don’t let your self(ies) deceive you

Hi loves,

Before I start, I’d just like to apologise for the ridiculous title and hope you don’t judge me too hard for being bad at puns.

Today I’m going to be talking about selfies and pictures of people that you see on the internet and social media, but the difference is that this time, that person is going to be you!

I’ve never seen anyone really talk or touch upon this before (maybe it’s not even a thing or maybe it’s just something odd to talk about) but I had an idea the other day when I was thinking about certain past life events of mine and thought you know what? I’m going to write about that.

I’m going to try and keep the story short, as if I try and go into too much detail it will pan off into different topics like body confidence, self perception etc. and again I’d like to talk about those properly in separate blog posts, so I’ll try and make this as simple as possible.

When I was 14 I moved to a new school and I met this guy there, over here we leave school when we’re 16 and so I was seeing this person every day in class for 2 years before we left. Long story short we both knew we liked each other but basically he was too scared to get into a relationship  and so it never ended up going anywhere and we left school without seeing or speaking to each other again.

Over the next couple of years after we left school he did message me a few times, (once every 6 months if that) but he still wasn’t ready to get into a relationship and so I was like okay cool, I don’t need to worry or even think about that because it’s not going to manifest into anything, he’s just another number in my phone.

Fast forward 3 years later to when I’m 19 and this guy has suddenly really grown up and now he wants to properly start hanging out to see if a relationship can happen between us. I want to, obviously, but the more I think about it, the more I start to panic. (Side note – I’m an extremely anxious person and over think absolutely everything, things that seem normal to other people definitely don’t seem normal to me).

This guy hasn’t seen me since I was 16 years old, yes he’s seen pictures of me since and we’ve snapchatted but he still hasn’t seen me in person for 3 whole years, the image of me he has in his head is of who I was when I was 16, and I was definitely not that person anymore. I didn’t even think I looked like that anymore (obviously, because I’d grown up but that wasn’t my thought process at this point) – I hadn’t dyed my hair any crazy colours or shaved it all off but as a 19 year old, I definitely didn’t look like a 16 year old. Instantly I’m panicking, if I meet up with this guy, how am I going to look like my 16 year old self? Straight away I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, anything. I’m looking at all the pictures I have of myself at 16 and analysing every single detail about myself.

Now, here’s the point that I want to make. All of these photos I had of my 16 year old self were selfies – I’m not saying we’re all catfishes or anything but everyone makes sure that the pictures they post of themselves on the internet look amazing, right? We take photos at angles to make our bodies look better or our faces look skinnier, people whiten their teeth or use anti blemishing effects on their skin, they style their hair in a certain way for the click of a button and that’s it, other people who see these photos then think that this person looks like that all the time.

In reality, they don’t. It’s the whole thing of taking 100 selfies and then posting the best one out of that whole bunch, people haven’t just taken one snap and posted it on Instagram, it’s all a much bigger process than that. I’m looking at these younger pictures of myself and thinking wow, I look really good, I definitely don’t look like that now. My hair looks so nice and I look so skinny and oh god 3 years later I don’t think I look like this anymore he’s going to see me and run.

Reality check – I literally looked exactly the same other than the fact my face and body had matured by 3 years. I got my friend to send me pictures she’d taken of me when I was 16 and I compared them to the selfies I’d taken and I was like yeah, I definitely didn’t look like those selfies all the time. The photos we take of ourselves and the photos other people take of us are two different things and I forgot that when I was panicking about the fact I’d made myself look amazing in these selfies and definitely didn’t feel like that in real life.

On social media nowadays I’m very aware of the fact that most things aren’t real – people only show you what they want you to see, people will take pictures with barely any clothes on and twist and distort their bodies to make it look like they have a flat stomach or a peachy bum and in reality, they don’t. That’s not me hating because, you do you girl – post pictures that make you feel good about yourself, you look amazing no matter what. But I know that the second the girl with the huge bum turns the camera off and her body goes back to its normal shape, her bum looks the same as everyone else’s. I know that as soon as the girl with the perfectly smooth and flat stomach sits down and relaxes, she’s going to have rolls of skin and fat just like everybody else. I know that the girl who takes a picture of her beautifully slim stomach when she first wakes up in the morning, doesn’t have that same flat stomach when she goes to bed at night, and again, this isn’t me hating – because I would do the same, everyone does the same. But these people aren’t superhuman; they’re just like everyone else. Skin stretches and folds because it’s skin, it’s elastic, it’s what it’s supposed to do. I used to be deceived by these images and yet I was posting them just like everybody else to the point where I then ended up deceiving my 19, nearly 20 year old self into believing I used to be something that I wasn’t.

Sometimes it just takes a reality check to bring you back down to Earth to realise we’re all human, no one has special powers that makes them immune to stretch marks and fat rolls, blemishes, untamed eyebrows, the list goes on.  We’re all part of the same thing and we shouldn’t be deceived by what others choose to show us (especially ourselves).

I don’t really post many selfies these days and when I do, I find they’re very few and far between.  I don’t like the idea that my worth or level of attractiveness is based around how many likes and comments I get and I definitely don’t like people talking to me just because of a selfie I’ve posted. I would much rather post a picture of the sunset rather than a selfie I took where I picked myself apart and exhausted myself going through endless poses to then select one photo out of 100 and know that when I posted it I still didn’t feel like it was enough. I want to have something to offer other than just my physical being, I want to offer words and kindness, to inspire people and make them believe that there’s something bigger and better than this. I want to empower people and create; I want to be one in a million because of my mind, not my face.

I hope you all know that you are beautiful inside and out, and if you ever look at your body and think “_____ doesn’t have that”, the chances are they do, and you know why? Because we’re all human.

And that’s a beautiful thing to be.

All my love,

Chloe .xx

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28 thoughts on “don’t let your self(ies) deceive you

  1. chasingchelseae says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I am a little older (25) but I’ve seen my little sister go through middle school and high school with Instagram. I always felt so sad when I saw her editing her body on an app at 13 years old… I can’t imagine what high school would have been like with kind of pressure. Sometimes I think what I am going to do when I decide to have a kid and she has to go through this? Like, I don’t even know how parents help a kid through eating disorders and self-hate that social media creates. It’s terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      I worry about this too ☹️ even though I’m only 19 and am not ready for children yet, I think the whole pressure surrounding social media will only get worse as time goes on, it’s so heartbreaking to see girls as young as your sister editing themselves to fit the beauty standards forced upon them. It’s awful to know that something created by man can do so much harm when used in the wrong way .xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. crystalsandcurls says:

    This is such an important piece; I genuinely love it – I don’t see anything WRONG with selfies, especially on days when I need the confidence boost of “hey, I know you poked yourself in the eye like 400 times BUT that eyeliner is fierce, girl” however placing our worth on them is a slippery slope….sometimes I worry that the line between reality and perception is blurred a little too much with social media x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lauzieslifestyle says:

    I personally like selfies. They help with my beauty and fashion posts, and they played a significant part in helping me get into shape. I also do not think there is anything wrong with choosing angles and editing, because the camera can lie and enlarge areas and lighting can enhance dark circles.
    In having said that, I do think it is a shame that we place self-esteem on them. I know many fitness girls online who do look toned whatever way they stand and when I was toning up, I noticed that no amount breathing in could magically alter my body. People go to extremes though and I can admit to looking at old photos and thinking – wow, you looked better before and then remembering how much I edited it. Even though I take images of myself and may be considered an ‘Instagram girl’, I try to avoid the strong analysis. Today I even deleted over 100 images because I realised that they were pointless selfies. I think it is about not competiting and learning to love yourself regardless of your images. But that is far more easier to say than to do. A very thoughtful and interesting post! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thanks lovely! I think taking selfies is a great thing because it means we’re confident and can learn to take pictures of ourselves and appreciate the fact that we can look at them and think wow, I look good. That’s the whole point of taking a selfie, right? I just don’t believe in taking / posting them for the sole purpose of trying to impress others or compete with them, I think that can quickly turn into a negative and pressurised thing which is really what this whole post is about. Thanks for your thoughts! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ofteaandengland says:

    This really hit home, and ahh I’ve been trying so hard to use social media (especially instagram less even though I love it) but social media is not real life, and i feel that as a society we’ve become ridiculously dependent on it…likes, comments, filters, angles – how can something so frivolous not seem awkward for us?? Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. abbyuppington says:

    Chloe you really are wonderful at writing!!
    This is so true & it makes me so sad that girls put so much effort into a picture, that in reality they look nothing like because they/we think it makes them/us look more beautiful (we are all guilty of doing this) babes you are beautiful without the filter – own it!!!!! It is so worrying that we think we need it! Unfortunately we live in a society that if you don’t look like their idea of ‘perfect’ you feel unworthy and that makes me sad. I’m all of for loving yourself when you have greasy hair and pjs on or when your make up is LIT. Just do you boo boo don’t let anyone tell you otherwise xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you so much !! That’s such a lovely thing for you to say 💜 You are so right though, girls are literally amazing and it upsets me that so many of us put ourselves down because of the pressures put on us by social media – which isn’t even real !! You worded it perfectly! Girl power is the best ✨🌹xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. purrpale says:

    I absolutely loved reading this! It was so inspiring, I don’t post a lot of selfies on any social media because I hate taking them because of all those reasons you’ve stated. I’m unfortunately that type of person who constantly checks how many likes I have on Instagram posts and after reading your post, I’m realising that’s not a thing I should be doing. I shouldn’t be caring, so thank you, I’m definitely going to try and stop caring as much and posting what I want to post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Ahhh thank you so much my lovely! You are worth so much more than the likes / comments etc. you receive on Instagram, while you’re constantly checking your phone for notifications imagine all the amazing things you could be doing instead! 💜 Lots of love .xx

      Like

  7. stelakoc says:

    This was literally one of the best written and inspirational posts I’ve ever read xx I just love how real you write and It really shows that you put a lot of effort in it.This post was exactly what I needed, because I feel the same way and it makes me sad that people still value others based on pictures and likes, basically how the person looks. At the end of the day, that is really not what matters and I definetly want to spread the same idea as you. Maybe I will write a similar post on my blog in the future x Cheers to you girl ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Wow you are an ANGEL. Reading things like this make me so ridiculously happy, I always try to put 100% effort into everything I do on this blog so it’s so nice that you’ve said that – I’m glad it shows! If you write something similar let me know because I’d love to read it! I’m glad to know this inspired you, it makes me the happiest girly ever✨ All my love to you 💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Bayance says:

    Wow….that was just….okay I’m literally speechless. Beautiful and True. I personally am not the type of girl who worries a lot about selfies because I’m comfortable with my followers (i have a private account) but I know a lot of people who do. I had this friend who got really annoyed because she didn’t get 100 likes on her instagram picture like um okay does it really matter? “I want to have something to offer other than just my physical being, I want to offer words and kindness, to inspire people and make them believe that there’s something bigger and better than this. I want to empower people and create; I want to be one in a million because of my mind, not my face” <– This needs to be up on my wall. Amazing post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hell0chloe says:

      Ooooo my, this made me smile so much. You are an angel! I find it so heartbreaking when I see girls tearing themselves apart over social media and frantically checking their accounts every 2 seconds to see how many likes they’ve received on things. We’re not measured by how many likes / followers we have! The internet isn’t a physical thing, it’s just this space somewhere that people can tune into and so in real life it’s irrelevant and means nothing, it doesn’t define who we are as people and I find it so sad when people base their worth off of the way they’re reacted to (either positively or negatively) on here ♡ Thanks for your comment lovely .xx

      Liked by 1 person

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