Have you ever caught yourself on the Instagram Explore Page looking at some random girl’s Instagram (who somehow has over 30,000 followers) and it’s literally because the girl is THAT pretty. She’s the classic “Instagram-famous model.” You’ve scrolled through her posts all the way to 2014 and suddenly find yourself thinking, “She’s so much prettier than me. How come this girl looks like a human Barbie doll and, well, I don’t?”
You start comparing her Instagram posts to yours. What VSCO filter is she using? Can she do a How-To Instagram story on how to get my posts to look like hers?
It may not be an Instagram Explore page model you’re comparing yourself to. You may be a mom and somehow finding yourself scrolling through Instagram-famous mom bloggers who seem to have it all together… even with four kids in tow. You wonder what you’re doing wrong because your life just doesn’t look anything like that. You compare your life to hers, and let’s be honest… it makes you miserable doing it.
It’s the classic comparison battle. Yeah, the two scenarios I just mentioned deal with social media, but if we’re going to be real here, social media is where a lot of our comparison and self-worth battles begin.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to know how much time I spend every day on social media. My mom tells me all the time that I need to limit myself, and I gotta say… she’s right. It’s something I do without even thinking about it. I’ll find myself mindlessly scrolling and liking away my friends’ posts and giving them some bomb comments I might add (I love hyping people up), and BAM. I find something that makes me stop scrolling.
Usually, it’s when I happen to stumble upon the “Instagram model,” and y’all… even mommy bloggers. I know you’re thinking, “Um, last time I checked Emma Reaney didn’t have any kids?” And yes, you are VERY right. I’m not a mom and don’t plan to be ANY time soon, but when I see these cute mom blogger’s posts, all I can think is “Even when I do become a mom, I don’t think my life could ever measure up to theirs.” Here I am comparing a life of mine that hasn’t even happened yet, and I’m already deciding that I probably won’t measure up to what I’m seeing online.
Wait a second. Am I really measuring my self-worth off of social media? Am I really judging my life based off of someone else’s?
Hold up, y’all. Let me ask you a few questions.
Who sets the standards?
Who decides who is “better”?
Why do we beat ourselves up over not measuring up to an entirely different person?
First of all, most everyone posts about the good things in their lives. Rarely does someone talk about how their card got declined while going out to eat the other night (me at Taco Dog Saturday night) or how they got a 52 on a Chemistry test one time (also me). But a lot of times, we tend to forget about that. We forget that NO ONE has it all together.
Most of the time we compare ourselves to others and come to the conclusion that WE are the failures and award ourselves the “biggest loser” trophy in the comparison battle. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we think that we have to be like that other girl?
Every single one of us was made to be different.
Every single one of us was handcrafted by God to be molded into His image.
You were made to be you! And girl, you need to OWN that!
You were not made to be like that Instagram famous model. You were not made to be like that mom blogger. You were made to be YOU. And constantly comparing yourself to someone else is not doing any good for your soul. All this comparison nonsense is making you feel worthless. It’s making you feel like crap. It’s making you think that God doesn’t love you. It’s making you think that you “aren’t enough.”
For so long, I based my self-worth off of what others thought of me, and nothing was ever good enough. I would see another girl rock her abs in a cute bathing suit, so I would work insanely hard in the gym to look JUST like her. And ya know what? It wasn’t good enough. I’d see the guy I liked with another girl and think “Okay, I need to try to be like her since that’s what he likes.” And guess what? It wasn’t good enough!
A few days ago, I went to RUF, which stands for Reformed University Fellowship. It’s a campus ministry at Wofford and, gosh, does it do my heart SO much good every time I go! The sermon that night was about knowing that Jesus is enough, and I think a bumper sticker needs to be made out of that saying because, BOYYYYY, HE IS ENOUGH! I will yell it from the rooftops. Catch me tomorrow on the rooftop of Old Main yelling it!
Heck yeah, Jesus is enough. Not only is He enough for me, but I am enough for Him. Jesus doesn’t care about how many likes I’m getting on Instagram. He doesn’t look to see if my Insta is popping more than someone else’s. Jesus doesn’t care if I come strolling up to heaven with rock-solid abs. He sees me on my phone comparing myself to someone else and He’s probably thinking:
“My sweet child. If only you knew how perfect and beautiful you are in My eyes. You are so loved… more than you know. I know the number of hairs you have in your dry-shampooed mane, and I didn’t make you to be like one of My other children. I made you to be you!”
It took me seven and a half years to stop comparing myself to others. A large part of my eating disorder stemmed from comparing myself to other people on social media. I didn’t feel like I measured up to some of the other girls who seemed to be getting all the guys, especially when you looked on their Instagram and they were freaking STUNNING.
I thought that changing my appearance and weight would put me on the same level as them. I was following people that were not helping my emotional state at all but, instead, were fueling my desire to lose more weight and exercise more than I already was. I’d follow fitness accounts or those “Instagram-famous” models who were portraying bodies that, for me, were just completely unattainable.
When I was in recovery, I did a “cleanse” in terms of who I was following on social media. Those fitness accounts? Unfollowed. Those Insta famous girls who always posted pictures in bathing suits? Unfollowed. And y’all… I felt so much better after I did it. I felt a sort of freedom that I hadn’t felt before. I started to follow content that was FUELING my soul rather than sucking the life out of it.
I urge you to do the same! If there are certain people you are following who you constantly compare yourself to, maybe unfollow them for a while. Or if social media altogether is bringing you down, take a break from it! It’ll do your heart some good. Better yet, if you find yourself reverting back to those comparison thoughts, get off that app now and open up your Bible app instead! Jesus worked too hard on making you to have you comparing your life to someone else’s! Girl, you were made to be you! There is so much freedom to be found in enjoying the life that God gave you!
So go out there living your best life knowing that you are loved and made unique in God’s image. Go look in that mirror and say, “Dannnnggggg, God, you did gooooooddd!!!”
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on emmaclae.wordpress.com
Featured Image by Priscilla Du Preez