With an influx of new identifiers for ever-changing popular aesthetics like “that girl,” “clean girl,” cottagecore, academia and more — it’s hard to tell where a fun style idea stops and the pressure to represent ourselves in a singular way starts. Following the entrance into the new year, a charge of content flooded the internet about “rebranding” yourself. Videos of mostly women breaking parts of their identity up into sections and listing what they’d like to change from it. If you search “rebrand yourself 2022” on TikTok there’s a ton of videos on how to come across more mysterious, how to change your appearance and more. This content subtly drifting across our for you pages seems fun and mostly harmless. Yet, they’re a small part of a much bigger problem in which women are always told to view themselves as a self-improvement project and struggle to find satisfaction in who they are in the current moment.
The constant striving for perfection only leads down worse avenues, none of which serve the individual. They push us towards buying more to chase an impossible image. It leads to making lists of makeup, beauty and fashion items that let us, for only a moment, feel closer to the external image we feel we should represent.
If you’re a woman, it’s easy to identify the media and industries surrounding beauty and fashion that have spent billions of dollars fine-tuning the idea of how you need to present yourself. We’re held to a ridiculously high standard and taught that the only way to get there is through constant analysis of our own worth through exterior viewpoints and bridging the gap between where we are and where we’re told we should be with purchases and hours of effort. Think about if your pores are on the larger side. You’re taught to do research and learn from trained professionals about what’s causing the big pores, read countless articles rating different products that could help, watch TikToks on makeup tips to help hide them, tutorials on how other girls edit them out of pictures, things that could be wrong internally causing them to enlarge, different procedures you could get done to shrink them and that’s just everything I could think of in under a minute. Even if you don’t sit down and spend eight hours doing this all at once, the second we notice a flaw it automatically gets added to the list of things to look into, to work on. We do all of these things in passing without realizing we’re keeping such note of such a small issue. In reality, we just have big pores. There’s not a ton to be done about it and it doesn’t actually affect your life to try.
None of this means that we can’t take the essence of rebranding and package it in a healthier way, through a genuine approach to bringing us closer to our goals. I actually love New Year’s resolutions and people striving to do more things for themselves, but only when those things are actually for themselves. Rebranding yourself to be perceived a certain way serves no one because you have no control of how others view you, nor do you have a way to even tell how they view you. You’re not a product that needs marketing, and as much as my Leo heart hates to say it, no one is paying attention or cares all that much about the details of your life. So, have fun with who you are now and find the motivation to change yourself in a way people can’t see from a single visit to your Instagram.