I’m writing this blog to raise awareness of not only mental health but the effect that social media and things we see daily have on it, as well as our self-esteem.
Personally I may come across as a confident and bubbly person but I would say that I’m not, as I suffer from anxiety and depression, which is usually well hidden. At this moment in time I’m at a place where my mental health is manageable on a day-to-day basis and I don’t let it hold me back. I now understand that if I have a bad day it won’t ruin all the progress I’ve made and this is why I wanted to take part in this campaign because #mymentalhealthmatters.
My class and I are taking part in a campaign which started on World Suicide Prevention Day (10th of September) and ends on World Mental Health Day (10th of October). As a class we are holding an event on World Mental Health Day to promote positive mental health, body confidence and loving yourself for who you are inside and out. We will be working together with the make-up artistry students to do make under or overs to challenge the perception of what is beautiful.
We are also encouraging everyone to get involved in our social media campaign about promoting positive mental health, by uploading photos and using hashtags such as #loveyourself and #ilovemy… which might be a physical or a personality trait that you love about yourself. Two other hashtags being used are #mymentalhealthmatters and #everyBODYmatters to reinforce the fact that mental health and knowing you do matter is so important. Everyone is beautiful and the idea of ‘perfection’ needs of be changed.
One thing I notice daily is selfies being posted on every social media platform, Snapchat stories, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’m no stranger to a selfie but I know when I go to take one I think about the lighting, the angle and ultimately how good it’s going to make me look as well as how others are going to perceive it. I think that most social media sites now have the option to use a filter on your photos that will blur any ‘imperfections’ or brighten/darken the photo, but the use of these filters is increasing and I know I rarely see an unfiltered picture on Instagram.
Last year Snapchat took the filter idea to the next level and introduced snapchat lenses that literally morph the way your face looks, and some even have voice changers when used in a video. There are more than 8 lenses to choose from: one might give you an overly big mouth or eyes, and others can make you look like animals such as dogs, bees and hamsters. I feel that people have become dependent on these filters and not in a good way. Instagram also jumped on the lens bandwagon earlier this year.
As we tend to become very image conscious from a young age we need to think about the influence this is having on children. The Snapchat lenses might be fun but the more they see everyone around them taking selfies using them they are going to think it’s the normal thing to do. Embracing who you are and how you look needs to start earlier in life and people often forget the influence they have on young minds that watch and copy everything we say and do.
Within this generation the idea of beauty has become distorted so much that people can be criticised on the way they do their make-up or hair, right down to the shoes and clothing they wear. Whether you feel comfortable with a full face of makeup every day or no makeup, some small minded people will still think they can comment.
If it makes you feel beautiful wearing glittery eyeshadow all the time wear it and make yourself happy.
I think people don’t realise the effect one passing comment can have on someone’s confidence. Saying something along the lines of ‘you don’t suit your hair tied up’ can have a huge domino effect and lead them to being self-critical and over analysing the way they look.
On social media the fashion trends change so fast, you see different fashion brands posting pictures of the latest clothing but then when you look at the sizes it might only be targeted at sizes 6 to 12, whereas some brands do stock a wider range to accommodate bigger sizes. There is no perfect body type and everyone wears clothes so why is fashionable or trendy clothing not widely advertised for every body shape and size?
This idea of ‘perfection’ needs to be thrown out and the fact that everyone is beautiful needs to be embraced in a big way. Try to build each other up instead of tearing each other down and love yourself for you because everyBODY matters!
Brogann, Beauty Therapy