A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Friday, 5 January 2018

The Daily Struggles I Face With Social Media



I feel like I touch on this subject a lot but with social media being such an imperative aspect of my job as a blogger it often feels as though I struggle with it’s knock on effects daily. I sometimes count my lucky stars that I didn’t grow up using social media as I honestly feel it has created an unrealistic expectation of reality. There’s also something rather sad as being labelled the ‘mobile phone generation’. Facebook, MySpace and BEBO were all I had to contend with and even the latter were at times brutal. Trolling on your bebo wall, did you ever receive hate? I did. I feel sorry for young girls faced with such pressures to look a certain way that I personally think is a far cry from reality all of which I feel social media is to blame for. I mean let’s face it do girls actually wake up like this? I certainly don’t nor do I want to spend an hour and a half getting ready either. At the age of 15 I certainly did not know how to contour and strobing was not even on my radar. The most makeup I wore was a swipe of mascara, a bit of concealer and at a push some Hoola bronzer which I applied so poorly it looked as though I had rolled around in a pig pen. Don’t even get me started on my eyebrows, they most certainly were not on fleek.

There’s something very unforgiving about the front camera of your iPhone let alone without a scrap of makeup on. I often feel very insecure to go onto my Instagram stories without any makeup on because I know that some people can be nasty and would definitely have something to say about it. I might be twenty-six but I still suffer from the occasional breakout as well as blotchy skin and dark circles under my eyes as a result of a string of late nights and the general stresses of day to day life. Do I really want the Insta world to see this, well not really no but at the same time I do want to be relatable and this in fact would be just that. Relatable and real but then why am I so afraid of it? This is really sad but unfortunately a sign of the times. Unfortunately, make up has become a safety blanket for me but I don’t think it’s just me who feels this way. I hands down think that many other girls can relate. I mean I’d much rather sleep in my makeup resulting in an inevitable breakout the next day, than face a guy I’m seeing bare faced at least in the early stages anyways. This to me signifies an inherent pressure to look good all the time. It’s not even that I look awful without makeup I just feel so much more comfortable in my own skin with it on and there’s no denying the wonders that makeup can do. You don’t want to be labelled as one of those girls who looks so different without make up on.

I’ve always been a firm believer in wanting to age gracefully which means not having any cosmetic procedures done. However, recently I’ve even found myself considering more subtle cosmetic procedures after seeing how good they can look on others, if done well. A lot of other influencers have worked with cosmetic companies to promote certain procedure such a lip fillers. If done well and look subtle I honestly think they look amazing. I’ve even been approached by several companies myself but inevitably I’d have to promote it on my social media accounts and this for me makes me a little anxious mainly at what others online would have to say about it not to mention my family. The way I see it, if I was to consider a cosmetic procedure I would have to be doing it for me and not conforming to the pressures of society to look good or because other influencers are having it done. After all, it’s not like I am just purchasing a handbag it’s a much more well thought out decision. Unfortunately, people are still quite opinionated on this topic and will take it upon themselves to make it known to you that they feel this way.



Is it the pressure I put on myself or is it actually the effects of social media? This is a question I frequently find I ask myself but one of my closest blogger friends also feels the same way as I do. We talk about it on a regular basis and often have to pick each other up as a means of feeling completely dissatisfied with our lives, our looks and our personality.  I’d say that generally 90% of the time I am a happy, chirpy person and the goofiness I share on my Snapchat and Instagram stories is reflective of my personality as a whole. However, 10% of the time when I have a down day I get really down and it’s on these very days where I particularly feel the negative effects of social media. It only takes an Instagram scroll for me to compare my life to others in the same industry and it leaves me feeling wholly unsatisfied, deflated and ultimately rubbish about myself. Often resulting in a forced social media detox. You might think this is a little extreme but I can guarantee I am not the only person to feel this way. I don’t even have a particularly large following on Instagram compared to some and whilst I try really hard not to compare myself to others I still find that I do. I’m not a jealous person by any means and I can genuinely be happy for other people’s successes but social media has the ability to emphasise only the good aspects of someone’s life and time and time again I need to remind myself that most are only willing to show the best parts of themselves. So is what I’m comparing myself too even a true representation of someone’s life anyways?

Social media, particularly the rise of Insta stories has created a need to always feel perky as though your living your social media life. This can in fact be a far cry from reality. I feel that people would not want to see or hear when I am actually having a down day or as though my world is falling beneath me but then again maybe this may make me more relatable? Maybe I’m just overthinking it and by not thinking I would actually present what being an influencer is really like. The highs and definite lows. I am a firm believer of social media giving you a voice and a presence but it doesn’t make you better or more extraordinary than anyone else and sometimes I think people feel this way. On the other end of spectrum social media can create a persona and in reality it’s a far cry from what they are really like which for me is quite sad.


Whilst I have tried to create an aesthetic when it comes to my Instagram feed, I’ve also tried to make it more relatable. By this I mean everyday street style, posting things I actually wear on a day to day basis and not those I just dress up in to post a picture and then change immediately. I’m wearing clothes I like and not trying to conform to an idea of what I think others may like. As such, I feel that this way people follow me because they genuinely like my style and enjoy seeing my posts. With that said, I feel that social media has made me an over thinker. It doesn’t help that I am an indecisive Nelly at the best of times but often I have to seek a second opinion about which photo I should post. Is this because I care about my brand or because I’m worried that others may not like what I’m posting? Honestly, I’m still a little unsure. I think that it has become increasingly more difficult to stand out as an influencer and remain original which is why I care about putting out my best content possible.

Now let’s talk about the comments. Whilst I have been pretty lucky with regards to the support I’ve had on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts it only takes one or two mean comments to take a knock to your confidence. From an outsider’s point of view, Instagram can paint the picture that you are a little self-obsessed, constantly posting photos of yourself in various different outfits. The reality is I love fashion, I love clothes and putting looks together. Whilst I studied Psychology at University, I’ve worked in fashion ever since I graduated in 2012. From interning for free (and basically feeling like a skivvy) all the way up to working as a personal shopper at Topshop, fashion is ultimately a huge part of my life. When my closest friends come to me for fashion advice I genuinely feel incredibly flattered. On the flip side, when trying to establish yourself as a blogger and influencer and really stand out in a very competitive industry, people forget how important it is to me and other bloggers alike. It’s not a joke or a laughing matter and something I am incredibly passionate about. I’ve found something that I can whole heartedly say I love and for me it doesn’t even feel like work, it’s 100% more than that. It’s a passion even if it gives me very little time to really switch off but at least I can hand on heard say I love my job. When people try to tarnish that and bring you down naturally it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Or is it a case of growing a thicker skin and learning to be a little less sensitive?

In an ordinary workplace environment, it would be considered as bullying, except when a stranger is personally attacking you it seems far worse and incredibly harsh. It’s often hard not to take it to heart but with that said I’ve definitely learnt to shrug it off and adopt a ‘fuck it’ mentality. In my eyes, if you don’t have anything positive to say why say anything at all?! If I receive a shitty comment and you catch me on a bad day, the pettiness in me surfaces and I will construct a sarcastic reply just as means of calling the person out for their quite frankly childish behaviour. Some recent comments include ‘This is STUNNING but girllll how the hell can you go out with no sleeves’ (this was actually a party look and I wouldn’t wear a coat inside now would I) and ‘Gurl y you wearing sunglasses in every pic; it’s middle o’ winter’ I mean shoot me down Sharon because I wasn’t aware that sunglasses protected me from the temperature and not the sunshine. I’ll make sure not to pack my sunnies next time I go skiing then…


Some may argue that I should rise above the pettiness and perhaps this is the right thing to do but I’m a firm believer in spreading love not hate. And these haters need to be called out every once in a while. Don’t you agree? I mean the question I ask myself is why do people really care so much?

Whilst it may seem like I’ve gone on a little rant when it comes to social media, I’m simply explaining my personal issues with various platforms that I use daily; Instagram in particular. With that said, when my phone was stolen the night before New Year’s Eve it made me realise just how much I use them and how reliant I have become on them. Despite the negatives that come with social media there is no denying how beneficial it is to my career. Quite frankly it’s the only and most successful way to promote myself as a blogger so perhaps it’s just a case of accepting the issues and adopting a put up and shut up sort of mindset. What do you think?



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1 comment

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