Freshman Olivia Oorbeck continues to work hard at what she loves, even though it feels like the Instagram algorithm is working against her.
It’s no secret that gaining followers is an important task nowadays if someone wants to make it big, but even though Olvia has only been on Instagram for a couple of years—and it can sometimes be a toxic environment—being able to have a platform where she can share what she loves to do most in the world makes it worth the fight it takes to get there.
“The online support system can sometimes be a toxic community,” Olivia said, “but I have found some people that are really kind and supportive within the makeup community, so there are definitely people out there. I personally found my people through a couple of Instagram group chats. In those, we will all share and like each other’s posts because the Instagram algorithm isn’t [in] favor of small creators, but it’s okay because even having my small following is rewarding, and it just keeps growing from here.”
But before Oliva could start sharing her makeup looks online and work around the Instagram algorithm, she had to discover her passion for the intricate and beautiful art medium first.
Her first experience with makeup was due to her sister; she helped introduce Olivia to makeup around the age of nine or ten years old, and Olivia has been in love with everything makeup can do ever since.
“I loved the creativity that came with [makeup],” Olivia said.“I love to draw and even paint a little. I had been an artist for a little while at this point when I first started my kind of makeup journey. I always wanted to try new mediums, so I tested out makeup to see how I felt about it. Practically from that moment on, I just fell in love with it, and all the creativity you could put behind it, and my enthusiasm for this type of art just grew from that point forward.”
This creativity and outlet Olivia found in makeup has changed her outlook. She has learned and thoroughly believes that having the confidence to put yourself out there the way she does with her makeup looks is no easy task and should not be taken lightly. Sometimes, when it comes to social media, it seems people never quite have enough likes or shares to be considered good enough for society’s standards, but fortunately for Olivia, she has found a way to block out the hate so it doesn’t bother her as much.
This doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt sometimes, but doing what fuels her life and what makes her happy blocks it out; expressing her creative self is so much more important to Olivia than any comments, and that’s the way it should be.
“Having the confidence to put stuff out there can be hard,” Olivia said, “and I’ve learned that not a lot of people my age have that confidence because we have been on social media for so long that we all think we have to have a certain number of likes or this many shares or a certain amount of followers to seem cool, but I’ve learned [that] if you’re confident, people will start following you because they are seeing you do what you truly love.”
Confidence, although a quality that naturally shines through Olivia, is even brighter in her posts due to the immaculate support she receives from the people around her, both physically and online.
Support systems are everything when it comes to pursuing passions, and Olivia has found this to be true. Her own support system is filled with people who love and care about her. From her amazing friend group to her family that always backs her up—and even her online group chats—she feels the love coming from all directions.
“The support really does have a major effect on my growth,” Olivia said. “My family is good at helping me through all the really hard stuff. We have become a lot closer over the years, and because of that, I don’t think I could ever be where I am without them.”
Finding her people and this support has allowed her to flourish, and it goes beyond the makeup realm. As she has pursued her passion and put herself out there, Olivia’s views on life have changed.
“I’ve kind of learned that as you go through life, you will start to find people who are there for you,” Olivia said, “[people] who you love and love you back. When I found these people, I started to become a lot more comfortable in my own skin and that includes my makeup.”