I caught myself feeling jealous of someone’s face today. Yeah. That’s a weird emotion, right? Especially since I spend most of my time on here reminding everyone that social media is designed to make us feel that way. Yet, here I am, falling into the trap.
I follow a few influencers around on the ‘gram and I do it because I genuinely love the content they create and the messages they promote. They support brands I want to know about. They start conversations I want to be a part of. They seem like people I’d want to hang out with IRL.
The thing is, they always look so put together. Even though they show up and talk the real talk and share the real real. They also know how to do their hair and makeup and they have all the right preset filters and they can “find the light”, whatever the hell that means. And I envy it. Somewhere, deep in the back parts of my brain, I want to be the mom who always looks put together. Who has her makeup done every day and wears cool outfits to school pick up. I want to be trendy. I want to style my hair. I want that.
But then I stop myself, and I realize that I’m fetishizing an aesthetic.
These women are just living their lives. And I’m just living mine. And the truth is, my lifestyle doesn’t involve ANY of that. I have no interest in putting on makeup every morning. I literally see zero people besides my husband and kids on most days. I spend most of my day in the same pair of leggings and old tank top because I go for a walk after dropping the baby off at school and never see the need to change after. I’ve literally never known how to style my hair. I favor “loungewear” over trendy outfits. Wearing makeup every day makes me break out. I hardly ever shave my legs or under my arms because I just don’t give a damn.
This is a recurring conversation I have with myself. As much as I try to see beyond the filters, sometimes I just can’t help but get caught up in it all. And feel like I’m doing something wrong. But I’m not. And neither are you. And neither are those gorgeous women I follow around on the Internet (I’m lookin’ at you @thebirdspapaya)
Makeup, no makeup. Filter, no filter. Just do you! Pay attention and make sure you’re living your life and doing your thing based on your own lifestyle.
And right now, in this season of life, my lifestyle revolves around ease and comfort and the occasional night out where I wear that one outfit I’ve been “saving for a special occasion”. Maybe I’ll attempt to follow a YouTuber makeup tutorial, only to remember I can’t do a winged eyeliner to save my life. Otherwise, you can find me with unwashed and unbrushed hair, no make up, wearing the same pair of leggings and chasing three small kids around in three different directions. It’s full and busy and messy and loud. But it’s our life. And we have fun.
I’m consuming their content. You’re consuming mine. Someone else is consuming yours. And we get stuck in this loop, convincing ourselves the highlight reel is real. It’s not. The grass is only greener because it’s fake. But the PEOPLE are real. And that’s what we need to try and stay connected with. We’re all just people, trying our best, hoping we aren’t totally and completely fcking it up.
Life ain’t perfect, but filters help.
That’s exactly why I started the Perfcked Podcast. To talk about all of this with people who, for one reason or another, have to show up online and maintain a certain image. How do they manage it the pressure of showing up online and balance that with the passion to pursue whatever it is they’re after? We could all learn a thing or two about developing a healthier relationship with social media, and who better to learn from than people just like us who happen to be making a living doing it. TUNE IN NOW! Available anywhere you get podcasts.