When I first saw this picture I stopped and stared at it for what felt like the longest I have ever stared at any picture (including pictures of Beyonce). The use of the red “NATURAL” beanie coupled with the model’s beautiful skin tones convey the message that imperfection is natural and therefore beautiful. Even without the “NATURAL” beanie, this image would still be eye-catching, but the impact of the words on the image is nevertheless, undeniable. I’m not sure if it is the fact that the model’s pigmentation is so symmetrical that makes it eye catching or maybe it is just how different she looks why this image is so appealing to me. As I am writing this, I now realize that the picture is really a play on words: the model’s appearance is unnatural. However, the “NATURAL” within the image was so bold and loud that I failed to notice it at first. Crazy how much of an impact an image can mess with your head.
The model’s name is Chantelle Brown (she also goes by Winnie Harlow) and I couldn’t help but look at some of her other work. She has vitiligo, a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin. I encourage you all to read her inspirational story below. 🙂
The part of this article that really resonated with me was how “Instagram’s photo-boasting tends to amplify feelings of isolation.” People who frequent social media the most are more depressed and lonely than those who choose to actually have human contact. No matter how many likes/favorites you get, how many friends or followers you have, it doesn’t matter because these things will never amount to true happiness.
Not only has social media increased levels of loneliness, but it has also decreased levels of self-esteem. People who constantly have to post pictures so that they can get likes just to gain self affirmation are the most insecure ones of them all. I have a good friend who will check her Facebook repeatedly to see how many likes she gets and when she does not reach even 100 likes, she gets upset. But neither the poster of the pic nor the likee will ever be happy. She’ll be filled with false happiness (or disappointment if not “enough” people liked her picture/post), and the people who “liked” her picture are become jealous or depressed that they do not look as happy or as pretty, etc.
This is why I personally choose to get on Facebook only to check my messages or on twitter when I am bored at work. Luckily, I noticed how unhappy I was when I got on social media and limited my use of it. Hopefully, my friend will notice it for herself too.