Just because you follow me, doesn't mean you know me.
If you have a social media account, you are being judged based off what people see, not on what you say. Additionally, what you do in real life doesn't matter. Sucks, doesn't it?
Recently, someone told me I was the most entitled person they had ever met. Their justification of this was that I post selfies on my Instagram and pictures of myself at the movies alone. I have about 11K followers on Instagram and it's more or less part of my current profession. However, it has nothing to do with my personal life which is just that-- personal.
My Instagram doesn't tell the story of my upbringing. It doesn't have pictures of my year in the Domestic Peace Corps or my 5 years teaching English Language Learners in Title 1 Schools. There wasn't really Instagram then and I wouldn't have photographed that anyway, that time was sacred. I didn't post pictures of childhood trauma, or my abusive relationship, or the time I was in the hospital for my epilepsy because my seizure was really bad that time. I don't post pictures of me reading a book on the weekend or cuddled on the couch watching a movie with my family.
But no-- this person chose to whittle me down to one dimension-- uninformed, entitled-- based off my social media account.
Would he do that to a man? Do we automatically judge women by their duck lips or vacation selfies or the fact that they go to brunch and automatically assume that's all they boil down to?
We live in a society where women can only be one thing. You can be smart but you cannot be hot. You can be smart and hot but you at least have to be a little bit chubby. Maybe at least 10lbs overweight. You can be funny but then we will not take anything you say seriously. If you are hot then no matter what you say you will not be respected.
George Clooney gets away with being hot, smart, and a notorious prankster and people take him VERY seriously. He doesn't have any social media though, so maybe that's the trick.
For me, it all boils down to this: women are allowed to be more than one thing. I don't really like this phrase so much, but we contain multitudes. Inside our bodies that have the boobs and vaginas that men are super into we actually have thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we post pictures because that particular day our boobs and vaginas are making us feel sexy, and simultaneously while posting those photos we also are having thoughts and feelings. Sometimes those thoughts and feelings are very smart! Sometimes they are also very funny! If we feel smart, funny, and sexy at the same time, we will not spontaneously combust.
I have tried it before and I am still alive.
So, next time you see a woman on Instagram at brunch cheers-ing champagne with a bunch of her girlfriends, realize that she is the sum of a bunch of experiences. Experiences that you know nothing about. And just like you, she has feelings. And an education. And has read a book. And is a human being, just as you are.
Entertain the notion in your head that you might not be right about someone. It's exciting.