Is it me or everything was so much better before?
That is the one question I have been asking myself over and over again during the last month. Maybe because I have had more time to finally come back to the deep thinker I usually am or maybe because I am now entering a new time in my life where I feel frightened by all the things that are now to come. Big girls are scared too, you know? It’s been almost 4 years of Instagram, but it truly feels like I have been doing this during my whole life because I woke up one day realizing “ f*ck, I am almost 25”.
Now, I am not complaining, I don’t think I am old or anything like that (I felt like specifying because I can almost hear some of my older friends/family being like “bitch please, you are not even thirty yet”). I started blogging when I was 21 because of a “love situation” gone wrong. I think it’s actually the first time I have the gut to admit openly that a boy is who pushed me to start PB but since I am baring it all today, I better not leave anything unsaid. I can’t even remember the person I was before him, but I know who I started to be once it ended. Entering the online world has certainly changed everything: it made me braver, bolder, stronger and louder. It made me say all the things I never had the courage to say in real life and basically pushed me to realize my own worth independently of anyone’s love. It simply brought out a Neguine I never thought existed.
However, as much as Social media has been a true blessing for me, it has also been a real curse. It has definitely influenced the way I judge myself as all my body issues became something I had to face everyday in little Instagram squares. My body has changed more during the last two years than it has in my entire life, the curves and shapes take a totally different direction everyday and it feels like every time I happen to master self-acceptance, the body says “fuck that” and changes even more. I can’t even tell you the amount of days were I simply dreaded to take pictures to the point I simply convinced myself that I didn’t have the physique to even make the cut. Exposing our lives online doesn’t mean that we have any less insecurities, that we are harm proof or that real life doesn’t affect us. It doesn’t mean that we only are fashion lovers and cupcake eaters, that we only have a “pretty face” to showcase everyday or that we feel superior in any way. Expressing these truths and keeping it real were my true initial purposes. But growing in social media? Well, it gets tricky. You get tagged as “goals” and all your worth is suddenly measured by likes and follows. Likes and follows are based on content, content that usually needs to be the same as everybody else to be appreciated. The pressure becomes more and more present because the logic states that if you spent so many years investing so many hours into something, you better start making money out of it. So you get obsessed with words such as collabs, engagement and growth. So what if it doesn’t happen? Does it mean you are not efficient? Does it mean you are not likable? How can something that truly changed your life can now make you question your own self-worth? It is so damn frustrating and demotivating, my true purposes got suddenly blurred by the need of growth but most importantly, I stopped doing things out of love. I considered to start writing anonymously, just to feel free about it again without having the fear of hearing that “it’s repetitive” or “it’s meaningless” ever again. As much as I continued my social media journey and pretended to be thick skinned about it, it did change how I perceived my work. It made me realize how rigid the walls of fashion blogging are, that I used to do things differently but eventually followed the norm by fear of disappointing people with who I truly am behind the pictures. Just because I had a higher follower count, people suddenly expected me to be a freaking copy of any other successful bloggers with similar audiences. I don’t say that to be shady, anyone that knows me knows that I honestly respect and admire everybody on the game whatever the content they choose to share, because no matter the blogger’s purpose and content, it is a “hobby” that takes a whole lot of time and energy. But honestly, aren’t you freaking tired to see the same content everywhere? Because I know I am. I now fail to fall in love with people’s stories like I used to because they are now mainly translated in visuals. Years ago, bloggers used to be so real because there was no financial incentives behind the art: they had stories to tell and different ways to inspire their audiences. Aspiring to someone real is what made me fall in love with blogging because they used to be people I could relate to. As glamorous as all the flatlays and ootds look, it is not a world I entirely feel reflected in anymore. But truly, the fault is on me. Why did I stop doing things out of love? Why did I start caring so much about every single word published ? Why did I start conditioning what I was doing to what everybody else was doing? Why did the numbers become so important? The reality is that everything was better before because my thoughts were better back in the day. The circumstances might have changed in a negative way but my attitude towards that change went downhill. I started posting on Social media out of habit and became constantly burnt out because of that growing drift between what I was communicating and what I was truly feeling.
There are times in life where you will have to face a wall to realize that you can either change your life strategy to break it or stay still and reflect about how things used to be in the past. At 25, it feels like I am hitting the same reality I hit when I was 21 and I was simply frightened to be real. I have been still in front of the wall for months, observing how tall it was standing and I have noticed that so many of us are standing in the same place just waiting for the answer to come to us. Maybe it is all about realizing that our worth is not measured by numbers, that there is no need to be goals and that what truly matters is the pride we hold in our own work. If you feel like it isn’t aligned with who you are, break the wall. I know I will.
WHAT I’M WEARING TODAY: ZARA vest // F21 Dress // CONVERSE sneakers // GUCCI bag