Social Media and its Link to Perfectionism (with Maya Kapouranis)
Hi BTG Fam! My name is Maya (she/her) & I am the founder of Ella Luna Pampas, a small home decor biz & I’m a full time lifestyle content creator. My goal in life is to help empower women to have the courage to show up as themselves & to remind people that we are enough just as we are. I practice living a sustainable, plant based lifestyle & encourage for others to try the same!
My career background is in PR, Social Media & Marketing. From supporting small local businesses to managing famous athlete socials, I have a keen eye for storytelling & sharing ones’ unique life journey… imperfectly and all.
When did you first start using social media?
There’s a big difference between first starting to post & be active on social media & first starting to strategically post and utilize social media. I joined Instagram in 2013 but I really only began taking it seriously in 2018/2019.
I worked for Red Bull as the Student Brand Manager at my university & when I would post about events or activations that I was launching on campus, my posts really got noticed by the online community. I didn’t wake up one day and decide, “I’m going to do social media as my career,” it was more or less something I stumbled into & then, I realized that I could really do something with.
What are your thoughts on social media? And what do you think is the most commonly misunderstood thing about social media?
I definitely have a love/dislike relationship with social media. I love that it connects us, I love the different views & opinions that people share, I love how it educates & inspires, I love that it empowers us, I love the visual storytelling. & on the other hand, I dislike how addicted we have become to social media, I dislike that it stunts real life connection, I dislike that it affects our self esteem, I dislike the attachment we have to a device/app, I dislike that people are so easily cruel to one another because they are hidden behind a screen, I dislike cancel culture.
I think that the most worrisome part about social media is that it is an online/digital space (NOT REALITY) where we can craft ourselves into whoever we want to be. We can show up and pretend to be something we’re not, we can lie to people, we can pretend we are this perfect person… then morph our minds into believing that lie. It’s crazy when you really sit down and think about it. We are constantly consuming what we see and read that this line between what is real & what is online can get blurred. That’s why it is SO important to follow people that show up and not only show the good, pretty moments, but also the raw, vulnerable moments too. We have to remember to engage and follow people that genuinely make us feel good.
What negative assumptions, if any, have been made about you via social media?
Probably a lot more than I know about to be honest.
Actually I have a funny story! When Matt & I went on our first date (after he saw me at a restaurant & slid into my DM), he told me that he assumed I was going to be entitled and arrogant because of the number of followers I had & photos I posted. I was taken aback because I thought that I had perfectly portrayed this ‘perfect’ image of myself online that nobody would or could criticize because I looked ‘perfect’. That was the first knock on the door of ‘hey… perfection doesn’t exist…’ I just had not realized it at the time.
Do you believe these negative assumptions have led you to practice social perfectionism online?
I’m not sure if I would go as far to say that negative assumptions were the cause of practiced perfectionism online. I believe that it is the effects of society that morph our minds into believing that we need to appear perfect at all times. Speaking from a woman’s perspective, women have been trained and conditioned to look externally vs internally for validation. We are CONSTANTLY being told what’s right & what’s wrong, how we should or shouldn’t act, what’s pretty / what’s not pretty, what’s ladylike / what’s not ladylike, what to say / what not to say, that we have allowed the external noise to directly impact and influence our internal thoughts on how we view ourselves and others.
I can admit that I have unconsciously allowed my mind to be polluted with the expectations of how I’m supposed to look, speak, act, dress & be, because nobody ever told me that it was safe to be anything but perfect. This is something I need to be mentally aware of everyday.
Do you believe social media is linked to perfectionism?
Here’s the thing, I love wearing makeup & shaving my pits because it makes me feel good. I love sharing my makeup moments online, because I want to share what made me feel good because it could potentially make someone else feel good too! I’m not saying that women shouldn’t do the things that make them feel good. If wearing hair extensions & putting on falsies floats your boat & makes you happy, then go for it sister!
What I’m trying to say is that when you feel negatively influenced by someone online to put yourself in a position of discomfort to meet societies expectations of beauty, that’s a problem. It’s the lies & the facade that I mentioned earlier that is what is unhealthy & leads to this constant hunger for perfectionism. Celebrities saying that they’ve never had work done (when they have), or companies that sell waist trainers, claiming you’ll have the perfect hourglass body if you stuff all your organs into this body belt, that’s the fake BS that make people doubt themselves for a moment. Botox, surgery, body altering things, this is a personal choice yes, but all I ask is why do we do it? Where does the need for this come from? Why are 18 year olds going into surgeons offices asking for jaw sculpting? It’s because we are fed what the ‘perfect’ woman looks like & it’s what sells.
How do you navigate social media with these causes in mind?
I question everything & I make sure that I am consciously aware of the content I’m consuming.
Something social media can’t take away from us is our reality. When we unplug and look up from our phones we are all living & breathing on the same planet. I often feel like people forget that. We can so easily fall into a cycle of living for our social media that we miss what’s right in front of us. The true and pure moments of living, of aging, of spending time with our loved ones & enjoying the little pleasures in life. It’s about eliminating the distraction, leaving your phone in your purse at dinner, prioritizing being present in real life moments vs online moments. It’s all about being awake & being aware.
How do you practice self-love and kindness?
It all starts with self-kindness, humanity and embracing reality. Embracing my natural self, loving my body the way it is, accepting that it’s okay to not be okay, and knowing that as long as I am true & authentic with myself, I may disappoint other people, but I will never disappoint myself. Perfectionism is debilitating, it’s tiring and it’s boring. I don’t want to be addicted to something that isn’t real, there’s so much more to life than spending time worrying about things that aren’t true.
What are some rituals you practice to remind yourself that you are enough?
I’m not entirely sure if it’s a ritual or not but therapy has REALLY helped a lot! Simply expressing how I feel with an unbiased person has helped a ton in understanding myself.
Also talking to myself when I take Ella on walks & repeating affirmations to myself outloud has been really impactful.
We have to lead with love & kindness. Not only towards others, but to ourselves. Trust your judgement, trust your intuition, if something doesn’t feel right then it’s probably not right. Don’t follow the sheep & do what everyone else is doing, be your own person & embrace your imperfections, they’re rad & it makes you, you.
Follow me or don’t, totally up to you! My Instagram is @mayakapouranis & same goes for the rest of my social channels!
Some accounts Maya is inspired by to be real & raw with her own following..