We live in an Insta/Facebook image crazy world right now, think back to my teens and remember how different it was. There is so much talk and hype about the negative effects of social media and the need to express a sunny image out into the world whilst inside perhaps feeling disconnected and sad.
Is this image crazed world causing us all separation or are we actually hyper connecting?
Who knows, probably both, but here are my thoughts:
Take me back to early 1990 I was a teen and what a different world it was for us than it is for our teens now.
I was living in the beautiful bohemian City Of Bath its vibe was very different to how it is now. It felt like a big country village the elegant cream stone buildings emanating dishevelled grander were just magical. One could walk the streets of Bath as poor as a street mouse yet feel as rich as a princess just soaking up the history of wealth and abundance.
There was an incredible atmosphere of community and freedom with amazing antique markets and a huge flea market. The City was alive with characters wearing all sorts of outfits it truly was an artistic creative hub. There were underground music shops and indie cafes, it was big enough to get lost in yet small enough to be at home quickly; it was the most incredible place to be a teen.
The rave scene had hit the West country, we would all meet up outside the thriving Hat and Feather pub and then all head off in convoy in cars to find legal parties in fields. The fashion wasn't over sexualised like the fashions today - I remember living in my stripy flares and crop tops. The vibe was hedonistic, escapism and incredible connection, it was about disappearing into oneness with the people around you the music and the dancing. Still now whenever you meet anyone who was around in those days, at those parties there is always an instant spark and connection. It was like a spiritual revolution through dance music and parties. It was like having a huge tribe: always people around to spend time with, ponder life with, face to face, not through a screen, life felt very communal and connected.
There is very little evidence of these days, a few photos and videos knocking around but luckily they are safely stored all in my mind looking beautiful. There were no mobile phone’s except for the huge brick like ones which I remember calling home on once from a party at 9am when I'd been out all night (a parent's nightmare, fingers crossed mine aren’t like me).
Zoom forward 25 year and were all HOOKED myself included, the iPhone has arrived. I had to have a physical break from mine for about 3 years when I was pregnant with my last child because packages kept arriving in the post which I'd forgotten I’d bought from out of control pregnant shopping. I struggled to be present with the kids so I decided to take a break.
Now I'm back, I'm loving Instagram and Facebook it’s so much fun it's brilliant for an artistic spirit. But I can also see how it can be so much pressure a desire to keep up, look hot, look sexy, am I liked enough… potential hell.
However along with all these down sides there are heaps of positives, the power of image is huge. This is how I will encourage my children or anyone I work with. Having an amazing photo-shoot done of yourself is like a visual imprint onto your soul. As time goes by you remember your life based on photographs and images you have lying around. Why not take the time to put your best foot forward and make yourself look great, it feels so good. Not because you want to look good for other people but because you want to look and feel great for yourself. So you can shine yourself into your day to day experiences. Taking time to make an effort feels so good, stepping out of your comfort zone wearing something a little more daring is such a good feeling it’s expressing yourself through image.
I believe when used in the right way for this purpose of true self expression, as a tool to live into being the person you wish to be, then it’s incredible.
I say create yourself beautifully and take amazing images and share them because it feels good. Imprint your soul with your own magic.
DO IT, DO IT / BUT DON’T use image from a place of insecurity or uncertainty, posting to be measured to be liked, learn to like and love yourself first the rest will come with ease this is the only way forward.