Self-isolation – The Hawk’s Eye

My struggle keeping me on a pedestal

Since gaining access to social media, my perception of my beauty has changed dramatically. Growing up on social media, it felt like judgmental eyes were staring at me and criticizing my every move. I found myself constantly self-conscious and aware of my body more than ever.

The more I focused on the beauty standards set on social media, the more I began to notice subtle changes in the way I acted in social situations, as well as a decline in my mental health. When the only thoughts running through my head turned negative and based on how much I lacked, I started to spiral. I unconsciously created new ways to hide my body from others, and this increased more as time went on.

The more I continued to overthink, the less I found myself in social situations. I was always in my head and isolated myself from my friends because it was getting harder and harder for others to see me. It was exhausting when I could only focus on myself and not the environment I was in and the people I was with.

Comparing ourselves to others online creates unrealistic expectations for ourselves. registers the different types of social comparison, one of them being upward social comparison. Upward social comparison can lower self-esteem as a result of thinking that someone is better than another, which can lead to a focus on lacking traits and an exaggeration of insecurities.

On social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it’s a recurring process to see people idolized for their beauty. After getting used to seeing conventionally beautiful people on a pedestal, I developed a desire to fit in with people based on my physical characteristics. Looks like another way to imposter syndrome: believing that you will never be good enough and setting high expectations for yourself until you burn out.

After years of struggling, I was able to find ways to ease my thoughts by focusing less on social media and more on myself. There are a myriad of ways to engage in self-care — whether it’s reading, writing, playing sports, taking care of your skin, or walking. Focusing on the activities I enjoy doing in my free time helped me to redirect my thoughts.

I believe in nurturing your own body and denying others the ability to dictate how it should be treated. The reality that someone else’s beauty can manipulate the way someone views their body is not to be normalized.

Self-isolation – The Hawk’s Eye

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