Monday, 20 July 2015

The Art of Comparison

As much as I love the internet, I'm sure we can all agree on it's irresponsible tendency to encourage us girls to compare every aspect of our lives with others. From the Instagrammer always off on some exotic adventure to the Tweeter with the washboard abs and protein shake recipes - we contrast and compare endless parts of our existence with the online persona of strangers. 

She's a better Mum than me because she insists on story time every night and never lets her kid go to bed with the iPad.

She's a better person than me because she is banging on about giving blood for the third time this year and I don't think I have actually made the effort since before I got pregnant.

She's got a better body than me because every single picture she posts is her practising hot yoga or eating overnight oats.

She's prettier because she got the best angle in the best light yet probably took about 560 different shots and then spent 2 hours sifting and editing before she posted the perfect selfie.

She cooks amazing recipes every single night from scratch and would have a fit before she would allow a ready made microwave lasagne to take up residence in her strictly organic fridge freezer.

She must be loaded if she eats out as often as that and can pay someone to clean her flat.

She has more Twitter followers than me. 

She has a better life than me.

And it works the opposite way too. All too often we are all guilty of polishing our lives to make them nice and shiny for the purposes of the powerful internet. And why wouldn't we? It's depressing to be reminded about real life sometimes. We want to see hot mama's with their designer babies talking about how pro-breastfeeding they are while clutching their free Waitrose cappuccino with an extra shot. We indulge ourselves in constant streams of food pictures as the bloggers who actually made it 'recipe test' their next creation. We want to see that perfect pouty photo of you talking about your new favourite lip crayon even though deep down inside we know you are getting paid to say it.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to hide the bad stuff or avoiding the every day hum drum of what is essentially normal everyday life. I think it's ok to do this. As long as you don't lie to yourself as well. I think that's when it becomes dangerous.

I try to encourage a strict bedtime routine with Ava but when it's been a long day and I am dying for a glass of wine then I will absolutely give in and let her watch an hour of cBeebies on the iPlayer if it means I get some peace and quiet.

I have a list as long as my arm of 'things to do' and when I finally get round to getting my ass into the blood centre I will no doubt bang on about what a fucking saint I am on whatever social media channel is nearest to me.

I'm pissed off because I exercise a lot but don't seem to have magically turned into a size 6 yet. Deep down I know this is because every second photo I post on Instagram is of something sugary & full of carbs.

I don't post endless selfies because I am one of the least photogenic people you will ever meet and it is far too time consuming trying to find a decent shot of me that I actually like. Vain or insecure? Probably a little of both.

I cook loads because I adore it. Like writing, it is something I love and I doubt I will ever stop. 

I am far from rich but I forgo some things in order to indulge in others. I rarely buy new clothes or posh make-up. Instead I like to spend my money on trying that new Japanese place that's just opened in town. Or on paying someone else to hoover my flat because I genuinely just hate cleaning that much.

I think that when you scratch the surface we are all in a similar boat. We are all in this big social media perfect life competition with each other. And even the ones with the most perfect lives are probably comparing themselves with someone else. 

Perhaps we need to stop comparing ourselves with someone else and just start being nicer to ourselves?