I’m sitting in bed, curled up with an old stained sweatshirt on and consumed with scrolling through Instagram. I’ve stumbled upon the page of an old friend, who seems to be making her way in the modeling world by posting provocative pictures on the ‘gram to step up her “game.” As I’m looking at her feed, of pictures in her underwear, two thoughts instantly pop into my head:
- Wow, she has modeling contracts just by posting on social media? She’s making money because she has over 7000 followers? And I’m busting my butt in school trying to get a degree…
- This is her life. Her entire world is online, her entire body is online, and her name is a brand laden with sexuality. She is consumed with social media to the point that I am absolutely heartbroken, because is she really living?
Admittedly, the first thought is embarrassing. I look at her follower count, and immediately, almost instantaneously, I’m considering my own feed. It’s crazy how second-nature comparison can become in our culture. In order to come to the second conclusion, I actually had to tell myself out loud, “there’s more to the story.”
When our knee-jerk reaction is envy, we should remind ourselves that a puzzle piece doesn’t portray an entire picture. In our media-driven world, a snapshot of someone’s story is shown, and we instantly envision their entire world. I’m so exhausted with the game, aren’t you?
Anyways, I want to talk about my second thought: her entire worth comes from the validation that she receives from little square pictures. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing anyone whose profit comes from Instagram. It’s an incredible resource, and if you can manage it well enough to make money, then I’m completely in awe of you! I e
But this girl, my friend, has absolutely broken my heart. Because she’s not only selling a picture of herself, she’s advertising a package. The comments on her page are absolutely appalling, with men lusting after her pictures and making crude sexual advances. Somewhere along the course of her young life, she has believed the lie that disguises itself as money and beauty claiming that a woman’s body is not sacred. It is not worthy of respect. It should be advertised for the entire world to see.
My heart is heavy as I write this, because social media presence is such a weighty topic to tackle. I just want you to know this: if you are a woman, you do not need to put yourself on display to earn a man’s love.
You are worth being pursued. You are worth fighting for. Your body is sacred. Your mind is important. You are more than the curves on your body. You matter.
And please understand, hear me when I cry, you do not need to take off your clothes in order to be loved.