My True Story #No6

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

"When I look at these photos, I see myself as I wanted to portray myself to the world - not just at this time but at all times. Healthy. Confident. Strong. Independent. Powerful. Beautiful... There is nothing about this photo that represents how I TRULY feel about myself at any one given moment of the day..." - Clare, UOkHun.co.uk

"We’re all guilty of it. The ‘shameless selfie’. I’m no exception to this but when I look through my Instagram posts and particularly at my ‘selfies’, I curse myself. When I look at these photos, I see myself as I wanted to portray myself to the world - not just at this time but at all times. Healthy. Confident. Strong. Independent. Powerful. Beautiful... I may even add to that list the word ‘sexy’ because hey - who doesn’t want to feel sexy or attractive? And the attention that we get from being perceived as ‘sexy’ is more often welcome than not. It heightens our inner feelings of all those other adjectives. When you feel sexy do you feel more confident? More powerful? I know I do. So this is what we find ourselves trying to portray to others in these tiny, staged snapshots of our existence. But herein lies the point.

They’re staged."

That One Pic

"On the day I took this picture, I spent over an hour doing my makeup after work before going out with colleagues for a drink. Critiquing every pore, line and aspect of my face and painting myself ‘perfect’ so that no-one would notice my huge black circles under my eyes from working two jobs and trying to run a part-time business to pay off my debts, which, in turn were causing me to lose sleep. I changed my outfit three times as I looked at myself in the mirror with disgust, hating myself for the weight I’d put on over the last six months and wondering which outfit made me look slimmest. There is nothing about this photo that represents how I TRULY feel about myself at any one given moment of the day. Even at my most confident I still have an element of insecurity about one body part or another, or perhaps the way my make-up looks or the way an item of clothing fits me."

The Day Before

"One day BEFORE I took this picture, I found out that the last university that I had recently interviewed at had rejected me when I’d put every ounce of effort and courage that I had towards that interview and had actually come out feeling fairly positive, only to be told that my application ‘had not been successful’.y career dreams were dashed for another year until I could perhaps, reapply. 

One week before I took this picture, I broke down in front of one of my closest friends and admitted that I was feeling suicidal. Money worries over crippling credit card debts had, over time, worn me down into an anxious, frightened shadow of the outgoing girl I once was. 

One month before I took this picture my boyfriend, without any real explanation, one week before I was due to fly to South Africa to spend three weeks together with him, ghosted me. He told me that we just couldn’t ‘be together right now’ and then disappeared off the face of the earth without an apology or a goodbye and broke my heart."

God Forbid If We Show Our Weaknesses To The World

More than my external image concerns though, I am worried about how much work I have to do, whether I’m responsible for the downfall of my last relationship, how I’m going to afford to attend whatever big event has cropped up the next month, thinking that I really ought to speak to my brothers and sisters and that I haven’t made enough effort with my friends lately. The list goes on....but God forbid should any selfie that I deem worthy of my social media account betray such feelings. God forbid should we show our weaknesses to the world in public. Those weaknesses are to be reserved for private conversations held with family and close friends in the security and comfort of four-walled rooms and closed doors where the outer world cannot judge us for our insecurities or our faults" 

We Are, After All, Our Own Worst Critics.

"Now don’t get me wrong - there is of course, a time and a place for self-empowerment and if you genuinely feel fabulous about yourself then go show the world Hun!!

Share that selfie where you nailed your makeup or felt incredible in that new outfit. However, I have spent too much of my life chasing meaningless ‘likes’ on posts - why do I care what people who don’t even know me think about the life that I lead or what I look like? The truth is that I’m only trying to use others ‘approval’ if you like, to make myself feel better - something that I think many of us are guilty of when posting our selfies. We are, after all, our own worst critics."

‘Shameless Selfie or Shameful Selfie?

"I’m going to start calling my ‘shameless selfies’ SHAMEFUL selfies because in this day and age I think that it’s so wrong that we actively tell lies through our social media, not just to our friends and to our families who - as much as they love to see us happy, confident, powerful etc - we should have more faith in not to judge us for being honest about the fact that maybe we aren’t all the time. But also - to our followers - people who look at us day in day out who we do NOT know well or perhaps, at all, who then think that their lives are inadequate in some way as a result of comparing themselves and their lives to our false presentation or our own.

So no, I’m not OK Hun. Sometimes (not all the time) I feel bloody awful about myself because I’m female, I’m human and I’m imperfect. But, from now on, I’m going to stop saying and attempting to demonstrate that I am. Furthermore though, at those points in my life when I do feel low or insecure, I certainly won’t be posting a selfie pretending to be otherwise"


Clare xx

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