Social Media Survival Tips With Model Eva Bus
If you’ve ever come off Instagram feeling less than good about yourself, you might have a dose of the social media blues. From perfectly-made matcha lattes to beach-ready gym-toned bodies, social media can sometimes feel like an endless stream of perfection. Last year, Elite model Eva Bus noticed that her confidence was suffering from spending too much time on social media. “Whenever and wherever I was looking, most of the things I saw were sixpacks, booty workouts, meal preps, #fitgirl #avocado and #nopainnogain. I caught myself comparing myself to all the other hot girls on social media and thinking ‘I’m not as good as they are’.”
Eva is studying Psychology in Amsterdam. Originally from Oldenzaal in the Netherlands, she said that when she noticed how Instagram affected her mood, she knew it was time for a radical rethink. “I realised, that I often did the same thing as these girls. Never on purpose, but I always picked the picture where I thought was gonna get the most likes. I feel responsible for showing the real me - who I am learning to love way more than my Instagram-me!”
We asked Eva for her top tips to staying happy on social media.
Don’t judge by what you see
Not judging yourself and others by looks can be hard because it’s the first thing we see. Of course it’s your first impression, but there are things that are so much more important. All you see on Instagram are girls that do fit into our society’s perfect little box. Well, at least, what you see of them fits into that box; behind the scenes they are just like you and me. I think that at the moment Instagram is too much about pretty and pleasing images, it’s being used to reflect peoples most “perfect” side. Try to move past that first impression of others, and of yourself. Find things that make you, you. Everyone has special little talents, that make them a unique and beautiful human being. If you haven’t found your passion or don’t know what you want to do in life yet, it’s okay. It takes a long time, a lot of falling down and even more getting back up. Do the things you love and endeavor to make your world a little better everyday. You don’t have to fit into society’s box to be accepted, beautiful, loved, amazing or special. Don’t try to fit into a box society has ready for you: build your own box.
Warning: airbrushing in progress
Cindy Crawford once said: “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford!”, and I know exactly what she means. I don’t really look like my own modelling pictures. Whenever I see pictures from shoots that I did, I usually think: ‘Oh, the day we shot this I had a pimple here or a little breakout there, my eyebrows are definitely not that full and my teeth are not that white…’. I have gotten over it by now, because I know it’s all about marketing and as models we’re supposed to sell the product, but deep inside I used to get really insecure because of all the Photoshopping that goes into these pictures. It made me think: ‘Is the real me not good/beautiful/sparkly enough?’ The real me has little rolls when I sit down. I have spots, pimples and scars, hair on my body and stretch marks, but they make me feel like a tiger! I have flaws. I’m flawsome!
Remember that your body is changing
My body has been changing and will keep on changing, especially the past and upcoming few years. It can be really hard being a teenager, first of all because your body starts changing. But no one really tells you anything about how you should feel about this and how to deal with the emotional stress that it can cause. On top of that your brain starts working totally differently and you’re overflowing with those freaking hormones, which makes you doubt everything about yourself even more. But then you hear people tell you to ‘be yourself!’, ‘love yourself!’ and that ‘selflove is so important!’. Oh, really?! Hooray! Now I will love myself (you might notice a hint of sarcasm!)
Build your own box, and make it big
Give yourself space to grow! Set big goals, and if someone ever makes you feel uncomfortable when you tell them your goals, because ‘you are thinking too big’, that only means one thing: they are small minded. Never let them hold you back. You are such a beautiful person that deserves to be loved, especially by yourself. So don’t let your looks define who (you think) you are. Your number of likes, followers or the one on a scale doesn’t equal your worth. There is more to you than that. Show the world your rays of sunshine from within. Try and learn to love your flaws. You’re flawsome too! Do your own thing, work hard and you will get there. You could be the new Picasso or Einstein, become the person that puts a smile on everyone’s face just by being in their presence. Become your happiest self!
Take it step by step
I’m not going to tell you all of these things. I know it doesn’t happen overnight and that it’s not something someone else can teach/show you. It’s also okay to have bad days. When I was younger, it always seemed like no one else my age was having bad days and I felt a little like I was the only one. From experience, I’ve learned that having bad days just makes you human, and it is totally okay to feel down every once in a while. But turn these bad days or moments into something positive and get strength out of them to keep up your good days!
Eva doesn't think we need to lose social media completely, but that we can learn to use it more responsibly. We agree! To learn just how much she depends on it, we challenged Eva to go for a whole week without Instagram. Next week, read her diary of those seven days.