Friend or Foe? An open letter from fashion to social media
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Dear Social Media, Sweetheart, we need to talk. It is evident that you and I have a lot in common. We both devote ourselves selflessly to boosting the self-confidence of others by helping them to self-edit and reinvent themselves. We have been quite a power couple, it must be said. I fell in love with your ability to see only the best in people. You pretend that any less attractive aspects of life simply do not exist. With your help, everybody can be seen to lead the perfect lives they dream of. Like you, I only wish to use my talents to make the world a better place. I can make people look and feel more glamorous, more desirable, in seconds. I do not like to blow my own trumpet, but I make a big impression on people. I was already kind of a big deal when we met, but nobody could have anticipated the way in which your success has exploded. You are a huge part of so many lives across the world. It is such a gift that you and I have. We have worked together as a team to create apparently all-rounded perfect lives both offline and online. Together, we are changing the world. The problem is, my darling, that I am not always absolutely certain that we are changing it for the better. We have become so lost in our generous devotion to giving something back to society that we have failed to recognise the potentially harmful impact that our actions can have. By telling people that we can help them to improve their outward appearances, we are fundamentally saying that their unedited selves are not good enough. Young people are particularly vulnerable to this damaging thought, as they grow up in a society where self-editing is an expectation. The more successful we both become, the greater an audience this message reaches, and it is terrifying.
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Above: Laura receiving her prize at Ther Clothes Show's awards ceremony.
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