To all of you beautiful, amazing people out there: this post is for you. I wrote this blog post four years ago. I just so happened to stumble upon it and I felt inspired to re-share this one with all of you. It is as relevant today as it was four years ago.
Social media is an absolute wonder! I am totally sucked into it at times because it’s so instant. I mean, we truly can access anything at any moment. That is miraculous. Social media is also a great way to connect to friends and family. The downside, however, is how social media can so easily affect our self-esteem. As I peruse through my Instagram feed I stare starry-eyed at stunning technicolored images that are breathtaking to look at. It’s like the scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy lands in Oz and the world turns to vibrant color! It’s the same with people. So many flawless, blemish-less, wrinkle-free, tanned images. It’s amazing what our devices can concoct. I see my own pictures and what lighting and a good filter can do for me and it makes me laugh, then I catch a look at the real me, the one that is driving to the grocery store…. I am not blemish-free and spray tanned and softened by filters or elongated by holding the right pose or remanufactured by that secret app that makes us, well…better. I’m a real woman. Flawed, imperfect, happy and struggling, all at the same time. I see the standard that the media has created for our kids and us and I’m sad for them and even sad for how I partake and get fooled by the illusion at times.
So many of us live by our edited Instagram image (mine looks way better than the real thing btw), or by the fabulous Facebook post reading how perfect our lives are. I wonder if this limited sense of reality is doing our children a great disservice. I do think it’s so very out of balance. A friend sent me a funny quote that made me laugh, but later got me thinking… It read, “You don’t look like 200 likes in person.” Isn’t that the truth?!
Don’t let all those images that you see on magazine covers, or on Instagram or Facebook fool you. Anything can be photoshopped, including Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein photos. If someone wants their nose smaller or their butt bigger, it can be done. What is important, is that you know that most of the time photos are in some way, altered.
I am not willing to give up my beauty tricks and I admit to really liking the glossy image of myself that gets taken of me as I promote new music, but I never want to hide the real me. The one that wears thick glasses and breaks out and doesn’t have Rapunzel hair. I want to be proud of her too, and show my daughters there is nothing more beautiful than honesty and loving all parts of yourself. The gloss is fun and sometimes necessary and even important, but its nothing really, because it isn’t rooted in anything real. We are all imperfect. I want them to remember that as they live through the new filter that technology puts on life. Sometimes getting the perfect edited picture at the perfect party with the perfect people also keeps us from having the perfect conversation that may not be full of laughs and glitz but that brings us really close to someone we connect with. I have found that those are the best moments of all. In moments like those, I forget about the perfect picture and the perfect hairdo and I am fully present, fully laughing, fully sharing, fully giving and totally being myself. I’ll take that over 200 likes any day!