Molly Soda: digital artist and all around kween. Seriously. We talked to her about Molly irl, self love and her thoughts on cyber fame.
Why do you think people favor you on the internet and what do you think brought people your way?
I’d like to think that people are interested in me because I’m relatable on some level. The people that I look up to and keep up with the most aren’t people that I put up on a pedestal or idolize, but [they’re] people I feel I can be friends with. I think that accessible personalities are much more valuable than the idea of a pop star or a flawless being. I’m not sure exactly what I did to make so many people interested in my life and my work.
Do you think that maybe your willingness to be vulnerable on the internet plays a part in it?
I think so. I’ve always been very open online…and it’s evolved in a lot of ways. I never want to seem whiny or bratty. I think there’s a fine line there and I think people want to put words to what they’re going through. I’ve felt more obligated to be sincere…
When I started using Tumblr, I was really sarcastic but now I’m a little less harsh and I’ve let that wall down a little more because people are so receptive to sincerity.
How do you balance online communication with face-to-face relationships?
I don’t know what that healthy balance is and I get frustrated with the idea that one is better than the other. I have friends in real life and when I’m with them, I’m present, but I value my time on the internet very much and [many of] the people that I’m friends with are people that I’ve met online and have talked to for years before meeting them in real life. If I was limited to only the people I know in real life, I don’t think my quality of life would be as good. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them, it’s just that I need more than that. I think everyone does.
Do you think that the digital world has created another element of our personalities?
I think it adds more depth to a person. There are people [who] only know me in real life who don’t use the internet and I’m always like, ‘I kind of wish you could see what I do online because I feel like you would know me a little bit better.’ It opens up a new layer – an informative aspect.
So do you think your perspective on love changed as you’ve gotten older, do you think you’ve gotten wiser?
Oh god. I think the older I get, the more I realize that my fantasies, or the way I expected to be in love, are not my realities. I’ve been single for almost two years now and I’ve thought about how relationships are necessary for personal growth, but being alone [is too]. Romantic love is not really something that I think people should strive for. I think that’s what everyone wants deep down in some form and because we’re always looking for that, our motivations are fucked up and our expectations [become] weird. It’s almost like having a crush on someone isn’t actually like them, it’s liking the idea of them. The sooner I can give up the idea of ideal love or the things that I was supposed to have by now, the better I can feel about myself. I used to feel my self esteem was lower when I didn’t have a fling, or a crush…and I would feel really bad about myself. That’s so fucked up and I know so many women who feel that way. This has been the most confident I’ve felt in a really long time, these last six months and it’s all been me. Once I let go of needing that validation, I’ve been a lot more content.
Has internet fame added to your confidence or has it mostly been growth in your personal life?
I have a validation meter with Tumblr and I think it adds to [my confidence] but I think it’s more self-reflecting and things I’ve done in my daily life to improve. I quit drinking alcohol and denounced this notion of romantic love…and I started focusing on what I want to do more than what I want to look like. The internet sort of amplifies what I’m doing right in real life.
Do you think self love and body positivity is a part of your confidence?
I’ve had girls tell me that after following my blog for a while, they feel more positive about themselves and their bodies and I think that’s really awesome. Everyone should feel good about themselves and I don’t always feel good about myself, but I make sure to talk about that. I’ve considered getting plastic surgery and I’ve written about that. I don’t want it to turn into me complaining, I want to turn it into a discussion.
What advice would you give to others based on what you know?
There’s a way to appreciate another’s beauty but not compare yourself. That’s the main thing I struggled with and I would wish I looked like that and that’s negative. You get down on yourself. It’s commonplace…[but] it’s not going to help you in the long run.
Do you have a stance on hooking up?
I have a hard time believing anyone enjoys casual sex and I don’t want to be negative, but I’m just thinking on my personal experiences with one night stands. I don’t want to speak for all women but the reason I would want to have casual sex would be for some form of validation. I was having unsatisfactory sex and sex with people I didn’t want to have sex with again because I wanted to feel good about myself, but it never did. It never made me feel worse, it just made me feel different. There’s something really bizarre about casual sex to me. I think it’s cool for people to have sex with whoever they want…but the most fun sex I’ve had is with partners that I’ve actually been able to talk to about what I want. I don’t want to say all casual sex is bad because I definitely don’t think it is, but there’s this part of me that feels that it’s not something I want to do anymore. Once I get the notion out of my head that I hope I meet someone tonight and go home with them, it makes it more fun.
Do you have any projects coming up?
The most recent thing is a project called, Story of my Life and it’s a crowdsource project that I put out for people to send me videos of them talking to their webcams. [They] can talk anything…and I’m making an archive of them for a website. There’s a really good one of a girl watching a video from when she was 12-years-old and reacting to it. Some of them are really hard to watch [because] they’re sad and some are really light-hearted.