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I hate cheese. Never liked it. Babybel was okay when I was a kid but I mainly ate it because of the cool wax packaging. Most people however, love cheese. If I were to sit there and scowl and make critical remarks about how it looks like a hunk of mouldy butter, smells like funk and contains like, 1000 calories a mouthful, that would make me a dick. Yet when it comes to religion, even when I sit there without saying anything more than “I can’t make it on Sunday, I have church,” people seem to forget this cheese paradigm and instead, they express every negative thought they have. Especially online, God and social media don’t seem to mix.
And when people talk about God, they do it with such vehement scorn that you would’ve thought
they actually do believe in Him and they had some kind of vendetta. Oddly enough, this doesn’t make me angry. It makes me so deeply sad that someone who doesn’t even have a relationship with Him has so much anger towards everything associated with Him that they would lose all respect for me, another human being. More than that, I can guarantee that I love God more than anyone could hate Him. So it struck me the other evening that despite being unafraid to tell people that I’m a Christian and that I do all the associated things, like you know praying and stuff, when it comes to what I share online, I am rather silent.
Of course people who are anything but public about their faith prefer this. For people who do believe yet
aren’t vocal about admitting it, they are comforted by the knowledge that another blogger is a Christian but also chooses to stay quiet. To do anything else would be pressurising and I know because I was that person. I’m not one to impose anything on anyone – although it does make me visibly upset when people add milk to their Earl Grey. I don’t talk about my faith unless I’m asked and even then, I usually know whether someone is genuinely curious or they’re trying to start a tiresome debate. If you want the latter, there are crazies on Oxford Street telling us we’re all going to hell and handing out leaflets, and sadly every group has them – they are the embarrassing misrepresentation of the majority of us.
Now some people like to believe that our societies are increasingly tolerant and liberal, they probably view the recent emergence of nationalism in Europe and America as a brief pause in the wider scale of globalisation. However, whether or not the world is becoming more accepting, I still don’t think that there’s much openness towards religion on social media. And the ironic thing is that we’re encouraged to be ourselves as much as possible.
I’ve ‘over-shared’ with my audience countless times – I’ve told you that I stress sweat, that I sing Abba in the shower, how much I charge for an Instagram post and I’ve even made pancakes in the shape of the poop emoji on Stories. So why can’t I talk about God? Why do I have to consciously or subconsciously hide a huge part of me from anyone, anywhere?
Interestingly, I find myself thinking “wow that girl is brave,” more so when someone talks openly about their faith – regardless of religion – than when they choose to write about personal struggles. Being a Christian isn’t very on trend and from my experience, it’s not very relatable. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t really make it onto social feeds. And I’m not saying that everyone who ever believed in anything should be plastering it all over the place but it’s important to break down those barriers stopping individuals from expressing themselves on their platforms, on their accounts. As online and offline worlds merge, particularly so for bloggers and influencers, I believe that aligning the two is so crucial for our happiness and motivation. We shouldn’t feel restricted when it comes to sharing who we really are – especially not when it comes from a place of love, and my God is Love.
Shot by Anastajsia, @anastajsia__je
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