Archive | February, 2023

Scroll if You Want To

21 Feb


I freely admit that I’m addicted to TikTok. I guess it’s better than abusing drugs or alcohol, although if I indulge in too much scrolling before bed, I find it has an adverse effect on my sleep cycle. Like any user, I feel the need to be secretive about my habit, mostly because my husband gets annoyed that I don’t give him my full attention if I scroll in his presence. He just doesn’t get that like most women, I’m a seasoned multi-tasker.

As I head into my twilight years, TikTok has become my guilty pleasure. My attention span has narrowed, so a quick (or not so quick) scroll through the app somehow gives my brain the shot of dopamine it craves. If you need to kill 5-10 minutes, it’s the perfect distraction. But be careful—you can easily fall down that rabbit hole, and before you know it, an hour or three has passed.

If you’re unfamiliar with how the app works, it’s basically a bunch of quick videos that an algorithm decides you’d be interested in watching. In my feed, I get a lot of adorable animal videos, baby videos, and oddly enough, police body cam videos and car accident videos (weird, right?)

Recently, there’s been a popular filter that has touched on the emotions of women from my generation. While the melancholy song, “The Freshmen” by the Verve Pipe plays in the background, the filter morphs your face into its much younger version. Immediately erased are your wrinkles, blemishes and bags, and you’re staring at your sixteen year-old face in real time. It’s creepy and heartbreaking at the same time.

It’s creepy, because while it looks like me, it’s not really me. It’s heartbreaking because I can still see that sweet and innocent version of myself so clearly. I want to reach out and hold her tightly—tell her how beautiful she is on the outside, but more importantly, how beautiful she is on the inside. I want her to know that I wish I could’ve loved her and appreciated her all those years ago.

the TikTok teenage filter version of myself.


Women of my generation were taught that were not worthy. While we may have had more opportunities given to us than previous generations, we were still brainwashed to think that our dreams were not as important as fulfilling the needs of others. We were body-shamed, immersed in diet culture, and told that our worth depended on our physical beauty. We were not taught how to love ourselves as we were. We were told so many lies.

Almost fifty years later, I’m only now realizing how truly amazing that young girl was. How under all that insecurity, fear, and self-loathing, there was an intelligent, creative, and beautiful soul waiting to find her way out. Back then, she had no idea of the difficulties she would face in her life, or how those experiences would shape her into the woman she is today.

That real teenage version who had no idea how amazing she was.

It took her a long time, but she’s here now, and finally able to acknowledge that her creativity has no bounds. She does what she wants—she writes, she reads, she plays the piano, she gardens—she loves deeply.

Without shame.

And that girl deserves to scroll if she wants to.