With the new year underway, I got to have a serious moment of reflection on what 2019 meant for me. I questioned what parts were good, what parts were bad and what parts were ugly. But then I got to thinking what qualifies something as good? Is it something that made me smile? Is it something that others thought of as good? Then, as one does when in a reflection mode I sort of fell down a rabbit hole of hypotheticals. Why does something good have to quantified by someone else feeling the same way? Where do I think this stems from? Then I realized I wake up every morning and in between checking my emails and finishing a sudoku puzzle, I check Instagram to check up on and “like” my friends’ posts.
That thought triggered a whole other thought process of why is Instagram so prevalent in my life? Why is it integral to my morning routine and I realized that it’s because of its aesthetic representations and how I might interpret them.
I mean, when you think about it, Instagram is a highly curated social media platform that allows the users to only showcase the info and media they deem Instagram worthy. It is hardly ever a photo you took on your first try. Because of the rise of social media, we’ve grown accustomed to the idea of “options” when it comes to photos. Slightly different images that depict you essentially doing the same thing, but we have taken to put meaning in the arch of an eyebrow and how wide one might smile. We are given the autonomy to choose which photos show the most idealized version of ourselves which in some way makes the whole platform a work of semi-fiction.
It is an unspoken pre-requisite of our generation that in order to be uploaded we have to appear like we are having more fun than the next person while also appearing more attractive than them but dammit you better make it look effortless because followers and likes are a sufficient way to value self-worth.
What I have shared on social media makes my last year look like it was the best and while I did do a lot of personal growth, I had a lot of bad times too, but to post photos while crying isn’t exactly commonplace. 2019 was also the year I gained 20 pounds and believe it or not it doesn’t scare me. We have been conditioned to share only the best parts of ourselves while having to hold onto the rest, but it is not sustainable.
We are complex creatures that live our lives constantly traveling through the peaks and valleys of emotion. Why shouldn’t we present our whole true selves to the world? If we hold ourselves back, we condemn ourselves to be caricatured in a world that is somewhere in between reality and the surrealist quality of the internet. In the real world, we live with filters and edits that same honest quality should exist online as well. So, for 2020 I will try and make internet Bianca seem more like the real-life Bianca with all of her struggle that comes along with the pretty pictures in good lighting. If I am going to share me, I am going to share all of me. Take me for all I am followers and likes be damned. There is beauty in the mundane, try and embrace it.
Until next time readers…