Growing up, I always had this crystal clear image of what my career path would look like. During my four years in a rigorous journalism program at Arizona State University I was lucky enough to dip my toes into the competitive world of entertainment reporting and challenge myself among the most brilliant people in the journalism world.
My program mainly focused on investigative journalism and print, and paid little attention to those who wanted to pursue a path in Hollywood. Hollywood, and life in general, is a dog-eat-dog-world and you just have to be one of the best players in the crazy game. When I was 19 years old I landed my first "Hollywood gig." Over the course of the last three years I have had several Los Angeles based internships all in the entertainment reporting field. During this time, I have made the seven-hour drive from Arizona to California for every staff meeting, every award show, and every press conference. Still to this day, there is nothing more that I love than stepping onto a red carpet and reporting my little heart out.
While I am covering high wattage events while feeling beautiful and confident in my own skin (in a dress I personally think I’m rocking the heck out of!) I go home and share pictures with my friends and family and lay in bed feeling like I tackled the world. But once the make-up comes off and I'm under the covers scrolling through social media the gratefulness and excitement I feel starts to fade away with every minor scroll. Over the past couple of months, I have find that I am constantly comparing myself to girls on social media that I don't even know! To be honest, I don't know how I even stumble upon all of these profiles (you know how it goes.) I'll compare their house to my house, their swimsuit-ready bodies and my lack thereof, or picture-perfect outfits. The fact of the matter is, sometimes the women I compare myself to on social media are after the same dream I am - and then the doubt begins. I sit there and argue with myself, "Well maybe I should have joined a sorority," or "Maybe I should wear more make up or get fake eyelashes." Then it all comes back to me, none of that is me. I'm not a sorority girl, and I'm not one to wake up every day and do my make-up unless I have to.
So let's get one thing straight, one woman's success shouldn't mean my failure. Because quite frankly, I’m nowhere close to being a failure. Social media shows the best moments in our lives - not the bad ones. It's never crossed my mind to post a picture of myself in a bathing suit bloated, because I know that's not cute. Or why would I post about how hard my day was and all of the auditions I was turned down for and didn't get? Instead, I constantly compare myself to women who I don't even know and in turn, dampen my own personal success at the age of twenty-two. Now, I’m not saying don’t post that selfie that you look absolutely flawless in or a post commemorating your success or achievement – post it! But remember, there is life and hardships behind each post that you see.
My personal oath to myself has been this: Look at social media, but don't compare your life based off of what you see on the internet. Your success isn't measured by likes, shares, and just wait - someone else's success. The social media world is what we want everyone to see. Quite frankly, it won't be going anywhere anytime soon - so it's up to us (you) to make the switch in your brain. Listen to what your mind tells you and if you find those negative thoughts creeping their way into your brain. Set down the phone, turn off the computer and separate yourself from the internet. Remember, "Her success is not your failure."
Much love to all of you!
By: Shelby Slaughter