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Embracing imperfection in the Instagram era

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Airbrushed faces and plastic smiles are posted to crave attention and seek validation

After being bombarded with so much perfection on Instagram and Facebook, I often wonder where have all the real people gone. Airbrushed faces, plastic smiles, manufactured memorable moments and rehearsed spontaneity — I can’t help but spot the obsession with appearing perfect at all times.

We are barraged with a volley of images photo-shopped to perfection. We look at picture-perfect relationship moments and postcard-like vacations, feeling sorry for our mundane lives.

We seldom realise these moments and posts are more a projection of how people want us to perceive how their lives are and not the reality.

European vacations, dreamy-eyed couple selfies and professional accomplishments are shared to crave attention, seek validation and acceptance and feel good.

The people who look at these posts rather wistfully, unknowingly start comparing their own lives with that of a person who has posted a snippet from his “perfect” life.

We live in times where we have more, yet we are more dissatisfied. We wear plastic smiles, while our minds are clouded by darkness.

We have a thousand friends on social media, yet we battle loneliness and depression more than the earlier generations.

Race to nowhere

This has made us more vulnerable than the earlier generations. Even as we look happier on social media, in reality we have become more vulnerable to depression. We have reluctantly thrown ourselves into an invisible race of keeping up with the Joneses.

So perfection is the biggest myth that a consumeristic society is selling to us. It is so easy for cosmetic companies, apparel manufacturers, and the beauty industry to play on our insecurities, push our buttons while making money out of our miseries. They won’t be able to get under our skin if we were at peace with our imperfections, both real and imagined.

mathur.megha3@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:24:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/embracing-imperfection-in-the-instagram-era/article30420477.ece

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