Reframing the toxic twenties

An era of social media has fuelled the fire on many toxic trends, rearing its ugly head with false body positivity and beauty filters unmistakable to the human eye. But the worst one to have in your twenties? Toxic productivity.

We’ve all seen it, twenty year-olds getting up at 6am, drinking an organic matcha whilst they journal and then running a half marathon, quite frankly it’s making my eyes bleed. Never mind the twenty-somethings who cook dinner using all ‘home grown’ ingredients (even the bloody knives and forks), before doing their weekly budget and nightly yoga.

I’m sorry, have I slipped into another world where being in your twenties was for something other than being a fuck up?

How I longed for a world of messy hookups, half-eaten toast, smudged mascara and bed-ridden hangovers inspired by Sex and The City. But instead, my screen is filled with people my age acting … acting … almost like … adults?

The thought of it makes me shudder. I haven’t got good grades in school and done dance and gymnastics for 10 years for ‘self-improvement’, I’ve done it so I can be a complete screw-up throughout my early twenties with little judgement.

I feel cheated by social media. I thought as a twenty-one year old I had made a lucky escape from the deathly grip it has on pre-teens today but it turns out it was aiming to sabotage my twenties all along.

Our twenties are supposed to be the time of mistakes. We’re at the optimum age where we earn enough money to actually spend something but we don’t have too much pressure to settle or start saving. We can fall back on our parents but they also won’t know if we stay out all night long. And, of course, we can drink to our hearts content.

So as pints lie disappointingly half-empty and order for lime and sodas go up, and nights of ‘self-growth’ become excuses not go out, over the ordinarily ‘still hungover’ reason I want us to mess up a little bit. Can’t we get fired from that job that won’t matter in twenty years. Or let’s stay out too late, because you don’t have any screaming child to wake you up the next day. Or please I am begging you shag your ex, it’s good sex and you’re not cheating on a greying partner, so why the fuck not? We are in our twenties after all.

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