I am a hair’s breadth away from de-friending one of my Facebook friends.
I say ‘friend'; I hardly know the girl, but I did like her when I first met her earlier this year. Young, pretty, friendly, she seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to get on with her. We had a bit of banter too, so when she sent me a friend request, I had no hesitation in adding her.
Also, to avoid implying that I was misled by my initial impression, she seems as nice online as she was in person. She has a squillion friends, posts lots of spiritual positivity memes, she can spell (yes I am a grammar pedant – sue me), never seems to have a bad word to say about anyone apart from the odd passive aggressive swipe (‘Haters gonna hate!’), but where it all falls down is her obsession with herself, in the form of daily, in some cases hourly selfies.
Just to be clear, I don’t mind a selfie in the way that I don’t mind a good old fashioned photograph. If you’re on holiday and want a photo of yourself in Times Square, at Sydney Opera House, or in the Blue Lagoon, that’s perfectly OK with me. I’d love to see it. Hell I might be jealous for a fleeting few seconds, but that would be more about your being somewhere cool and me being here, not how hot you look in your bikini. You go girl! I was young once, sigh….
And if you’ve just got engaged and want to share the happy moment, my day will peak with a little spike of happiness on your behalf. I do not resent good things happening to other people. I never have.
In fact any special occasion, why not share? It’s one of the good things that social media delivers, especially if your family and/or loved ones are far away and need to see those snaps to still feel a part of your life.
And of course if you have one like this, tag me, ‘cos I really want to see it. :-)
As for celebrities, I’m not even going to go down that road. Let’s face it, they get on everyone’s wick, and whilst I get sick of seeing Kim’s big oily bum, Kiera Knightly offering to get her tits out and Jennifer’s nude shots and depressing reason for doing them (‘He’s going to look at porn or look at you!’ Oh dear. Shall you tell her or shall I?), I guess that’s what goes with the territory in Celebville nowadays, and I can avoid looking at them, if I try really, really hard.
But this gal seems to outdo even the mighty Kim K. Because these are not just mobile phone shots. There are camera shots, reversioned shots, recoloured shots, make up free/just woke up (a.k.a. washed my face, applied some concealor, lip gloss and got back into bed) shots, old photos, new photos, photos from the future….just kidding.
But if it were possible, believe me Maisie would take ‘em, get back in the Tardis, come home and upload ‘em. It’s just a perpetual onslaught of Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, ME.
Maisy on the way to work, on the train, having breakfast, posing next to a film poster, posing with her friend at lunch, posing in costume, posing au naturale (see make up free/just woke up) partying, chilling, posing with her family, dog, in Starbucks, shopping in the supermarket, in sexy underwear, clubbing, dancing on a plinth, with the gas meter reader, getting a smear test, having a poo (OK I’m lying about the last two) and loads and loads of her posing and vogueing at home with her flatmates.
That’s right. Her flatmates. The people she lives with and sees every single day.
That’s like me grabbing my cats and taking a shot of me trying to hold onto them whilst boiling the kettle, them uploading it with the caption ‘Bitches be gagging for tea in da morning. Word.’
Or one of you seizing your disgruntled, protesting partner when they arrive home from work, and taking a shot of the two of you staring blearily into the camera, caption ‘Me and my grumpy boo, waiting for the frozen lasagne to cook, better get the scotch out :-s’
Who does that?! What is she trying to say? That her life is so damn wonderful that every minute of it has to be recorded for posterity so that future generations can marvel at her fabulousness? If that’s how she truly feels about her time on earth, then I am actually envious.
Maybe that would explain my irritation every time I see her pretty little full lipped fizzog beaming up at me, every single time I check my Facebook feed.
‘For the love of Christ!’ I seethe inwardly, ‘Get the fuck over yourself!’
This perpetual narcissism gets to me more than I am comfortable with. What is my problem with her exactly? That she’s younger, prettier, and happier than me? Well that accounts for most of the population, so unless I am kidding myself, I don’t think it’s that.
Maybe it’s my essential Britishness that makes her stick in my craw so much. Unlike Americans, Aussies, and well probably the rest of the planet, we are taught to be modest and self effacing from birth, and if we do happen to have big tickets on ourselves, we’d better damn well hide it because the sheer audacity of liking oneself only makes others hate us. It’s ridiculous I know, but deeply embedded into our collective psyche.
I also have actor ‘friend’ on there, an average looking guy who’s a ‘friend’ of a mutual ‘friend’ who added me, and in a moment of weakness I accepted him, even though I’d never met him in my life. I then got an invitation to ‘Follow’ him.
What? WHAT?! Who I am meant to be following exactly?
I clicked on his page, and on closer inspection, it turns out he isn’t an actor or even an extra. He’s a wannabe extra/model. But his self belief and confidence is such that he thinks I should fall at his feet and worship him. I should have known from all the pouting.
Incidentally am I alone in finding men that pout deeply unattractive and laughable? Surely no grown woman can take them seriously! Haven’t they seen ‘Zoolander’?!
As I write this, I realise that I should be amused by him, and quite frankly could benefit from taking a leaf out of his book, but his audacity and presumptuousness made me so indignant I almost wrote to him to ask ‘Who do you think you are exactly?’
There are also a couple of people on here too that I’ve had to unfollow. Not because I don’t like their writing; I’ve actually forgotten what and how they blog because every time they post, I get to see yet another image of them posing seductively, looking wistfully into the distance or gazing beneath their eyelashes Princess Di stylee, and I flick at my mouse with mounting irritation and whizz past them.
Especially if the post has a ‘I’m So Ugly/Unconfident/Alone’ heading. Why? Because (a) they are full of shit, (b) no matter how many ‘likes’, followers or ‘Oh you’re so beautiful!’s they get, it’s never enough to appease, and (c) even though they incessantly fish for positive affirmations, it’s clear that no matter how many they pull in it will ever, ever be enough.
Maybe, just maybe, they’re as unhappy as I am and I should feel empathy or even pity for them. But I seem to be unable to do so and think it’s only a matter of time before I block Maisie’s posts or even kick her to the kerb.
In a way she reminds me of one of my cats. My Charlie has this really annoying habit of jumping up at me like a dog whenever I’m working on my iMac and digging his claws into my legs if I ignore him. When I finally break my flow, stop typing and turn to him, his beautiful little face is staring raptly into mine and I want to kill him. Because I know that within a matter of seconds he’ll run off with his tail happily swishing in the air, only to come back in five minutes when I’m reabsorbed in my work and do it again. And again. And again.
‘FFS Charlie, WHAT?’ I’ll wail in exasperation. I know he knows it annoys me. But he doesn’t care. He’s safe in the knowledge that I’ll never do any more than tell him off and tickle the top of his head. Because I love him.
Maisie, I barely even know.
And beauty without substance is transient and loses impact as time goes on. Pretty wrapping paper on a gift box. That incredible picture on your wall, painted by a local up and coming artist that you barely even notice anymore. The pair of Tiffany earrings that you forget you bought. That gorgeous old boyfriend/girlfriend that you thought was such a catch, who ended up being so needy and in your face that you used to hide whenever they came round.
Hasn’t everyone had one of those in their past? That guy or girl that thinks they’re so beautiful that they don’t need to have or do anything else, who after the lust dies down, bores you shitless?
I was also guilty of using my body and OK’ish looks to secure attention when I was younger. Nowadays I can barely be bothered to put make up on. And whilst I still get the odd wolf whistle from building site workers (usually the oldies/half blind geezers about a mile away), my metamorphosis into one of the ‘invisible’ is nearly complete, and to my surprise, there is much comfort to be gained from this.
All that pressure. All that make up. All that trying. All that botox.
Did it ever bring me happiness? I think not.
I genuinely hope that Maisie, the wannabe actor and the blogging narcissist are happy in their skin, and whilst they’ll never know how much they irk me, I’m sorry for my judgement, anger and impatience toward them. After all we’re all on the same journey.
Some of us just got the better road map and a head start.