If you were anything like me as a third grade girl, you probably used to wear clothes from Justice. In fact, you probably took pride in your rainbow of camisoles and sparkly crop tops covered in peace signs. You used to wear that. Do you remember? You used to feel cool strutting home from elementary school with one friend on each side, no adults, and a backpack that was bigger than you. Then you would go home and spend hours making your own "music videos" all night or jump on the trampoline or lay out all of your silly bands and admire them instead of trading them. I'm just being honest. You used to do that. Do you remember those carefree days? I know I do.
At some point during those days you started to care. A friend told you that you couldn't wear this or you were too old for that. So, obviously, you listened. You were in fourth grade, and all of a sudden, it took thirty minutes to pick out an outfit instead of accepting whatever mom threw down for you to wear while you watched TV and ate cereal. It happens. It's a part of growing up, but I am eighteen now. I have grown a lot since the Justice days, but I think I have learned something really important.
Growing up is undoubtedly a difficult process. Not only are you expected to start meeting more and more of your own responsibilities, but you are also constantly in a tug-of-war with being who you want to be and being who you think other people want you to be. In this respect, social media is not much help. Unrealistic standards are presented to us from a young age through social media. We look at the highlight reel of people's lives and wonder how ours measure up. We forget what life was like before when the only thing that mattered was coming home in time for dinner after playing outside all night.
Ed Sheeran's new song, "Beautiful People," reminds me of something I seem to have forgotten. Ed Sheeran tells the world that "we are not beautiful people." Wait a second...what? I thought we were all beautiful inside and out. Isn't that contradictory to all the positivity people are working to spread these days? That is not what Sheeran is saying. He is talking about the glamour and luxury that we envy and even strive for.
We spend hours on social media and compare ourselves and our lives to "beautiful people." The people who are wearing designer clothes, traveling the world, have fit bodies, and are…unhappy. The lives we compare our lives to may not be as "beautiful" as they seem. We get so distracted by the shine that we forget that we are all just people. Celebrities are just people. That model on your Instagram feed is just a person. She probably grew up wearing Justice, too (just saying...). We forget where we came from. We want our lives to look glamorous too, but I don't want my life to look glamorous at the expense of my own happiness.
I would rather jump on my trampoline than scroll through Instagram seeing how many likes my post got. I would rather post the picture of me and my friends with big grins on our faces than the picture where our bodies are posed in a particular sort of way and our hair is flowing in a certain direction. So, return to the carefree days. Make a silly "music video" with your friends. Go jump on that trampoline. Run through your neighbor's sprinkler. Have a dance party in your kitchen. Don't worry if your hair is parted this way or that way. Forget the fact that you are walking your dog in your pajamas (even though the boy next door might be home). Don't even worry about it because after all "we are not beautiful people." It is not our job to always be photo-ready; however, it is our job to make our lives happy, and that is beautiful.