I've been reading the disturbing news about how engaging on Instagram can cause extreme anxiety for teens and especially, young women on issues of body image. I am not exactly big, but as a teen (later than pictured here) I definitely did not fit the stereotype of svelte Asian girl. I also struggled with my skin, my grades, had thick brown glasses until contacts came along to save me, and was prone to overreacting as an "emotional middle child". I also did not have a cute wardrobe or exciting places to show off but was very interested in fitting in, less interested and confident about marching to the beat of my own drum.... I am certain it would have been harmful to my already delicate self-esteem had Instagram been at my fingertips back then! And truthfully, it has not exactly been an easy virtual world for me to navigate, even as a grown adult woman.
Recently, I have been watching others' piano practice and sightreading videos on Instagram and find myself admiring this sort of honesty and vulnerability. It is a total mind-shift! We all want to share perfected work, but it's the in-progress and less than perfect work that is so much more interesting and helpful. I know for me, it's hard to live the before picture and embrace it until the after picture starts to come to view. By the way, I also started hiding my "like" count, which I have found liberating as I try to find my voice!
All to say, girls and women (myself included) and all who have read this far: let's be kind to ourselves and learn to truly recognize our own self worth and efforts. I am definitely with you on this lifelong challenge!