Let’s get down to basics.
No matter how many likes you have on Instagram, friends on Facebook, hearts on Periscope or followers on Snapchat (I know you wish you had more!), your popularity at school, whether you're the 'best dressed' on campus, whether your work colleagues ask you to hang out on a Friday evening after work, whether you're a supermodel, teacher, doctor, actress, business manager, retail assistant, administration officer, student, lawyer, designer, artist, singer, receptionist, barista, sportsperson, blogger, (the list goes on and on!), you probably have similar desires to the girl next to you.
Though we may look different, sound different and walk different, we are all women who face very similar challenges, just ‘dressed up’ differently.
And on the outside, we look the part we want to play. We're oh-so talented (and everyone must know), driven, have the best clothes, the perfect makeup, exude just the right amount of fitspiration (over Instagram, of course), have the strongest marriage, the most well-behaved children, the biggest smile, and the most money, right?
There is nothing wrong with sharing snippets of our lives with other people on social media. I really enjoy scrolling through those little squares. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with these images – they can be creative, aesthetically pleasing and even inspirational, at times.
But if we’re honest with ourselves, so often when we look, we compare. It truly breaks my heart to see women crippled by the comparison game. As a society, we create our identity and put it on display for everyone else to see, and the status quo screams 'criticise, compare, compete' with the girl next to you!
But I challenge you to make a stand against the norm. I challenge you to see past the perfectly crafted images, and picture-perfect lifestyles. I challenge you to shift your perspective. When you look, I challenge you to see people instead of filters; to see the heart instead of the title.
I believe the heart wants:
- To be accepted;
- To be loved unconditionally;
- To be believed in;
- To pursue purpose; and
- To be valued.
When we see past the titles we hold and look right at the heart, our perspective shifts. We begin to see each other not as competitors but as women who are on a similar mission. While 'that girl' might look like she's got it all together on the outside (the perfect career, the handsome boyfriend, the new zippy car, and flawless looks), she actually may not be all that different from you.
This is not a just a feel-good message to make you get all of the warm and fuzzies. This is a message that is needed now more than ever before. With more than two billion people across the globe using social media, we're globally connected than ever before, yet we're also struggling with more pain than ever before. In a world where one person takes his or her life every 40 seconds, because their pain is so great and they believe that life is no longer worth living, we desperately need a counter message that screams louder than the noise - 'YOU'RE NEEDED', 'YOU'RE SO WORTH IT'. It's a message of value, it's a message of love.
So let's do our part to place value on others. Let's stop comparing and casting judgement, and let's simply place value on one another for who we are. Come on ladies, it's time to kiss goodbye to the status quo. Are you with me?