Don’t compare yourself to celebrities you see on social media

Abigail Carlin, Columnist

My guilty pleasure is checking my horoscope on the VICE Snapchat. Unlike most people, I check my horoscope at the end of each day to see if it came true. It is kind of a dumb ritual, but one I relish nonetheless; however, I have a bone to pick with Snapchat.

When I go on the feed with the Daily News, NBC, VICE and so on, it is no longer media entities, but rather, famous people’s Snapchat stories.

I cannot pretend to know your life, but why would any of us care what Blac Chyna or any of the Kardashian siblings are doing on a Wednesday afternoon? Once in awhile, I will click through an entire “issue” of VICE and stumble upon one of the Kardashian stories and I am dumbfounded. I see fancy parties, champagne, money, clothes, fit tea and obnoxiously tiny portions of ridiculously expensive food, but I usually click out and continue on with my day without a second thought.

Earlier this week, though, I saw something that disturbed me. Kylie Jenner, founder (or face of, I do not really care enough to do the research) of a makeup line, sister and daughter of other famous people and new Mom, posted a picture of a single biscuit with the caption, “but I need to lose 20 pounds!”

I suppose young Kylie “indulged” in a buttermilk biscuit despite her weight loss goals. It should be noted that she has, allegedly, already lost all the baby weight and has recovered her pre-pregnancy body. This information means nothing, and I guess I could be happy that she is living her truth or whatever, but why is it on my feed?

I have my own problems with weight loss, being comfortable in my skin and despite my own insecurities, trying to uplift and encourage my younger sister to ignore the distorted beauty standards that we, as consumers of media, are bombarded with. And that is exactly it, is it not? Bombarded.

I could just block Kylie’s story on Snapchat and never be bothered with it again, but if it is not her, it would be someone else. Someone in a perfect body with a perfect life complaining that it all still is not good enough. What I forget, though, is being content with one’s life is not a singular act, but rather an intensive mental exercise that is constantly trying to gain perspective. For example, can I fit in a size 2? No, but I have a body that is healthy and allows me to do what I love.

With social media, and media in general, being so heavily immersed in even the most mundane of activities, I find it difficult to gain meaningful perspective. To live as a modern celebrity is to entertain and bend to the perceived demands of the consumer, so as difficult and annoying it is to see that Kylie, a very fit individual, still is not happy with her looks, it makes me feel alienated as I could never look “as good” as she does at her “worst.” I overlook the thing that unites us: our shared sense of discomfort and self-scrutiny.

Kylie, Blac Chyna, DJ Khaled and all those other entertainment moguls may pollute my timelines, but we are all human. We all struggle with our sense of self in a world that always seems to be watching and judging, but is not. We, ourselves, are our own biggest critics. I am not suggesting that we ditch social media and live in a cave (as I have heard people do), but just make an effort to be kinder to ourselves and to others. We are appreciated, we are loved and we are beautiful, even if we do not have millions of followers to validate these universal truths.

Abigail Carlin is a junior English language arts major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].