Tonight is my roommate Ande’s 21st birthday and our small Fort Lewis Campus apartment bustles with girly excitement! My roomies and I chatter away as we ransack our closets searching for the perfect outfits and matching heels. Hot irons and hot shades of lip stick are a must on a night like tonight. Shimmery eye shadow is calling my name, but I fear it oh so much. I was not blessed with the artistry of make-up design, so I plead for help from the birthday girl. In the midst of becoming done-up, insecurity strikes my heart and I feel obligated to admit that I have never been very good at being a girl.
The girls laugh a little and brush it off. No big deal, but my inner being begins to explore the depths of who I am. Am I strange because an eyelash curler is a foreign object to me? Do I need to start wearing more make-up and spending more money to fill my very shallow cosmetic bag? Am I not a woman because I only own one party dress? “Done” Ande says. I snap out of my zone and look into the mirror. I soften the edges of my eyes a little with my thumb and sigh. Wow, I look pretty.
Since getting all dolled is a rare occasion for me, I felt the need to share my appearance with the world. I hopped on snap chat, took a few selfies as if to say “Look, I’m pretty! Please notice me!” At dinner we furthered the escapade by snapping more pictures and then we viciously scrutinized ourselves. Which ones will make the cut? Is this one good enough for social media? Do we look thin enough? Are our smiles natural looking? Do our legs look long enough? Which one do we all look the most flawless in? To be honest, I was hoping the madness would stop after high school, but as I approach 21-years-old, I am finding that it is only getting worse.
Pictures and selfies are not at all bad, but I have to wonder if things have gotten out of balance. The photos of Ande’s birthday will bring me great memories and commemorate a wonderful season of my life for years to come. But I do fear this selfie nation of ours is capitalizing on the minors and minimizing the majors. Yes, feeling good about our appearance as women is important, but not nearly as important as feeling good about who we are in our hearts and minds. Prizing flawless pictures, revealing clothing, and showing off perfectly fit bodies is not only destroying our own self-esteem, but the self-esteem of girls and women around us as well.
There are a lot of things in life that are great in moderation; chocolate cake, coffee, lazy days of consuming Netflix for hours and hours. A few cute pictures taken to show how beautiful we look on our birthday, when we get a new haircut, or just because is awesome, but have we taken things too far?
If we are honest, snapping and posting constant selfies makes us appear insecure and breeds lack of confidence, unhealthy comparisons, and competition among our peers as well. Trying to capture flawless beauty has become an obsession for some of us and perhaps even an addiction that we must try and conquer. I don’t know about you, but seeing a selfie of a friend every once in a while is refreshing. I think to myself, “Wow, they look great; I should give them a call sometime.” But plastering pictures of ourselves continuously proves that we are spending way too much energy and time on things that have very little value in life.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case the saying does not apply. Us girls are far too complex, far too intricate, and far too amazing to be captured in a photograph. The entirety of you cannot be summed up in even the most breath-taking picture. You are beautiful! Not because of that almost perfect photo you just posted, but because you are incredibly crafted by the God of the universe, shaped by His masterful hands, and represent a one-of-a-kind creation!
Meagan Prins is a student athlete at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She is currently studying English Communications and Political Science and is a valued player on her college basketball team. When Meagan “grows up,” she aspires to be a professional writer, but for now she enjoys posting her life experiences and encouraging other young adults on her personal blog. To gain greater purpose and passion, sign up to follow Meagan at http://wordblessed.wordpress.com/.
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