I've been thinking a lot lately about authenticity. The rise of the Internet and Social Media have created a space that is oversaturated with fabricated perfection. When I got on Myspace in 2006, social media was just a place to make duck lips and post pictures of you and your friends in the bathroom. Now, bathroom pics aren't complete without a booty propped on the counter and a full face of makeup. Preserving a memory with your best friend requires her taking and re-taking sixty-three pictures of the two of you, only to post none of them because they aren't "Instagram-worthy". Tea can't just be tea, it has to make you skinny.
Perhaps it's because I fall in the 'middle' of the millennial generation spectrum, but I tend to not get too caught up in what I post online. Having lived more than half my life without social media, I know good and well how to live without it. Then I went to visit my best friend in Texas and I wanted her to take pictures of me for this very blog. I picked out the 'perfect' outfit, stayed up late the night before my flight doing my hair, and had even scouted out a great location that would translate beautifully in photos. The bonus was the place had great, healthy food that was surely 'instagrammable.' Regardless of my friend letting me know that she was 'a horrible picture taker', I knew it would all work out.
How it actually ended up happening was: I was exhausted after my 7 am flight, had bags under my eyes from staying up so late, assumed my friend would have a flat iron to touch up my hair, she didn't. Then, arrived at Bebidas where the food was terribly overpriced, not that good and it definitely looked better in pictures. I couldn't get my thigh high boots to stay on my thighs and to top it all off, my friend was not lying about her strengths being outside the photography realm.I uploaded my pictures to the computer to find most were out of focus, off-frame or I just looked terrible. My hair? Meh. My outfit? Not what I imagined. My makeup? Cute in person, not that great on camera. So, I didn't post the pictures for months until today because I realized: NONE OF THIS MATTERS.
How inconsiderate would it be of me to not post these pictures? My friend took the time to wait for me to freshen up, then took hundreds of pictures regardless of the fact that it was of no benefit to her. Despite everything, we had a great day, we laughed about how bland the food was and discussed how thankful we were to even be able to afford it. These circumstances were real life, things that have happened to millions of people before me. I refuse to be a slave to how I am perceived on the internet. Whatever seeds you water in your life will grow, right? The things you pay attention to the most will magnify. I had to make a decision to not water these seeds of insecurity and self-doubt. The facade of perfection that is being perpetuated in our society today is ruining our appreciation for our very own authenticity. It is reinforcing the idea that we are not worthy, just as we are. It's raising our expectations of others to a level that is unattainable and it is ruining our relationships. On this beautiful Monday, no matter where you are, I want to remind you that you are worthy and the fact that you are alive is reason enough to take a picture and post it. God is good and we are free.