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I Am Not Perfect… And That’s Okay

My relationship with technology is a difficult one. As much as I wish I wasn’t influenced by social media, especially the creators on these platforms, I am. I’ve picked up habits such as journaling and reading through creators’ influence, and have found much inspiration from their content. Plus, my relationship with social media has only evolved more since the pandemic started. Being home with my family last year and isolated from my friends, platforms, especially TikTok, turned into an outlet. It became a way to feel connected to other students also stuck at home and struggling with online school. Social media filled the hole in my social life from not being in a classroom. Seeing what fellow students were doing with their days helped me stay motivated.

Only highlighting the benefits of social media platforms would significantly undermine the damage they’re capable of. A newly introduced concept of “That Girl” has shed light on how there’s still much harm underneath all that positive energy. For those not familiar with this concept, “That Girl” is a type of content that has turned into more of an aesthetic on platforms such as TikTok. “That Girl” is someone who looks like they have their life together by creating content that makes their life appear seamless and effortless. They start their days off with early mornings and fill their days with productive activities such as working out, journaling, meditation, hiking, all while making eye-pleasing meals and beverages.  

It’s a trend that’s all about wellness, what can be so wrong with that? Firstly, to anyone who has watched these videos, there is a very noticeable and particular image all these influencers curate. They are slim, attractive, wealthy, and primarily white. A majority of these creators make a full-time living off social media too. When your whole career and only focus is to make your daily life aesthetically pleasing, it becomes effortless to do just that. But to the “everyday” person, it is a challenge to live such a lifestyle. It is unattainable for many, resulting in feelings of shame and discouragement. This image of “That Girl” excludes a whole lot of people, and that’s not where the problems end. 

“That Girl” content shows perfectionism effortlessly and naturally. Hiding behind the term “wellness” is an unattainable lifestyle for most people who have to rush off to school and work in the mornings. It also creates the idea that if you aren’t doing wellness tasks in a particular way, you can’t achieve the same level of success as these influencers. This trend leaves out the everyday person. 

A good and successful morning routine should not be determined by how aesthetically pleasing or how productive you can be. Instead, it should be whatever works best for you. These videos exemplify how trying to fit into this cookie-cutter mold of success can be an incredibly unhealthy obsession, leaving no space for imperfection.

The negativity I felt towards myself watching these videos was greatly damaging. I kept wondering what I was doing wrong and why I wasn’t as productive as these influencers. I realize now that I prioritize different things than these influencers because I live a different kind of life from them. Everyday life is chaotic. I often find myself overwhelmed and when I do manage to get a break, my version of self-care doesn’t look like what these influencers’ ideas of self care look like — and that’s okay. Doing what I need, such as sleeping in and not hourly scheduling my day doesn’t make me unsuccessful, it simply makes me human for doing what works for me. 

Without the right mindset, social media can be incredibly damaging. It is important to remember there isn’t a single way to be successful or productive. Social media is there to influence you, but you can choose what you adapt into your life. It is upsetting that the content being left out of social media is what a realistic day in one’s life looks like. However, would a realistic life fit into the standards of social media?

Amelia is originally from New York and moved to Toronto to attend York University. She is in her 3rd year and is obtaining a degree in Psychology and Education. Among Amelia's passion for writing, she is also a coffee lover, movie watcher, who will pet any dog she sees.
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