At the time of writing there are 23.3 million posts with the hashtag #makeuptutorial on Instagram. And, there are a mere 100+ with the hashtag #selfcaretutorial. Now, I understand these are completely different things but isn't it telling that there is such a vast difference between the information being shared on one of the biggest social media platforms? Delving in a little deeper, #makeup has 251 million posts as opposed to 20 million for #selfcare. Don't get me wrong, I like wearing make up and add an extra few dashes of blusher for a girls night out but I just think that the number of hashtags above are quite telling of the age that we live in.
The term 'influencer' has origins in the 14th century and was actually borne with a beautiful meaning; an astrological term, "streaming ethereal power from the stars when in certain positions, acting upon character or destiny of men," from Old French influence "emanation from the stars that acts upon one's character and destiny" (13c.), also "a flow of water, a flowing in," from Medieval Latin influentia (Source: www.etymonline.com). Fast forward to today and influencer means an entirely different thing (think of those cool, beautiful people who post travel videos of their fabulous lives or the ones who show us how to make our teeth white using activated charcoal). Think about what the term 'under the influence' conjours up for you? Influencing is a great income for some and there are many who have managed to create massive empires on the back of online videos and paid posts. It seems to be the beginning of new age jobs that we know haven't been invented yet and that the children in primary schools will create in the future. However, I can't help but feel that balance has to be restored.
There are times where I've had to stop myself from scrolling through pictures of the beautiful people, just before the feeling of comparison rears its ugly head. I can't help but wonder, what would it be like if there were 251 million posts about self care or positive psychology (currently 289k) to scroll through leading us to substance for our inside rather than selfies and what's on the outside?
I posted a picture long back of selfies taken side by side. On the right, I had a full face of make up ready for a famous Dubai brunch. I felt like I looked nice and was excited to go out but in all honesty, mentally I was in a really bad place and looking back, the picture was taken for all the wrong reasons; to show the world I was fine and probably looking for validation through those little red hearts. On the left, I was in India doing my yoga teacher training which was the most ineffable experience of my whole life. My skin is glowing, there is no filter, my eyes are sparkly and my soul was bursting with energy, love and light. True substance. I took the photo to always remind myself of that feeling and so that I could look at it when I'm 104. I transport to beautiful India whenever I see it.
Wouldn't it be lovely if people shared the joy of the soul in posts rather than just what the latest eyeshadow palette can do? Wouldn't it be lovely to look to 'inspirers' rather than 'influencers'?
I'm wearing Lancome Juicy Tube lipgloss as I type this by the way, I'm not against all the fun stuff we have access to, but strip all that away and I know what is in my heart is the real 'must have' accessory.