Selfies, Likes, Follows and The Pursuit of Happiness

Selfies, Likes, Follows and The Pursuit of Happiness

An honest look at the importance placed on physical appearance and perceived sense of having a good time on social media and the effects this has on our happiness and self worth.

In the modern world we live in so much importance has been placed on physical appearance and the perception of our lives by others and no more so that for women and young girls. In the sports industries it is so evident and rife through social media these days that it seems that being pretty is sold as the quickest way to success and even more worryingly, that this is also the path to happiness.

So whose fault is this?

We are quick to criticise and outline how this is a result of male influence, brand choices in ambassadors and media, but what about us girls? Is it time to stop and take a step back and look in the mirror. Trust me, as I am someone who knows a thing or two about this subject and its relationship to self worth and happiness.


Will it make you REALLY happy?

The first question I want to ask is, what will make you happier today? Will it be the perpetual information of the loss of a few hundred grams provided by your bathroom scales in the morning as you engage the morning routine and go about putting a smile on your face to start the day… or the smile on the face of your friend as you both share a session on the water?

The way to happiness - SistaZone

Why do those two analogies even feature in the same comparison? Would we be so conscious of our appearance if we were not constantly being bombarded with instagram photos of people looking better than us and having a better time than we are and beauty magazines and adverts telling us how to be prettier and more attractive?

Am I any better...

I am very much aware that I open myself up to a lot of criticism and comments backlash as I am no better than anyone else and I cannot promise to change overnight, but perhaps by putting this down in writing and admitting that we have issues we can start to educate the younger generations to be the change we want to see in our society.

I am not trying to go overboard and remove the natural female instinct and desire to be admired and feel good about ones self, just to address that in the modern world with so many factors that can affect our happiness and so many knock on effects that occur in our day to day lives as a result, it might be wise not to put too much emphasis in the physical alone and shift the balance a bit.

The way to happiness - SistaZone

Is this detrimental to our health?

My point being is a realisation of the moments of potential happiness and joy we might miss out on as a result over over focusing on how we look and the approval and ‘likes’ of our peers (and complete strangers) for validity of our worth. Ask yourself if it is healthy to require others to like you before you can like yourself because I am pretty sure one of the most important lessons I was taught as a child was very much the opposite.

You cannot put expectation or reliance on others to like you until you like yourself.


Our choice

Through or social media and the sports we do, we have the platform and power to show the world who we are and the beauty we see in ourselves. We often forget a simple aspect of this representation and that is the beauty seeing someone doing something they really love and enjoy. Joy on someones face no matter their age, sex, Physical appearance or attributes – is always a beautiful sight.

The way to happiness - SistaZone

Real joy...

I might be pleased that my butt looks great is this new bikini I bought and I may know sharing that image will the world will confirm that the rest of the world can’t see that extra kilo the scales were telling me about this morning, but can you see real joy in my face at this moment, of course not.

The way to happiness - SistaZone

Why the duck face...

The #selfie face itself is a product of this false joy – it is impossible to always look as happy as you are trying to convince the world you are at any given moment, so what did sociaety do, create a face, an expression, a mask, that through pursed lips and a duck face they world should note that you are having an awesome time. Think about that the next time you look into your phone and decide what expression to share with the world.

The way to happiness - SistaZone

Share real joy

Now it is time to get out there and use your body as much as you can, it is after all thew greatest tool you own. Smile. Laugh. Fall over – and when you do pick yourself back up again. Stop looking in the mirror and instead put your head into the water. Let the sun mark your face with the lines of happiness; wrinkles are not signs of ageing they are merely marks and memories of past expressions – so make them good ones.

Share joy with those who are actually around you, not just those who are in your phone, forget about your complexes and stop thinking that what you see on Instagram is real life because it is not.

The way to happiness - SistaZone

It's not real anyway

What you don’t know is that all those girls, myself included, have taken hundreds of photos before finding the one we like; we have applied filters to look younger, have been posing like stupid idiot to get the shot which makes us look the best… and all of this for what? To make people think that our life is awesome and we are so very special.

It is not easy to break away from this growing notion, but you do not need to approval of others to be special. You are a human, the mere fact you exist on this planet and have the chance to interact and impact the lives of others is incredible in itself – think about how you are going to do that today instead.

It might sound cheesy or a message that we hear too often or not enough, either way I am saying it here because my scales needed balancing and there is a high chance yours might do too. To feel alive you must connect with the elements and real people are part of that.

The way to happiness - SistaZone

Life is not viewed through a phone

Kitesurfing, Wakeboarding, surfing and other boards sports give us an opportunity to do this which makes us feel much more alive than many others we walk the planet with which is why we like doing those sports, but at the same time we also are a group at high risk of forgetting to see, feel and live what is in front of us because we are too busy framing it in our phones.

So for your next session, leave your phone in the car, leave the GoPro at home, don’t charge the WOO, …no accessories, no digital proof, just memories and experience. Then ask yourself if without the likes and shares it made you any less happy?


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