Social Media -The Dangerous Currency Killing (or Helping) Women’s Empowerment?

No wonder teenage girls are confused – I’m confused!

Last week, I put a picture up on my Instagram of me in a bikini. This week, I have put one up of a generic smiley travel photo.

The difference?

Likes.

Likes. The new currency of our generation. A dangerous one at that.

The gains? Money, ‘popularity’, instant reassurance.

The cons? Self-criticism, lack of confidence, comparison, a false reality, mental illness. A WASTE OF LIFE.

We’re taught now, the more likes you have, the more successful you are, no matter what got you there. So what do you do when the new currency of social media, promotes a sexualisation of women, promotes style over substance, promotes narcissism, yet offers such rewards?

How are we supposed to raise young girls to value their inner being more than the way they look, when society is telling them/us that the sexier they are, the further they’ll get in life- and quicker at that?

I’m 25 and I’m still not sure if me posting a ‘sexier’ picture is classed as ’empowering’ or in fact quite the opposite? I’m all for ‘free the nipple’ but I’m also not up for people valuing way I look, more than what I have to say. I still battle to know the answer to this and I know many others do too, so I can’t imagine how confusing it is for younger women, who are trying their hardest to succeed in life.

Even on the news today – women, arguing amongst each other, trying to figure out whether feminism IS being able to host the darts in underwear. One woman arguing that they absolutely should not – another two, arguing that it’s their right to be able to do so. We cannot combat the issue of equality, if we are arguing amongst ourselves to even make a standpoint.

Stepping into the media world, there’s something I have noticed – many women – and men, are struggling with the term ‘empowerment’. Are we, as women, empowered by using our bodies how we want? Or are we empowered by ignoring our bodies and focusing on our brains?

On one hand I think ‘why shouldn’t we be able to?’ If a man was to be seen without his clothes on, it would be funny, a laugh, overlooked. On the other hand, I think I have so much more to offer to the world, so why should I have to be seen as an object rather than valued for my substance.

I don’t know. I don’t have the answer but what I will say is that we are messing with the next generation’s minds. If I, at 25 years old, can’t differentiate between the two terms of ’empowerment’, then how can we expect our daughters and sons to figure this hot mess out?

 

 

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January 30, 2018

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