BY AWA DIA
Summer #SZN is here, which means new summer songs, trends, clothes ,and hashtags as far as social media goes. We live in a time period where we measure our goals based off someone else. It may sound a little far fetched, or may not be exactly what you want to here, but it’s true. A few days ago I was scrolling down my timeline on Instagram and saw a woman with a curvy body, and flat stomach. Instantly I sent it via direct message to my close friends and wrote“#bodygoals.”
After I sent that message I continued to scroll down my Instagram timeline and saw another woman of color with a beautiful 4c Afro. Of course like the previous picture , I sent this photo to my close friends and wrote“#hairgoals.”
Next, I find myself looking up different ways to achieve a huge fro like the woman on my timeline. I begin to obsess over my “#hairgoals,”and attempt to find out how that person grew their hair out that long and big. I wanted to know everything, how long did it take her? What products did she use? How can I achieve this?
There was a moment where I had to step back and delete the social media accounts from my phone because it was causing me to think negatively. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt this way before. I'm sure I am not the only person who hasn’t felt enough after seeing a post.
I often wonder why we do this, why do we create these “goals”? Don’t get me wrong, its great to have goals and want to work toward something, but why work toward something that's not you? Picking your “goals” based off of a post is only setting yourself up to be dissatisfied with yourself.
I believe as a whole this is something that we do without even noticing. We don't realize the affect this makes on us. An article from UK Huff Post written by Tia Duffy highlights the different methods everyone can boost their self-esteem and become body aware.
Tia Duffy is a body image spokesperson that encourages people to identify and remove the social media outlets that make them feel bad about themselves. Although her article focuses mostly on body image, I think it's important to apply this toward every hashtag on social media.
While “relationship goals” can be nice to admire and view on your timeline, it can also be very hurtful to your current relationship or single life. Many people obsess over these “goals.” Looking at all the cool things couples may do, the matching outfits, and photos of them traveling is enough to make someone feel incomplete. This is something that can create expectations that were never there, and unhappiness in a happy single life. Suddenly you think that you need to be in a relationship, or your boyfriend should do what someone else’s boyfriend did for them.
While there are many articles, YouTube videos, and posts about couples not posting each other on their social media pages and what it may “mean.” There are not enough articles about people obsessing over that. I think articles like those drive people into attack mode. Now you’re wondering why you weren't his #WCW, or her #MCM. Now social media has gained the power of validating your relationship.
Truth is, we’re all different and that means that we all will grow our hair differently, lose weight differently, and live completely different relationship lives. Instead of looking to social media for validation we should aspire to be the best version of ourselves. Don’t do it for the gram, do it for you.