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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  • Bit nervous to post this but my amazing friends have reassured me that you should never been ashamed of your experiences that got you to where you are now! 
Last year, I achieved a lot of things I’d always dreamt of. Yet, I felt like I was on this never ending rat race wheel, once finally achieving goals, quickly forgetting how far I’d come and looking for the next thing to accomplish. Nothing ever felt enough, my ambition was killing me. My striving for more and more, constantly left me feeling dissatisfied, never living in the now, always looking for the next moment in life, the next best thing, the next pay cheque.

I decided to take a month to explore myself, explore the world, and find out what happiness actually looked like to me, find out what it meant to be content in that given moment, not wishing for the next thing or thinking I could always find a way to improve the now. I headed to India to live with monks without the influence of my ‘normal’ life around me.

It was tough, no internet, no contact, no luxuries but something within me changed. I think I actually started to accept myself for who I am. 
I’m not going to pretend like I had some sort of magical life changing epiphany and don’t still have days where I wonder what the hell is going on, but what I am truly grateful for, is the time it gave me to sit back, consciously evaluate what was important to me, what my values were and the direction I wanted my life to head in.

Off the back of it, I realised the importance of communication and came home and set up my own podcasting company, to help people communicate (which I adore), took a step back from the false reality of social media, learnt how to say no to things I didn’t want to do, and started dedicating more time to loved ones. 
I’m excited (and nervous) to share the full short documentary with you but I hope you, a friend or a family member gain something from it. I’ve learnt it’s ok sometimes to feel lost in life, and life isn’t always a straight line, it’s ups and downs but that’s what makes you alive. 
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this journey, the people 100% made it and I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart✌🏻
  • That, my friends, is what we call a snow day ❄️
  • Back in my happy place and all wrapped up!! @bbcradiomanchester #TheDeadGoodShow - you know the drill! 👉🏻
  • Hong Kong, I love you 🇭🇰

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