Monday, 5 August 2019

Vanity and Self Obsession - the modern day girl

We had a ball on Friday night.  Think of girls spending 4 hours getting ready for golden hour, standing in the spotlight of the sunlight taking 450 photos of themselves.  I love Instagram culture.  I truly do.  It's not about the likes or the influencer culture or any of that.  I think I just love sharing my life with people.  Is that the appeal for everyone?  Of course we all love getting that one perfect shot, but sometimes it's fun to post any old picture with a thoughtless caption and give your life absolute transparency.  I love that idea of absolute transparency.  Perhaps I just want someone, everyone, to truly know me.

Last month I read an article about how 'finstas' are toxic.  The author talked about how her account was a cry for help, a way of letting people know what was going on in her mind and in her life without actually burdening them.  If she was going through something, she'd post some dark image with a caption about how sad and edgy she was - you know what I mean.  I mean, just last night this girl I think is beautiful posted a caption "self care is eating frozen peas on the kitchen floor", and suddenly she dropped a few notches in my respect scale.  Margaret Zhang gave a talk about your private vs public life, and I think we all need a little privacy, not that I follow that rule.

As I said, I like complete transparency.  The propensity to lay your life on the table in front of somebody is a personality trait in itself, but the key word in that is somebody not everybody.  A year and a half ago my friend told me she used to lie in bed every night and every morning and manifest for a perfect boyfriend.  She told me she'd pray to the moon that he would appear in her life, and one month later there he was.  They're still dating.

In some ways I guess a finsta is like a boyfriend replacement.  It's somewhere to belt out random thoughts when you have nobody who is obliged to listen to them.  Although, even if I had a significant other, I don't think I'd stop relying on public opinion.  Is this attention seeking?  Immaturity? A bad habit? Simply my personality?

And what exactly is it that we want from commitment with boys?  Sure, some girls have strong healthy relationships and I can understand the companionship... but some girls are almost seeing boys just for the sake of it.  Perhaps it's for that feeling Monique described on the Bachelor.  Monique is this blonde girl, a lingerie model, who walks in, shrugs her shoulders and says, "I just want somebody to adore me."

The other day my friend and I were discussing being one of those girls who just exudes intrigue.  A muse.  We couldn't think of anybody we knew in real life, so I gave the example of Lana Del Rey, to which she replied, "But M, Lana Del Rey is a persona.  She isn't like that in real life.  Nobody can be."  I guess we're all just regular people who can only be loved like that from a distance.  That adoration is not real love.  But if that's not real love, then do I really want real love?

Again, I say transparency, but perhaps the self I lay on the table on social media is my persona.  It's not graceful or intriguing, but a reel of supposed genuinity and fun, as if every mundane moment in my life has an interesting, funny twinkle.  I think I'd rather be graceful and intriguing, but that might be a little late now.

And get this - here I am, sitting on my bed in front of the mirror in the sun.  I don't look graceful, perhaps intriguing at most.  I like my hair and my skin and my oversized jacket, and my eyes look big, a little fierce, a little thoughtful.  But I don't look loveable.  I never look loveable.  I always look best alone.

It's my friend's birthday today though.  If I'd bought her flowers and chocolate, instead of bursting into her room at midnight for a quick effortless hug, that's the kind of girl I'd like to be.  I'm not, and being unselfish is never on my mind, but perhaps all this grace and intrigue and capacity to be adored doesn't matter when you're too distracted with your concern for others to be concerned about yourself.

Love,
M