In 2014 I had the privilege of starting a mentorship journey with a Grade 9 student. Almost 6 years later our relationship has continued and while I am able to mentor her through life decisions, she is able to guide me through the challenges of parenting my adolescent daughter.
During one of our mentoring sessions, she kept checking her cell phone and when I asked her, she replied saying that she had uploaded a photo to Instagram just before our meeting and if she did not get at least 100 likes within the hour, she needed to delete the image as it would be embarrassing.
Now, a teenage girl being embarrassed about how she comes across is really an age-old insecurity, BUT I do feel that the society we live in nowadays perpetuates this insecurity…and I’m not going to lie – I am afraid for our future if we don’t assist young girls navigate through the Instagram journey.
We all know social media platforms are tools used to measure vanity, popularity, and acceptance, so it is up to us as parents and caregivers to teach the value of authenticity and defining true self, rather than what followers like.
Girls do not need to be defined by what is acceptable by Instagram standards and social media reactions.
Author and wellness educator, Lalah Deliah, said ‘She remembered who she was and the game changed’
My message to young girls this Women’s Day…change the game!
I want my daughter to remember she can believe in unicorns and be a strong sportswoman. Wear takkies with dresses. Wear unique outfits because YOU like it. Dance YOUR moves without embarrassment. Laugh at yourself. Strive for independence. Share your heart and passion. Don’t mistake your meekness for weakness.
Post your photos on Instagram – without the expectation of likes and comments. Post the dynamic, charming, beautiful YOU! Spend less time worrying about others and focus on your own life, achieving your goals and representing all sides of your personality.
Know who you are, reflect the true you and CHANGE THE GAME.
My Woman’s Day blog is once again dedicated to my daughter; Alyx: Be fierce like an eagle, pure like a dove and bold like a parrot! #InstaME