Sophie Wilson gives a personal and powerful soliloquy about modern life focusing on the struggles that women face in 2020.
This is me and my life is not organised in a beautifully crafted planner.
This is me and I do not have supermodel looks that allow me to glow from any camera angle.
This is me and my life is not completely plastic free and vegan.
This is me and my life plan is not perfectly mapped out.
This is me and my life is sometimes a struggle.
These mantras are hard to say (or write) in a public space. In our current society, the fear of saying these out loud comes from the fear of failing. If our Instagram does not portray us as a perfect object that society can ‘like’, then evidently we are not a success.
Social media tells us that for us to be successful, we have to be beautiful. Through moisturisers, beauty creams, fake tan, make up, hair tutorials, we are seen as objects to be perfectly moulded into this ideal of beauty that we praise. If we perfect our skin routine and our eyeliner flick, then we are carving our way to success, right?
Social media tells us that for us to be successful we should be vegan influencers, turning away from the meat market and only consuming whole foods that contain no gluten, no sugar, no dairy and are low in carbs. Diets surround us, so that we are obsessed with our figure, our lifestyle and our choices. It seems to me that the only way I can eat out in public and to have people think that I am ‘cool’ is to be one of these people who restrict their diet.
Social media tells us that at the age of 20 we should know what career path we should take, who we should marry, when we want children, what their names will be, what we will clothe them in…..
Let’s just STOP. Stop right there and breathe. Relax. Exhale.
I have no idea where this culture of concern about being picture perfect comes from. But it has started to run deeper, so that we want to live in line with this health obsessed, beauty obsessed and future obsessed ideal that we hold so valuable.
But what we need to learn is this:
Perfection lies in imperfection, as juxtaposed as those are.
If we are all clones of each other, who follow the same routine everyday and never give in to what makes us happy, then literally what is the point of life?
Happiness is found in those moments where you grab an ice cream spontaneously with your friends. It is found in those moments laughing at an ‘ugly’ angle that your friend caught of you in front of Tower Bridge. It is found in the comfort of your friends when you search for jobs together because your life plan is being altered as the years progress.
By all means, I want you to better yourself. If being vegan is important to you, I salute you. Similarly, if wanting to look after your image is something you value, then go ahead and do it. But what we need to stop doing is looking at social media and allowing it to take away our personalities, our friends, and our lives.
Life starts when you stop trying to be perfect and stop trying to mould your identity to fit into societal moulds. When you slow down and appreciate the small moments of life and find contentment in the human that you are, life seems less bleak and intoxicating. It is the moments that are not planned, scheduled and analysed that become so precious to us over the years in the memories that we hold.
This is me, and I desire to be happy over perfect.
Words By Sophie Wilson