Don’t Look So Trashy

Georgia Emily

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Content Warning: Self-Esteem

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I have a problem, but I don’t know where to start. 

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We are scavengers, hunters…. always hungry for the next meal. 

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I believe society’s constant push towards ‘bigger and better’ is inextricably linked to fast-fashion culture, consumerism and the forever unfulfilled drive for perfectionism in the developed world. 

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You are twelve and it begins. You are conditioned to never quite feel… enough. Insecurity has subtle tendrils that have crawled into the television commercials we watch and the music we listen to. Beautiful women wear the most beautiful clothes, drive beautiful new cars, and marry beautiful people — this is being successful. But, you don’t feel like that. So many industries thrive off your insecurities, that your image doesn’t mirror the one you are shown.  

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You are sixteen. This weekend you’re going to a party. It would be unthinkable to attend in an outfit already posted online —so you’ll need to buy another. And when you snap a pic of that dress, the one you spent a week’s wages on, it can go on the pile of dusty clothes at the back of your wardrobe. 

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You want to be more, feel more —so you buy makeup and the latest trends, and chase the fallacy of instant gratification. The likes stack up and the validation is solid. But one week passes, and another month, and then the new clothes don’t make you feel good anymore. And the makeup doesn’t cover the deep, lacking self-worth — so you buy more, you change more. 

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You grow up. Is twenty-two years-old too young for Botox? Surely surgery isn’t too big of a step? Youtubers are doing it. If you fix that ‘one thing’ you will finally feel good about yourself! But the hamster wheel is now spinning, and it’s too hard to jump off. Goods are pumped out —60% off sales, free shipping, $10 off when you sign up. You can buy clothes online and have them in your hands three days later, all the way from India. Still warm.

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The landfill in your heart is stacking up. 

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Good morning. You are twenty-five and a slave to perfectionism. The shackles are tight. Today you need to be the most attractive version of yourself. In fact, you need to be the best version, every day.  You look in the mirror but aren’t satisfied — the filter which used to smooth your skin and make you feel better,seems broken. It’s been three months since you splashed out on the latest iPhone, but you don’t own the newest version anymore. You stand on the edge of the rabbit hole — facetune editing, viral trends, an item of clothing that costs 100 times the labour price. 

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And you fall in.