It has never made sense to me. I have never understood why girls include phrases such as, “disregard how terrible I look in this picture, but…” and goes on to describe something other than herself in the photo. Usually, the main focus of the photograph is an object or another person, but the girl posting the picture feels as if she needs to apologise or acknowledge how “bad” she looks or point out the messy hair she has in that moment. It’s a neon sign of a lack of confidence.
To me, I think it does the opposite of whatever the person is trying to accomplish. If you feel as if you do not look good, most likely nobody will notice. But in caption, you are drawing attention to whatever thing it is you deem a flaw.
This is an example of negative self-talk shining brightly on social media platforms. Those ugly internal battles and thoughts are now being tossed into captions for anybody to see.
It makes me upset.
I ask why this girl wanted me to try to focus on what she thinks is ugly. It’s like when you ask your friend if she notices the stain on your shirt and she replies, “No, not until you pointed it out.” That’s exactly what it feels like. You want me to see the stain.
Or what you think is a stain.
But you never know. Your boyfriend might think your messy bun hair is sexy. Your family probably thinks you are gorgeous without makeup.
At the beginning of Gala Darling’s book, Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream, she explains, “Radical self love is treating yourself the way you would treat your very best, most treasured friend…You think she is a cosmic gift: a shooting star in the shape of a girl. This is how we should choose to view ourselves, too.”
You wouldn’t make a #WCW post of your best friend and say, “Excuse how bad my BFF looks in this picture, but I just wanted to say how amazingly awesome she is.” I wouldn’t think so.
In the age of the selfie we can not hide from ourselves, even if we want to. Images of us infiltrate the internet with Instagram and Facebook leading the way. Although this can increase self confidence and self expression it can also lead to criticism and a heightened sense of insecurity within ourselves. We should not be criticising our self image and definitely not apologising for not living up to unattainable standards. Confidence is a skill. You can learn to be comfortable with yourself because at the end of the day, no-one is perfect so no-one can or should judge!
So next time you are thinking about posting a picture and proclaiming how gross you look, try to refrain and move on to what you are truly wanting to express with your post. Think of yourself as your best friend. Nobody is going to notice the imaginary stain.