The magazine industry has long been slammed for its propagation of perfect air-brushed images.
And so it should be.
The criticism does not stem from society’s inability to appreciate art, but rather from the fact that we understand that what we (and teenage girls in particular) see in magazines, helps to define our sense of ‘normal.’
I’d like to propose that we can no longer point the finger exclusively at Hollywood and the magazine industry for giving us a distorted sense of normal. While we may not be reshaping our appearance to the same extent that these industries do, social media, and, in particular Instagram, has enabled each of us to put forward our own perfectly ‘altered’ version of our lives.
Instead of seeing each other for who we really are, we are assailed daily by images that have been composed, cropped, filtered, adjusted and selected from dozens more that didn’t make the cut.
We’ve Instagrammed our lives and in the process we’re re-defining normal. We’re building a discrepancy between ‘real me’ and ‘media me’ and we’re finding it hard to live up not only to the images of others, but even the images of ourselves.
I’m concerned that this ‘masked’ version of ourselves not only conceals an insecure and broken reality, but provokes envy and feelings of inadequacy in others.
So, before we post that perfect picture, maybe it’s worth asking: what message am I trying to send the world about myself and my reality?