When I created The Love Nerds, I knew one thing for sure – I wanted it to be a place that celebrated moments with loved ones. Whether it be a delicious Sunday brunch with a partner, a fun game night with friends, or a pretty Mother’s Day gift, I wanted to focus on making moments special with and for family and friends. So when I was offered the opportunity to partner with Soffe and #TheUsProject movement, the choice to participate was easy!
Here’s something you may or may not know about me – I’m not a fan of selfies. I can really only think of a couple that I have ever taken of myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t love taking photos though. If you look on my Instagram, you will see lots of photos of places I love, a ridiculous amount of food shots, items I love and lots of photos with me and other people (especially Bryan). Calling them groupies doesn’t sound quite right – we really need a word for these – but that’s what they are. Group shots!
#TheUsProject aims to encourage young women to focus on each other – those who give them strength, motivation and encouragement. It encourages women to think that “we” makes “me” because I certainly couldn’t do everything I do without the strength and support of the people around me.
Our generation is so strongly associated with the term “selfies”. More than one million selfies are posted everyday and most are taken by impressionable young women. Studies have shown that this “selfie” movement has led to weaker and more shallow relationships with less intimacy. This makes sense if the focus is placed on the individual rather than true connections. It has also been found to create lower self esteem.
This is what worries me the most. So much of our social media is image based, and women are holding a microscope up to their appearance through selfies. They are being uber critical of their appearance and turning to plastic surgery to “fix” what they see. Plastic surgeons have been a significant rise in plastic surgery for patients under 30, especially facial plastic surgery. They have coined it as “selfie surgery”.
As an aunt and future mom, I worry. It’s not that I don’t remember worrying about my body as a teenager. All of my friends did. Struggling with body image and self esteem is an unfortunate part of growing up but I see it happening earlier and more severely. I see young women critically analyzing photos and harshly criticizing themselves.
When I was teaching, I remember hearing girls say “my nose doesn’t look right” or “I look obese”. But really? They were beautiful!
What I love about #TheUsProject is the focus is on capturing fun and important memories with people we love – NOT OURSELVES! Less time needs to be spent on ourselves and more time needs to be spent on the people around us. It’s time to let more people in the frame.
Something I think about – when people are old and gray, will they really care to look back and see a feed of just them? Or will they want to look back and see pictures of people they loved? I know I will want to look back and see my husband, parents, siblings, and nieces. I will want to see pictures of my best friend being a mom or my husband being an awesome uncle or my mom cuddling with her grandchild or me having a blast with my niece and sister on spring break. Those are the moments that really matter.
So I challenge you: Take a photo of you and the people you love on Instagram – use #TheUsProject and tag me @lovenerdmaggie. You’ll be entered to win some awesome Soffe #TheUsProject swag!
Check out #TheUsProject movement and the video below for more information!