I find myself scrolling for hours on end, stopping and realising how I might look back when I'm on my deathbed and regret all the hours I wasted wishing I had someone else's life; able to go on as many holidays; able to publish as many books; able to be as carefree and happy. I have moments where I want nobody's life but my own, and then I remember all the things I want to do and how little time there is and then I feel bad for spending so much time on social media which in turn makes me feel bad about life in general.
There is so much inspiring content online. Some nights I feel so inspired with ideas and I've discovered inspirational new people and I'm feeling elated at the possibilities. Other nights I feel as though I have fallen down a rabbit hole where I shouldn't be and don't belong: insta models with perfect hair, skin, bodies. I spend days wondering how I can get a body like theirs, how my stomach could possibly get as flat, how my lips could get that big, how I could wear something different. I start scrutinising myself when I KNOW that I care about much more than the way I look. And I KNOW that I care more about how I am as a person than the way I appear to others. But my brain sometimes gets fogged, as I'm sure many of ours do.
Artwork by Hayley Connaughton
I feel worthless sometimes, as we all do, (women mainly) because of the images we see online. I never see bodies like mine anywhere. And it unnerves me, it makes me feel as though I shouldn't look this way, that this body type is "wrong". I know it's not true, and I know it doesn't matter and I KNOW that my brain and my kindness counts for much more but it's what is FED to us. It is fed and fed until we start to doubt ourselves. I start to wonder if it's all worth it: not conforming. I wonder: if I just conformed would it all be much easier? If I just became what they want us to become.
But we have to keep fighting to get our voices heard, not just our bodies. We need to represent our bodies the way we want, but we also need to make sure we are demonstrating that the way we are, what we feel and think is fucking important. Women's writing, art, science etc... what women have DONE rather than what they LOOK LIKE is important. I have to keep reminding myself of this when I'm not posting a million selfies like everyone else. I love a selfie. But I don't want to get obsessed with posting them because it feels damaging for my mental health (just personally). I want people to see me for what I LOVE not what I look like. I don't want it to define me. And it can be difficult because I know that online there's an obsession with beauty and perfection and it's all so popular it would be easy to get roped into it but I want women to know that they don't have to. Especially young women. YOUR MIND IS FULL OF IDEAS and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do them. It's what I tell myself every day because nobody can bring your own ideas to life other than you. and we, as women, have to fucking bring the patriarchy down and rise up and say FUCK YOU PATRIARCHY we are gonna be amazing fabulous clever thoughtful kind and funny human beings with fucking amazing inspiring ideas that go beyond objectification and the male gaze. We are not here to please you. We are here to LOVE ourselves and love each other.
Writing by Bianca Forté