Edited by: Anika Kulshreshtha
Keywords: trends, social media, magic, potions, self-love, self-acceptance, mental health, kindness, toxicity
The tale begins in the magical town of Mildredville. In this town was a magnificent mirror called “Social Media,” which showcased different images of people from various corners of the world. With the sparkling filters, well-practised smiles, perfect angles, and bodies on social media, everyone seemed perfect
In a quaint corner of Mildredville, there was an establishment, the Potion Palace, offering potions that had the power to transform. A young witch, timid and unsure, stepped into the shop. Her name was Elara. She, like many others, had fallen prey to the constantly changing trends of social media. She looked into the mirror; the never-ending scroll of captivating images filled her with a longing to look like those she saw. Visiting the potion palace for a new ‘body’ She wanted to change her appearance to match the latest trend. She yearned for acceptance and validation, believing that a new body would finally bring her happiness. She stood in front of the ancient wooden counter, the ageing shopkeeper, Zephyra, peering at her over her half-moon spectacles. Her eyes held a depth of knowledge, as if she had witnessed countless tales just like hers.
“Good evening, dear,” she greeted her with a warm smile. “What can I assist you with today?” Elara fidgeted with her fingers, her voice quivering as she spoke. “I… I need a potion that will transform my body to look like the current trend ‘hourglass figure’.”
With the ever-increasing influence of social media, these trends changed in the blink of an eye. As the years rolled on, the ideal body type changed along with them. From the taller and squarer figure to the larger hips and fuller bust to small hips and flat tummy.
Standing in front of the mirror, Elara saw images of witches and wizards, their bodies perfectly aligned with the current trend. Every image was a new trend to follow, a new standard to meet. Every scroll left her feeling incomplete and yearning for something different. She felt the pressure to keep up. She returned to the Potion Palace, seeking a new potion to match the ever-changing ideals she saw in the mirror, and her visits to the potion palace became more frequent and frantic. Each time, she would request the trending body type of the moment, and her hope was reignited, but it was a fragile flame that quickly flickered and faded, and happiness continued to elude her. The chase for the ‘perfect’ body had taken its toll, like a never-ending loop; the more Elara altered her appearance to match the latest trend, the more discontented and disconnected she felt from herself. It was as if social media had cast a spell on her, convincing her that her true worth was tied to the ever-changing standards of beauty. She was never truly happy with the result, no matter how closely she mirrored the trends of the time.
There came a time when she went to the Potion Palace to seek a new potion for transformation to the trending type, but nothing changed because her original body shape became the ideal type. It was the moment she had longed for, and yet, as she looked in the mirror, she found herself feeling just as discontent as before. Instead, she started scrutinizing every inch of herself and obsessing over every perceived imperfection and insecurity. Oh, this isn’t perfect,” she thought. “I am not good enough. I need to change this and fix that.” Her inner critic relentlessly picked apart her appearance, leaving her feeling overwhelmed.
“I’ve done everything,” she lamented. “I’ve had every option to transform my body to match the ideal, but I’m still not happy. I can’t stop worrying about something or another. What’s wrong with me?” She expressed her frustration to Zephyra, who had been watching her closely all this time. She gently said, “Dear child. Always wanting to change something about yourself, this quest for perfection is a never-ending pursuit. The addictive trends of social media and their influence can’t be entirely removed from our lives but trying to replicate every one of them comes with a cost. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Our bodies stay with us through thick and thin. Can’t we be a little kind to it?”
“But how? I’m not sure what to do or where to begin.”
“Slowly, bit by bit, begin by appreciating what your body does for you—its resilience, its ability to adapt, and its support in everything you do. You are not a project to be perfected, but someone who deserves love and acceptance just the way you are. Instead of being trendy, how about you focus on being healthy?”
Zephyra’s words echoed in her mind, and she realized that she was exhausted by the endless chase for perfection. The urge to be liked by others had led her to hate herself.
A few years later, as Elara strolled past the Potion Palace, she noticed that some other trend had emerged. She smiled, realizing that she no longer felt the urge to compare herself and was finally free from the vicious cycle. She has come a long way and is comfortable in her own skin. Through the shop’s window, Zephyra watched her go with a sense of relief and smiled.
Social media is a powerful tool, but it can also be a mirage, and beauty is a fleeting concept. In this technological era, where trends can quickly dictate the course of our lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeking external validation. It’s not just about beauty; it’s about the constant pressure to fit into changing moulds, leaving us feeling like we’re chasing an elusive ideal.
But your worth is not determined by the shape of your body. Self-love starts with self-acceptance, and they are not destinations but ongoing journeys.
The journey is not a quick fix. It is a rather patient process. The whispers of self-doubt and insecurity might still echo as new trends emerge. The first steps can also be the most challenging. It isn’t a linear path and can be filled with ups and downs. It often means fighting against the tide of societal expectations, struggling with moments of self-doubt, and confronting the nagging voice of insecurity. Self-acceptance and love are easier to preach than practice. These are real battles, and it’s perfectly fine to find them tough.
The journey may be challenging, but it’s a journey worth taking. And as Mother Taylor said, “everything you lose is a step you take”, so keep going and know that you are loved. Take your time and be kind to yourself. Your path is unique, but you are not alone. Remember, you can navigate it one step at a time and gradually incorporate healthier practices into your daily routine that focus on nourishing the body and mind rather than conforming to trends. In a world where trends can shift like the wind, you are enough, just as you are. All my love, you’ve got this <3
Source of all pictures: Pinterest