#Goals are the worst & here’s why.

You want to know what I’m sick of seeing? #Goals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a self-proclaimed ‘goal-digger’ but for those of you who venture onto the tween side of social media, you’ll know that your own personal goals are far different than hashtag goals. If you search #goals on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll be met with pictures of girls with tiny waists, snapshots of seemingly perfect couples, and photos of people living lives that look like they were made for the movies.

But the truth is, social media lies. People post what they want you to see and keep the rest hidden away. You are seeing only the most glamorous, often fabricated part of people’s lives. I think most people show their own personal highlight reel, but are under the impression that everyone else’s lives are as exciting as their social media channels make them out to be.

There are two “insta-famous” girls that have really inspired me to write this because under every one of their pictures they have hundreds of young girls going on about how the  girls in these pictures are #goals.

Sjana.

The first is Sjana Earp. Sjana is an absolute darling girl with nearly a million followers on Instagram. She is adorable, Australian, a yogi queen, and she has a metabolic disorder that makes her tall frame stick thin.

Sjana is healthy, athletic, and vibrant, but due to her disorder she has a body that is unattainable for girls with a normally functioning metabolism. And yet, under every picture that she posts there are girls commenting #bodygoals and asking her for the secret to her tiny physique.

The thing is, Sjana has so many great qualities that should be #goals, but they’re not. There aren’t girls commenting that they wish they had as big a heart as her after she spent the summer doing mission work in Africa, there aren’t girls wishing they were as brave as her after she traveled the world solo at 20, and there aren’t girls wishing they were as dedicated as her after she posts pictures doing a challenging yoga pose. Because those things aren’t #goals. In the twisted land of tween social media, skinny = #goals.

Alexis.

Another girl that I want to talk about is Alexis Ren – she is a gorgeous model living an exciting life that has taken her around the world. She takes her three and a half million followers along on her adventures via breathtaking pictures she posts on Instagram giving us a glimpse into her photoshoots, travels, and her relationship with her boyfriend, Jay.

Studio days 💙

A photo posted by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

Jay and Alexis seem to have the world fooled into thinking that they are #RelationshipGoals because they are gorgeous teenagers travelling the world together as a synergistic power couple. She is a bikini model, he is a bikini designer. Everyone seems to think they have the perfect relationship when that can’t be anything further than the truth.

A photo posted by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

I have nothing against Alexis (I think she’s adorable!), but her boyfriend gives me the creeps. If you look on her account she posts playful and loving pictures with him that make me understand why girls think that they are #goals. But go on over to his account and Jay is hypersexualizing and objectifying Alexis. On the regular he is posting close ups of her butt and cleavage, along with pictures of the two of them being a bit too intimate for Instagram.

Jay is treating Alexis as an object, a prop to drive sales and gain followers. Jay’s profile takes away Alexis’ identity, making her out to be nothing more than a body and his play thing.

In a loving relationship, you do not use each other. In a loving relationship you keep the intimate moments just that – intimate. And in a loving relationship you shed a positve, bright light on each other.

Relationship Goals are unhealthy because you do not know what goes on in anyone else’s relationship. Anyone can take a cute picture together, plaster on a smile, and hold each other close. Looking happy isn’t the same thing as being happy and the happiest couples are the ones who don’t feel like they have something to prove. The couples you should be looking up to are the ones who treat each other with respect and work every day towards a strong, healthy, and happy relationship – but the thing is, you’re going to find those couples in real life – not on Instagram.

Make yourself your own #goals.

Because sometimes the bloopers are my favorite! All @jcpenney everything! (📷: @megan.schaefer) 

A photo posted by Morgan Timm | Mostly Morgan (@morgantimm) on

But that is just my two cents on things. You can write me off as a hypocrite (I mean, you don’t see me posting my bad hair days) but I’m just hoping I got my thoughts across. Because I’m not against goal setting at all, and I’m not against role models, either. I’m against comparing yourself to girls (seemingly) living unattainable lives.

Goals can be great if they are made with intention. Setting goals to improve your grades, run a little faster, or eat a little healthier are all great for personal growth. But when you are putting strangers on a pedestal, making their highlight reels your #goals that is when you start setting yourself up for failure.

What is your opinion on the hashtag goals phenomenon that’s been floating around the internet?

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  • I see a lot of really similar posts critiquing internet culture, but this one is really unique. I haven’t read anything about #goals in the past, and I really appreciate the fact that you point out that we don’t know about these peoples’ real lives and it’s unfair – to them AND us – to idealize them. Goals – real goals that don’t involve putting others on a pedestal – are, as you say, a great way to improve ourselves. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They really made me think!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I worked hard on this post being careful to get exactly what I was thinking across as I wanted it to. And thank you for saying how it is unfair to ourselves AND them! That is so true, being held to the standard of perfection gives a lot of room for failure!

  • Great post! I’ve been seeing this around more and more and am getting a little bit disappointed. I think Instagram lends itself to idealizing the wrong qualities about people (mostly because it’s hard to take a picture of intelligence, generosity, kindness, etc). There’s definitely nothing wrong with enjoying pretty pictures but it’s important to remember that social media is a ‘highlight reel.’

    Ally
    Hustle & Whoa

    • Thank you so much! And it has definitely blown up as of recent! And that is a great point about taking a picture of intelligence and other such qualities! A lot of the important things about a person don’t come across in an image, leaving people to take things at face value.

  • You took the words right out of my mouth! Excellent post! I hope this inspires girls to love themselves and set their own goals!!!

    Cassie
    My Pop of Color

    • I am so glad to hear that! And I hope the same! Unhealthy goals are so damaging!

  • Yes, yes, yes! I love the difference you made between goals and #goals, and props for being so kind to the ladies you discussed – it’s a society problem, not a them problem. Such a good post, thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much – they are definitely very different things by today’s standards. And absolutely! I really think both of those girls are great and very admirable – but not perfect. (Because no one is!) and it isn’t fair to hold them to the standard of perfection!

  • I’ve always hated seeing #relationshipgoals. You’ve posted EXACTLY why. You never know what is going on in someone’s life. No one should glorify someone else’s relationship. I think everyone should focus on their own life. You are so right!!

    Peace & Love // Celestralite

    • Thank you so much! Amen to focusing on your own life – sitting and comparing and wishing won’t get you anywhere!

  • This was such a great post addressing the “elephant in the room” of social media. Personally, not comparing myself to others is one of the hardest things in the world but this post was a great reminder of perspective! (P.S. your post way back when on starting a blog was the reason why I started a blog, so thanks!!)
    http://www.themicroscoop.com

    • It is SO hard! The internet is definitely a prime area for comparisons! Even with things as silly as ‘likes!’

      And that is amazing! I am so glad that you started! I’m off to check it out! 🙂

  • One of the best blog posts I’ve read this week. Cheers to you for calling out something that is FAR too common nowadays…you hit every point here spot on girlfriend, and I hate that Jay is objectifying Alexis like that…so so so uncool. I’m with ya…creepy! I wish #goals was written more on inspirational pictures and those people who just genuinely encourage the spreading of kindness and encouragement. THOSE are true #goals – to be a better person!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Thank you so much, girl! I agree completely! The only #goals that are important are promoting kindness, health, and encouragement! You hit the nail on the head!

  • I agree with you, I hate seeing #Goals! Sadie Robertson is another one who gets a lot of those comments – she even spoke out against it. Our society is too focused on being “in” and popular. Nope. It needs to be knowing our worth from God, and having confidence in ourselves. Comparing ourselves to people and using #Goals is only going to hurt us.

    • It is no fun to see! And I love Sadie, I still am constantly watching clips from her when she was on DWTS! And yes!!!! Self confidence is what it’s all about – and that has to come from yourself, not how you compare to others!

  • I LOVE this post. This is a topic that seriously needed to be covered, and I am so glad you did so!

    I really really needed to hear this today. My boyfriend of 3 years and I are going through a really tough time right now and it really hurts me when I see these things online because I am definitely guilty of thinking #RelationshipGoals. I need to remind myself that I know nothing about these people’s lives and I need to not compare myself to them.

    • Thank you so much, Dani!! <3

      I am so sorry that you are going through tough times – remember the sun is still there even if it's hiding!! <3 Comparison is the thief of joy, work on making sure you are the happiest you that you can be!

      If you ever want to talk (about anything!) hit me up and we can email or Skype – it's been too long!!

  • Thank you for touching on this topic. This is a very unique POV that really changed the way I view #goals. Before, I would enjoy posts and pictures that were #relationshipgoals. It was my way of seeing what I wanted in my future relationships. After reading your article, it made me realize that some of things we see in #goals are NOT REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t look at posts and photos that fall into the #goals category. But it will remind me to take step back and look if what I see is really what happens in life. Often, we forget that a picture is merely a glance at someone’s life that they (in most cases) have heavily edited and posed.

    https://simplybeingkim.wordpress.com/

    • I really appreciate your comment, Kim! Thank you so much! I still love looking at pictures that fall into the ‘#goals’ category, too! I just look at them differently now since I’ve come to this new realization. Now I can just enjoy the photography or the pretty person looking like she’s having the time of her life without having to compare that moment in time to where I’m at in life.

  • Darcy

    I totally agree the #goals thing is getting a little out of hand! I am hoping it is a fad that passes soon!
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

    • I am right there with you! And it seems like a lot of others are, too! Get enough people on board and it’ll be a thing of the past before we know it 🙂

  • Funny, I actually follow all the girls you spoke of. Shame on me 🙂 But I do agree, we are all guilty of only showing the best parts of our lives, I’d like to see someone show the bad as well.

    To Hell in a Handbag

    • I follow them too, I think that they are darling! I think it’s fine to follow and admire, it just gets dangerous if you find yourself wishing you had their life/body/relationship/etc. And I’m definitely guilty of that – especially on Instagram! I tweet my unflattering pictures (holla at a picture of my swollen allergic reaction face I posted last week), but I’d never post them on Insta!

  • Adaleta Avdic

    I really like this discussion because it hits close to home. In the blogger & YouTuber space now, there are people who state that certain girls “fit the bill” when it comes to being a blogger and people have goals and perceived views of you which isn’t cool. You can’t live up to other people’s expectations & it sucks knowing you wouldn’t be able to live up to people’s expectations. However when you’re setting certain goals to be like so and so, I also find it very degrading in a sense. Glad you wrote this! xx, adaatude.com

    • Thank you so much, Adaleta! You explained it perfectly! It’s not only a problem of expectations, but a problem of comparison, too!

  • Christina Beauchamp

    What a thought provoking post! Thanks for being so real and starting up this very important discussion!

    xo, Christina

    • Thank you so much, Christina! I am glad that you thought so!! xxx

  • LOVED this post! I totally agree and I feel like these “#goals” actually can cause others to have their self confidence and happiness lowered. I know I’ve felt this way when I’ve seen a ton of my friends having fun at parties and going to new restaurants and having a blast on social media. However, that is just ONE picture of many that could’ve told the actual truth behind what went on that day. It’s the one thing about social media that I don’t like. Again, loved this post and I definitely think we should be creating our own #goals (more realistic ones hopefully haha)

    xx Kelly
    http://www.activkel.com

    • It is so easy to fall into that trap! I’m very much do as I say, not as I do about this because I definitely find myself comparing my life to the ‘social media life’ of others. I have been working so hard in the past few months to have a healthier mindset and I’m finally getting out of that cycle!

  • Shelly Crossland

    Great post! I loved your quote: “Relationship Goals are unhealthy because you do not know what goes on in anyone else’s relationship.” I think that is so true. It is easy to covet someone else’s relationship, especially if you are only seeing bits and pieces of it like a YouTuber’s vlogs with her boyfriend. But we don’t really know what goes on in their relationship when the cameras are off.

    I actually just wrote a similar blog article on this topic if you’d like to check it out. 🙂

    shellyray.wordpress.com

  • jihnel santo domingo

    Love this post. I’ve seriously unfollowed a bunch of bloggers/vloggers in the past week because all they post are the highlights in their life. And its worst when its a family member and you know all the BS and drama that’s going on or went on behind the scenes.