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  • Writer's pictureJessica Eaves Mathews


To my young women friends.

I see many of you posting a large number of selfies on Instagram and some of you are downright obsessed with yourselves.

Not that there is anything wrong with a well-timed selfie. They can be great photos and great ways to document your lives. (p.s. a number of you ARE amazing women of substance, and selfies and event photos are apart of your professional branding, so this is NOT addressed at you.)

But if you are posting a bunch of shots of just you, or you and your friends in Kardashian-style poses, this is for you.

Even more so if you are adding hashtags about how beautiful you are (#gorgeous #pretty etc….). Or doing face “edits” or photoshop or filters to make you look even more beautiful.

Look - you don’t want to hear it from a old lady like me, but I am the same age as your bosses, your future bosses, and the women you will grow up to become. Believe me when I say that it is NOT all in good fun. You are creating a permanent record of your own vanity that is seriously hurting your credibility and will hurt it in the future even more.

I say this out of love….seriously, have some substance, girl.

I implore you. Care about the world, and the planet, and other people. Do something that matters in life.

Work to grow your gifts and talents in a way that will bless others and leave the world a better place.

Don’t get me wrong. Self-confidence is awesome - and everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin.

But when your entire Instagram feed looks like a ode to your own bad self, you look foolish, and immature.

I assure you that future employers, potential mentors, future soul mates or life partners, and other people who might have been interested in you as a human being are watching. And if they aren’t watching now, they will easily be able to find your digital footprint later (like during a background check for that dream job you want). They might not ever tell you that you missed an opportunity because of your vanity, but you will miss opportunities. You may have already missed opportunities.

And what is more important than that is that you are missing the opportunity right NOW to better yourself, to hone your gifts and talents, to figure out how to build something of substance for yourself, your future husband or wife, and maybe even your future kids and grandkids.

You only get one life. And not every young adult gets to grow old and have a long time to work their priorities out. Don’t waste the precious time you have on this planet doing stupid stuff.

I mean it. Just cut it out. You look dumber than you really are (hint: you aren’t dumb). You look vacuous. You look like you have no goals, no ambition, nothing to offer beyond your cute outfit, “amazing” eyes, and great smoldering duck-face pose.

It is time to fill your mind, heart and soul, and not just focus on your physical appearance and how you look when photographed.

There are young women in the world right now doing things that matter.

You aren’t too young to have to worry about it. Those young ladies are getting a huge head start on you. What do you want to be known for? Do you think you have all the time in the world? You don’t. Get on it.

Want some examples? How about these (Google them if you don’t know who they are - I’ve also included two articles with info on many of them for quick reading):

Malala Yousafzai

Emma Watson

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Pixie Lott

Savannah Brown

Heather Keating

Anne McClain, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Christina Hammock Koch and Jessica Meir

Ola Sitarska and Ola Sendecka

Anna Hill and Kara Stanton

Keely Thorne

Daniela Castellanos

Isabelle Whiteley

Shea Glover

Poppy Jamie

Röra Blue

Here is a cheat sheet on some of them:

Or these:

Make a decision today to make a change. Do something that inspires you. Do something that you care about that will make another human’s life, or animal’s life, or the planet a better place. Yes you. You are more magnificent than you know, and you have greatness in you. Don’t hide from it. If you want to dazzle people, the real way to do it is not with the perfect selfie. It is with the beauty that is hiding in your soul, heart and mind right now. Dare to be greater than you even believe you can. The world is waiting. We don’t need another selfie of you. We need the real you in real life - in full, unfiltered technicolor - to come out and show up and make your mark.

You got this. And for any of you willing to take this brave chance, I’ve got you too.


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