My automatic response to seeing the prompt word ‘fishing’ is to remember the phrase ‘fishing for compliments’, where an individual dangles their attractive traits on a metaphorical hook and faux-criticises them in order to receive a compliment in return – something they are searching for as much as fisherman look for fish (I have said fish too many times, I apologise).
The ‘lake’ where people can often go to bait the complimenting people is often, nowadays after technology has squirreled away into most aspects of a human’s daily life, found within social media. A person – the ‘fisherman’ – may decide they either want to flaunt their positive aspects (the physical, in this sense), or perhaps wait for validation that they are ‘perfect’/’pretty’ etc. (aka a confidence boost). In order to get this the fisherman could, for example, take to Instagram and post a photo of themselves with a sly dig at their own looks before sitting by their device and waiting for the likes and comments to start rolling in – friends denying that they are ‘ugly’ with cries of “im jealous of how pretty u are!” or perhaps a heart eyes emoji.
It is ridiculous to me that young people (in this case, as it is typically 53% of 18-29 year olds using Instagram) take to social media and try to bait the compliments with a thinly veiled insult at their own looks – some even caption photos about things like a new hairstyle or nail varnish, but the photo itself is their full-length body posing provocatively while they pout, just in the hopes that someone will notice their attractiveness and tell them how “stunning!” they are.
Whilst it is of course a positive to give and receive compliments, there is always the fear of ‘too much of a good thing’: what happens when no attention is received on social media when the self-esteem is built so high on these compliments of friends or followers? Self-esteem in young people can be fragile, especially in a Western world where physical attributes are often criticised, even becoming the topic of discussion in media (magazines, etc.). When self-esteem becomes threatened or broken, it can lead to disastrous consequences, though the threat of this happening has, I believe, become more common over the years as more social media apps are created and used.
Holding physical attractiveness in high regard as a personal quality to get you status or love is not good when it overshadows the other qualities that are far more useful in an individual – such as intellect or selflessness.
And once again, I fail to know how to end this properly.