Instagram is great for trendy vacation spots and vegan recipes, but it also has created this urge inside of me to look and dress a certain way; furthermore, it’s created a desire for likes and other forms of attention in response to my appearance. All of a sudden, my ‘aesthetic’ matters more than my words, my thoughts, and my essence.
Has anyone else fallen victim to the ‘desire for attention’? This desire that Instagram and social media breeds, but sometimes men (and women) feed this addiction. I’ve been the girl that craves for someone to call her pretty, call her sexy, or even objectify her body. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I blush in actual gratitude when I get cat-called. I know it’s crazy, but it makes me feel like I’m closer to that unrealistic expectation of, ‘the woman every man wants,’ or, ‘the it girl’. Sometimes feeling like someone wants that aesthetic part of you lets you know that you’re doing your part in achieving that unrealistic goal. The more likes you get, the closer you are to happiness.
But I’m unlearning this. I’m learning that being loved by someone who truly wants to listen to what I have to say, rather than someone who is in love with the curves of my body and the shape of my hips, is so much more fulfilling. Not only does it make me feel more confident in the relationship, it makes me feel more confident in myself. It makes me love the relationship I’m in but it also makes me love myself. It makes me realize that I am so much more than my aesthetic. I am the books I read, the food I eat, the places I’ve been, and the stories I tell. Many people have the same body shape or skin tone that I have but not many can duplicate all those little things that make me who I am.
Maybe true love is the kind of love you feel when he (or she) makes you love yourself more. Maybe it’s not being saved from a dragon-guarded tower. Maybe it’s not drinking a potion in order to be with that person until the end of time. Maybe it’s not all those things that our parents read us. Maybe its the feeling you get when your partner turns the lights on when you’re naked. Maybe it’s the feeling you get when they listen to your words, your stories, your scars, without glancing at your chest. Maybe it’s the feeling you get when you don’t have to ask yourself, “Is he just waiting for this conversation to be over so that he can undress my physical layers rather than my figurative ones?”
Maybe it’s the feeling you get when you’re being heard. Maybe it’s the feeling you get when they make you feel like your words are water, vital for existence. When they make you feel like conversations with you are priceless, anointed with gems and necessary for growth. When they believe in your words, thus making you believe in yourself. Maybe it’s the feeling of someone else teaching you how to love yourself.