Young girls and young professional women on social media, I see you.
Your duck face selfies, your perfectly tanned bodies in your bikinis, your svelte curves, your gorgeous outfits of the day…and I get it. You worked damn hard for that body and you have earned the right to show it off.
You love the way you look, you are proud of yourself, and you’ve learned the more of you show, the more attention you receive. Hundreds of likes turns into followers, and the followers mean you’re loved, accepted, and adored. It’s addicting isn’t it? To wake up and scroll through your feeds and see the likes? Reading the comments makes your day as you realize that so many people like you. It’s an adrenaline rush, and provides instant happiness and comfort.
I know, I’ve felt it too.
You might even be hoping to become internet famous, or perhaps your social media presence and influence will turn into a job.
Will you become a model?
A You Tube star?
A Television Host or Reporter?
The possibilities are endless as you start to imagine how easy your life could be, simply by promoting and branding yourself through your phone.
But here’s the thing, it won’t last.
Beauty, internet fame, all of it changes with the tides. Sure you can promote yourself now based on your looks and appearance, but that will only get you so far. Your proverbial foot will be in the door, but what you do once you step inside is on you.
Your followers can’t make you truly happy, only you can.
Your followers can’t write for you, create for you, or work for you. You must do that. You must have substance, heart, will, ambition, courage, authenticity, and love for yourself. Without these qualities, you will not succeed.
It’s a hard lesson to learn in today’s world, where social media appearances and influence seem to only matter. But when you build a life based on appearance, it will crumble. How will you feel when the followers disappear? How will you feel when you are left with just you?
Who are you?
When I saw a picture this morning of a 20-something gorgeous reporter baring it all in a bikini, I was saddened. She’s so incredibly talented, and yes her body is gorgeous, but as I scrolled through her feed that’s all I saw. I didn’t see her work ethic, I didn’t see her heart, all I saw is what she wanted me to see.
I know Kim Kardashian says she has love and respect for herself, so that’s why she posts nude selfies, but I see it differently. I see the nude selfie as a cry for public support, and perhaps even a cry for love. When all she has to do is look within.
I fell into the trap too, trying to take gorgeous selfies, trying to stuff my little A-cups into my push up bra to appear sexy, trying to erase the reality that I’m 40, a mom, and always so incredibly tired. But then I woke up.
If you’re trying to shock or please the world, and make a “name” for yourself based on your body, go for it. I promise I’m not judging you. Several have done it, and clearly it’s a formula that works.
But if you’re trying to create a legitimate career in the public eye with longevity, in whatever medium you choose, please think twice. Remember perception is reality, and you are more than your looks, you are more than your body, you are YOU.
You are filled with love, light, spirit, laughter, and gifts you may not have discovered yet. But the love and approval you are seeking outwardly, you already have it. It’s inside you, just waiting for you to discover.
Herchel A Scruggs says
I love this post more than I can say!
Wonderfully worded! Great topic and post!
Amazing. Seriously, well done. You are providing thought-leadership to the professionals of tomorrow.
So well-worded and must be shared! I can’t imagine being in my early 20’s with what we have today. What would I have done with it, I wonder?
I don’t know but I’m glad it wasn’t there when I was doing joager bombs in college!
This is so important to get out there… Non of it goes away either. It can Always be found.
Great post – so true in so many ways. It is addicting and I think that can be dangerous for the generations coming up. I’m hoping that parents are able to talk to their kids about this and help everyone gain some perspective and remain humble.
Or just don’t give them phones so young!!!
Fantastic post. You nailed it. I wholeheartedly could not agree more!
Definitely something that needs to be pushed to the forefront. Thank you, Kristen!
Yes mam! Not even just professionals. Young people everywhere should read this. The internet can be a pretty big and mean place at times and I cannot imagine having to learn to navigate in that particular way at such a young age and have that determine your career.
All the YAS to this. Seriously taken the thoughts right out of my head.
Ha! Glad I’m not alone!
Ok can I love this 1000 times!!!!! As a girl that had over 100,000 friends on MySpace and had a huge Twitter thing going for awhile after MySpace died, you really do need a voice if you want a future with social media. Pretty only last for so long & eventually people WILL get burnt out of what you’re wearing today. There is always a new girl so what makes you different?!?! Your mind and thoughts will keep your REAL followers and fans. Give your social followers substance ontop of that pretty face and you will have a career and not just a few seconds of fame 😉 I wish more girls realized they are worth more!
Girl PREACH! You could help so many with this too!
Crystal Renaud says
Wonderfully put Kristen! I hope that this reaches some young women and they take your words for value! There is so much more to a person and life than a following.
Great advice! So easy to live for the “likes” because that’s how social media is driven.
It does seem so body-focused these days doesn’t it? On the one hand, women are screaming to be seen as more than just body parts, but then so many women share scantily-clad images of themselves. I don’t think we need to be ashamed of our bodies, but where does self-confidence cross the line? That’s a difficult question that I hope to help my daughters understand before they get into using social media.
Yes! Exactly, you worded it perfectly!
Live from the Playroom says
Beautiful and true!!!
great advice… I think its important to think about the possible opportunities
I couldn’t agree with you more and this is why I love Pink’s recent quote:
Once you figure out what respect tastes like, it tastes better than attention. But you have to get there.
OMG LOVE that quote! I hadn’t heard it, totally using it. Thank you so much for reading and sharing it with me!
totally… such a love hate with social media it’s scares me for my kids. work in progress