Why do we idolise being perfect?

So, since this whole Essena O'Neill thing has come out, I've been wanting to do a post like this. There has been lots of controversy surrounding her 'real' instagram captions, her truth behind her pictures etc. Whether that's real or not, I still really liked the concept of starting to see that being perfect on social media doesn't really exist.

If you haven't heard about Essena O'Neill or what she's done, I'll explain it all, so don't worry. To sum it up, Essena is (well, was) a model who was very well known on social media. Instagram, to be specific. She would post photos of herself looking amazing (as most people on instagram do) and would sponsor brands etc. However, a few weeks ago, she took to instagram to share her 'real' experience behind her photos. For example, she talks about how she posed for hours to get one perfect shot of a dress she was sponsoring or to make herself look good. She has since deleted her account, so if you want to see the photos and captions you can go to her website (www.letsbegamechangers.com). Anyway, there are rumours surrounding this which say this is all a hoax and she is attention seeking, however I feel the point is still there.

We, as a society, are addicted to scrolling through social media and longing to be these people that have the 'perfect' life. The people who are, "OMG goals!" and who have perfect boyfriends and houses etc. However, that is not real life. How many times have you been with your friends and said, "OK, I want a photo for my Instagram / Twitter / Blog / Facebook page, so lets all pretend to laugh and look like we're having so much fun." Or, for all of you bloggers out there, how many times have you asked someone to take a photo of you, and stood in the perfect lighting, with a clean, white backdrop, with your nicest clothes on and in the correct angle? I'm sure you can all say you've done it. And that's fine. But it isn't real. In reality, we aren't always looking flawless. We don't always have our hair perfectly straightened, with our nicest clothes on and our makeup done. And there is nothing wrong with taking photos like that. It's in our human nature to want to share photos of ourselves that we think we look good in. However, we have to recognise that this isn't real life. Real life isn't looking flawless everyday. Real life isn't having perfect skin. It's having frizzy hair before it's straightened and messy eyebrows before you tend to them.

I don't have bad skin. In fact, in general, I'm quite happy with my skin. But I've been manipulated into thinking that my skin is awful without a layer of foundation on it. Because my freckles aren't 'flawless' and my spot scars aren't either. And although my skin isn't bad, I have been taught that these things aren't OK and I need to cover them up. It's so ridiculous, but I'm sure half of you can totally relate to that. But that's so sad. And I really want to change the fact that I no longer feel confident without makeup on. And although I am getting there, there's still a long way to come!!

I hope this post helps you to recognise that social media is what we want it to be. We can manipulate anyone into thinking we have perfect lives in a picture. However, I don't want everyone to stop posting pictures of themselves that make them look good. That's so good if you feel so confident that you want to share a photo of yourself because you love the way you look. However, if you start to feel bad because you don't look like the girl who has 300,000 likes on her instagram post and has the perfect body, remember that she probably has those days too. And although some people are lucky enough to be naturally built with a 'perfect' body, there are probably things that they dislike about themselves too.