and meaningful, happy life.
Here are my tips to build a strong self-esteem:
1. BE REAL
2. BREAK YOUR OWN BOUNDARIES (Travel alone, apply to a new job)
3. HAVE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE (Embrace each other)
4. TALK, TALK, TALK AND CONNECT (Tell interesting facts about yourself and what you do. But don’t just talk about yourself – ask a lot of questions, people are pleased to tell about themselves when asked)
5. PROVE THEM WRONG (There’ll always be doubters, so what should you do? Well prove them wrong! Nothing gives you more satisfaction than success when everyone else thought you can’t make it)
6. READ AND EDUCATE YOURSELF (There are so so so many interesting self-help and personal growth books. After I read The Secret, I feel like amazing things have taken place in my life!)
7. DO WHAT YOU LOVE (You should every now and then have feelings of succeeding. They might come from hobbies, work or relationships. Remember that positive feelings and thoughts attract other positive things in your life)
8. BE HAPPY FOR OTHERS (This could be one of the hardest ones to proceed. Envy is one of the strongest negative emotions, but when you get over it and embrace others’ success, you’ll notice that what goes around, comes around)
9. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS (Be your own kind of beautiful, don’t let the world change you)
10. HAVE FUN (Whatever you do in life, we want you to be happy! We all have ups and downs, but what makes you a strong person, is how you handle your life in difficult times. Also when good things happen, don’t think you don’t deserve them!)