For as long as I can remember I have been nursing a #GIRLCRUSH. The object of my affection and adoration has varied vastly over the years, and remains fickle to this day. These idols have included, but not been limited to, Angelina Ballerina (sparked my life-long desire to be a ballerina – only a lack of talent, grace and rhythm stands in my way), Amy MacDonald (Scottish songtress, still cool AF), Ariel from the Little Mermaid (I dreamed of dying my hair red, I did not start using forks as hairbrushes), Teresa from Hollyoaks (gorgeous and blonde, she made me dream of a sophistication only fake tan and bumpits can lend*). When I turned 16 and found Tumblr my ideal look began to modelled on super edgy, super-skinny goth beauty Felice Fawn. These days it’s all about Instagram and we’re bombarded every second of every day with a literal lineup of beautiful, accomplished women to compare ourselves to. I’m simultaneously in love with and envious of a different girls look, life, style, every single day. These intense and often brief bouts of the girlcrushing have invariably resulted in an attempt to change something about myself in order to be more like the subject of my platonic, nonetheless intense, obsession. Indeed, at 21, I still find myself poring over images of certain women I admire aesthetically, wondering how I can make myself ‘more like that.’
- The ultimate Primadonna, Angie B.
- Of course, Ariel. I still wish I could make ‘AhAaaaaaaHHHH’ sound as sweet and musical as she does. #GOALS.
- Amy MacDonald. Responsible for my terrible combover fringe in year 8. She worked it, I didn’t.
- The ever-so controversial and ever so 2012 Tumblr Darling Felice Fawn.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this admiration. Yet, hypocritically there is something that sits uncomfortably with me about the term and indeed the entire phenomena of the #GIRLCRUSH. It leaves me with the same vague ‘ickiness’ that arises when I see girls plastering the word ‘GOALS’ over anything from a pair of sheeny Louboutin heels, to a couple kissing, to a models bikini shot on Instagram. Admiring other women is healthy, understandable, and empowering. The issue starts when we view the beauty of other women as the absence of our own. In the throws of ‘girl crush’ I become guilty of allowing this person to become my mercurial, narrow definition of beauty. Often, and I feel I’m not entirely alone in this, the object of my admiration becomes an image I measure myself against, something to aspire to. Crucially, it’s hard to remember that what I’m comparing myself to is just that…an image. I am not these women, I do not live their lives. I access only a very small amount of their lives through the smokescreen, filtered platform of social media.
Ultimately, I’m know that I’m always going to be nursing a #GIRLCRUSH on someone or other. I know this because women are amazing. There are so many women I admire for their beauty, their intelligence, their style, their artistic talent. Knowing this, I’m striving to remember that I admire these women as something about them resonates and strikes a cord within me, and I can cultivate these facets within myself without feeling I’m falling short as I cannot ever be as perfect/beautiful/talented as this particular person. Whenever we nurse a #GIRLCRUSH we need to take a step-back, remembering we are comparing ourselves to a photo, a 2D cardboard cut-out of a person, not a living breathing flawed individual. Whenever we find ourselves temped to comment ‘GOALS😩😩’ followed by excessive emoji’s on a celeb/model/social media queen’s selfie, we should perhaps reconsider. I LOVE that girls are so ready to admire and boost others, but instead of idolising the image as an aspirational goal, perhaps just comment on something you find beautiful about them. That means more and is more mentally beneficial to yourself than constricting this person to ‘GOALS.’
Through this post I hope to remind you, and myself, that you can be pretty like you – you don’t have to be pretty like the eternal, ephemeral and ever changing ‘her.’ You, yourself, unfiltered, are enough. Trying to be someone else is limiting, and serves only to constrain you. Don’t let admiring someone else’s shine dim your sparkle. 💛✨💛✨