The Weight of Your Own Words
If you’ve been on social media at all these past couple of weeks, you have most likely come across at least one person talking about the “Britney documentary.” Earlier this month, the New York Times released a documentary on Hulu about Britney Spears’ current situation and provides some background as to why she is there. For those who haven’t seen the documentary, Framing Britney Spears discusses how one of the biggest popstars in history has been in a legal battle with her father due to the conservator relationship they have. For the past few years, her father has been acting as her guardian, legally allowed to make all of her decisions for her because of her mental health.
We’ll be talking about how social media played a role in Britney’s mental health in the 2000s and how social media has been responding to young celebrities’ mental health, but we wanted to use today to focus on self-love, self-respect, and doing your best to hold onto the positive things you feel about yourself despite everyone around you trying to say otherwise. Britney really started gaining popularity when she was 17 and at the peak of her career until she was about 24. The entire time, she was criticized, talked down on, and insulted, most often by adults a lot older than her. Despite this, she was confident, stood her ground as best as she could, and did what she wanted because it made her happy.
It’s nearly impossible not to take to heart what others – and especially adults – negatively say about you. As human beings, we want to be liked by others and accepted, especially when you’re an adolescent and young adult. Because of this, we worry about what others think of us and deeply care for the approval of others, both of which are even more intense for those with anxiety and/or depression. But at the end of the day, it’s how you feel about yourself that truly matters most, and self-acceptance is much more important than needing to be accepted by others.
While everything about Britney’s experiences are extreme – after all, she was a celebrity, constantly in the limelight, and the negative effects on her mental health was not just fueled by the media, but analyzed and made fun of by them – those who have seen the documentary have been pointing out how what people say about a young person can have immense, negative effects.
Taking the time to remember the positive things about you can’t prevent you from the harsh words of others, but it can still serve as a shield from the truly awful effects of what other people say about you. The truths you accept about yourself don’t just have to be negative, because realistically, there are plenty of positive things that are factually true about you too.
It’s not a bad thing to take pride in yourself and brag about yourself, especially since it can help protect you from the negativity of others too.
What are things that you like about yourself? Do you care about what others think about you? How do you try to avoid taking them to heart?