Why it’s important to love who you are despite social media standards

By Sophie Acebo | Reporter

I would be lying if I said I am not addicted to social media. I love the idea of being connected to anyone and everyone, no matter how far away they are. Especially after making the move from Miami to Waco, it’s incredible to be able to keep up with my friends and family who are thousands of miles away from me.

With all the blessings of social media, however, there are a lot of problems with it as well.

We are now facing all the pressures society pushes on us at speeds we could have never realized. Photoshopped pictures are all over our feed, telling us we should somehow meet these unrealistic expectations that may not even be real.

For a long time, I believed these expectations set by people I didn’t even know and hated myself for not fitting them. Having social media at such a young and impressionable time in my life can affect anyone, myself included.

The road to self-acceptance is a long and taxing one, but with the right support, it can be achieved by anyone. No matter what gender, social media can be very toxic to one’s mental health. This is why self-love and acceptance is important, especially now.

At a time where the internet and social media is dominating our lives, it’s hard to take a step back and see the world outside of a screen. We can sometimes get lost in the fake realities that some people try to claim they live day to day, causing us to possibly resent our lives and wonder where we could be going wrong. Because of this era we live in, we have to take time out of our day to just think about how blessed we are, no matter how big or small that blessing is.

We are important and we are loved, and it’s time to embrace that.

Even though I am still on this road myself, I want to encourage anyone reading this that you matter. You are beautiful, strong, smart and so many things that social media should never be allowed to take from you.

Nowadays, there are so many social media pages who are centered on body-positivity and self-love in the hopes to encourage people to live their lives on their own terms and love the skin they’re in. Pages like this are so important because they are slowly converting social media from a toxic environment to a fun place to just post pictures of yourself or with your friends.

I used to feel so much pressure when posting a picture on Instagram. I used to obsess over how many likes I could get, if the filter I chose was just right and didn’t look too edited. I even would stress over the right time to post a picture. But now, thanks to those pages of self-love and encouragement that are quickly becoming more and more popular, I feel like I can treat Instagram as a place to just unwind and post whatever I like.

It is so important to start a conversation on this in order to communicate how we feel to social media companies and big brands who don’t understand how much it can photoshopped images can hurt individuals. Conversations like this can slowly push for change in the media and better representation across the board, because we all deserve to be included.

To anyone who may be struggling with this, you are valid, and there are so many resources available if you need them. Always remember to love yourself first and never forget how incredible of an individual you really are, no matter what society thinks.