Imagine a world where you can roll out of bed, sleep in your eyes, hair all over the place, and no idea what to wear. You have a lecture in five minutes. Are you chucking on a tracksuit that doesn’t add up, brushing your teeth and running or are you going to accept the inevitable and unavoidable conclusion that you can’t make it cos you wont have time to get ready.
I am not one to go out looking like a scruffbag, but what has getting ready turned into? It has almost evolved into a ceremonious, mirror-induced ritual of utmost importance. No 18 year old would dare leave the house without their hair on ‘fleek’ and a carefully constructed outfit. Is it not stressful trying your best every time? I don’t particularly like what I wear every day and admittedly somedays it makes me feel uncomfortable to be in public. But then I remind myself… I am not letting the cunningly corporate, media-sensationalised, merciless phenomenon that is the 21st century get under my skin and infiltrate my soul to make me feel rubbish until I spend £200 worth of meaningless paper on an outfit made in a child slave camp in Vietnam. A lot can be said for the rest of my generation though… they do it for the gram.
I was once a victim too. I fell into the web. I bathed in the silky satisfaction of the little heart-illustrated notifications called ‘likes’. What a lovely feeling it was. 57 people had just liked my photo of my vainest wannabe model expression, 42 of which I’d never met and 9 of which I didn’t like.
I don’t actually go on Instagram much anymore because it winds me up. An endless scroll of trivial and patronising vanity. Cringe. I see boys dressing like A$AP Rocky posing like they sell Class-A with a caption suggesting they drive a Mercedes. In reality, they bought the clothes with money they earned at their PC World job that they have to catch the bus to every Tuesday and Thursday evening. It’s embarrassing.
Same for a lot of girls. Instagram seems to warp a could-be confidence into a an ego that thinks 350 likes means they are some sort of sought after trophy. No babe… you’ve just got your cleavage out in a pretty little dress with a caked-up face that you purposely did for this post and teenage boys have high-levels of testosterone.
It’s like one big game of poker, monopoly, snakes and ladders and snap mixed into one. Only the chips are likes, the properties are followers, the ladders take you nowhere and everyone’s hoping they can copy each other without each other knowing.