No Filter For the Soul:Loving Yourself Despite Pressures From Social Media to be Perfect

By: Corinthia Jordan

Our generation places such a high demand and emphasis on social media that we sometimes forget to look at all the things around us in real life. Social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. have influenced our generation in the ways we think, the things we say, and ultimately the things we do.

Social media allows people from all around the world to be connected with just a few clicks. You can go onto someone’s page and immediately get to know them or have an idea of who they are through their posts and by the images that we see. It also grant us access into the lives of people that we don’t personally know.

One of the many advantages of social media is the ability for people to gain popularity and to attain followers. Usually the number of followers you have dictates your popularity and even draws more people to follow you. But are the people that we follow on social media really worth following? Are these people we want to look up to and model our lives after? When I think of following someone it means that there is something about them that attracts me to them. They might have something I desire like a lifestyle, career choice, close friends, or influence in general.

The most famous people that I have seen on social media have a great influence, no doubt about it. But what did they do to have this influence. Did they compromise their values or do what they thought other people would want them to do? Some are models, men and women who are not ashamed to share their bodies to the world. The world seems to love nakedness, yet bash these men and women for giving them what they want…but that’s another story.

Famous “models” show pictures and images of their bare bodies with a seductive glare, attempting to lure us in and esteem them. They, like most of us, are searching for validation. They feed off of likes and the approval of their followers. And we buy into it. In fact, we ourselves do it too. We are giving them what they want and they are giving us what we want. Where did this come from? When did it become okay to use our bodies outside of art to attain a following?

Most of these Instagram models are not posting inspirational or uplifting quotes that motivate me to achieve my dreams. I am not motivated to go to college to get an education or even read a good book. Instead, I am bombarded with lust-filed images that make me want to go and get butt injections to be perceived as “bad”. Our favorite Instagram models are not helping us become great women with standards. Instead, they portray the image that says giving our body away to get what we want is okay, even if it’s for just a few ‘likes’. However, the honest truth is that it is not okay to give up any part of our body to get anything.

Why do we look up to these individuals with such low self-esteem that they don’t value the beauty and uniqueness of their bodies? Why do we follow them? Yes, their bodies are beautiful and pleasing to look at, but what about their souls? As a young black woman I am presented with images that society deems as beautiful and I look in the mirror and don’t compare. I do not have a bodacious, curvy body with 30 inch long straight hair. I am rather thin and have kinky-curly hair with dark skin, but I am still beautiful.

We have to know that we are so much more than our bodies. Our value does not depend on the likes and approval of others. We have to know that our bodies are our temple. They are pure and perfect. Our bodies are the home for our spirit and our soul and should not be given up to just anyone for anything, including a few likes on social media.

The reality is that social media is not real. It is a world where people give off images that portray something that they are not. I am not saying that the people on social media are fake, but rather everything about a person or their true essence is not always revealed on their social media pages. We have to remember not to take social media too seriously and not to imitate someone whom we know nothing about.

Social media is an outlet for people to be creative and a platform to make your name known to the world and it can be a good thing. However, social media should not control how we think and how we live our lives. We first have to know who we are, young black queens, and not lower our standards just because it is popular to do so. Know who you are, as a beautiful black young woman who can achieve anything you put your mind to. Know that you are created to be unique and to NEVER fit in. You are more than enough and there is no one like you.

You do not have to look like the girls on Instagram to be considered beautiful. You do not have to look like anyone else other than yourself. You are beautiful just the way you are. You are powerful and can create the world you want to live in. Let your soul be pure and beautiful and remember that true beauty comes from the inside out.

When you look in the mirror every day, there is no filter that covers the freckles on your nose, the cellulite on your left thigh, or those fly-aways from your big natural curly hair. Life does not give you filters when you interact with people on a daily basis, they see your soul, whether it is full of love or full of hate. Instead of trying to be beautiful simply BE beautiful and live your life from the inside out. Be a young woman filled with self-love, true confidence, gratitude, faith, and humility. Let the world see the real you, your raw soul without any filters.

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8 years 2 months ago

AMEN! It is a blessing to stand so solidly in a place of clarity on social media but most importantly on you! Continue to share love and truth!

8 years 2 months ago

So greatly and gracefully put! Thank you for being real & transparent for all. Let’s cut the chase… Agape

8 years 2 months ago

Wow this really touched my heart and it reminded me of Song OF Solomon 1:5.

8 years 2 months ago

I think our mind subcontiously knows that by liking their picture we create for them a sense of competence or validation of being.

8 years 2 months ago

I totally agree! Receiving 30 or 300 likes shouldn’t matter but people make the likes such a huge purpose.