“for all their pretences and parading of their popularity, the socially obsessed hide beneath their disguise an innate insecurity as tightly locked away as their daggy pj’s and dorky dance moves”

The new social. What does it even mean to be social, or popular, in our changing world where interaction and relationships have fallen to the pits of ambiguity! Can you calculate how socially active and engaged you are by your number of Facebook friends, twitter followers, mobile phone contacts, email address entries? In our digitally obsessed world, would we get a more accurate description of someone’s position on the social hierarchy by the number of people they recognize and can greet by name in a lecture hall, a club, at the gym…the amount of coffee dates they have in a week, the number of pre’s they’re invited to in a month?

Or, back tracking a little, have we simply become obsessed with appearances and disguises, reaching the very precipice of the social spectrum to the extent that truth doesn’t even matter anymore! Who cares if it’s true so long as everyone thinks it is, right? Trash is the new treasure and what ‘everyone thinks’ is true is more important than the real thing…the presumption of popularity is the icing on the cake and just like the stories plastering the pages of the gossip magazines we all secretly love to read, what everyone thinks about you is more important than who you really are. Is this what we’ve come to? Ehhhh

The scariest part of all this is, as we all know, looks can be deceiving! While we all fall victim to these social traps, the most socially diabolical remain as able as ever to weave a web of lies to further cement their position on the precarious see-saw of social division. Some of us know the difference, lots of us logically see that for all their pretences and parading of their popularity, the socially obsessed hide beneath their disguise an innate insecurity as tightly locked away as their true opinions, values, daggy pj’s and dorky dance moves. However, knowing the ‘truth’ doesn’t necessarily leave us as stronger warriors to combat these social pressures and pushes to conform.

KINGS & QUEENS of the dorky dance moves

Romy & Michelle

Hitch

T Swizzle

All I can say, and know from experience, is following your heart, pushing back at pressure and showing self-assertiveness is like exercising a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger you’ll get! The more times you tell someone no, I don’t want to do that so I won’t, the more empowered you will feel. While stepping out of your comfort zone is important, bowing to peer pressure and sacrificing your beliefs will never be worth it. Nine times out of ten you’ll leave filled with regret because it probably won’t have been even close to worth the emotional turmoil suffered as a result of your belief ‘break’. We all have the desire for acceptance but the more we practice being ourselves in these situations, the more we will feel assured and validated in who we are.

You have to find what makes you happy, no matter what other people think. Life’s too short.

YOU WERE BORN AN ORIGINAL, DON’T DIE A COPY!

“….like the time I wore docs out and a guy asked if I was a lesbian”

girlsss

Sometimes I am so stunned by people, the way they dress, the way they are, the way they interact. I’m constantly plagued by the idea that we as human beings, specifically targeted as teenage girls, (or at least it feels that way most of the time!) are constantly submitting ourselves to unavoidable, often mean, spiteful, unreasonable, weird, sometimes wonderful judgement. We can’t avoid it, it is part of our lives whether we like it or not. The techno age has only expanded and diversified the types of platforms on which these judgements can take place. Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, with which I have a seriously love hate relationship, we constantly submit ourselves to the judgement of everyone we know; our best friends, our sometimes friends, the ones we met once through a mutual friend when they walked past during a coffee date, the ones we conversed with in a friendly but awkward manner in a club and felt that giving a Facebook name to, while oddly enough seemingly your entire electronic being, felt less invasive than giving a phone number, or even that random international adding you from across the globe who you have DEFINITELY never met ( I am definitely too obsessed with privacy to ever add one of those people but sometimes it feels like I’m the only one, come one, you really have 2000 Facebook friends that you actually KNOW!?) what about the ones who won’t even acknowledge you without a few drinks under their belt!?

The world is expanding around us and as it does, the spectrum of judgement expands and groups and collects and suddenly we are subjected to a stereotype we didn’t even know existed….like the time I wore docs out instead of heels to the pub and a guy asked if I was a lesbian (because that makes sense??)…or when I realised today that my ensemble of long below-the-knee knit pencil skirt, cable

so in love with miss kloss

knit cropped jumper, tweed looking swing coat and bun probably left me looking like an 80 year old woman…all that this connectivity has brought us is more outlets for, and wider understanding of the many different types of judgement we face every day.

However, what is most important to note is that as scary and intimidating and sometimes hard as it seems, there is nothing to gain by giving into these people’s judgements and changing who we are. What will we have at the end of the day, what will we able to call ourselves in the end if all we are is the object of conformity to everything other people want or expect or feel less threatened by?

his name is charlie

For that reason, I will continue to wear my perfectly port wine shade of lipstick in the day time and smile to myself because I feel good about it…because isn’t that all that matters!

PS. Meet charlie