There is something I read in a blog that has been sitting with me lately and that is, and I am paraphrasing but it's something like, people believe that if you are a thin and attractive mom, then you must be a good mom. This statement struck me as exactly what I have been experiencing as a consumer and contributor to social media. This is not a post about how I am "attractive or thin" because, like most women, I battle with my weight and self image on a daily basis to the point where some days I can't look in the mirror. But what I do want to talk about how I can get applauded on social media from strangers telling me what a great mom I am and while I appreciate their confidence in me, I doubt that anyone but those close to me can make that judgement. Hell, I can't even make that judgement.
Sometimes I think I bring this all on myself. I choose to share the photos of the happiest of moments, mostly because I'm not going to stop and take a photo when I'm at the end of their rope and also, the rough moments are ones I want to forget, not commemorate. I overexpose the lighting so my wrinkles look a little finer. I stand in a way that hides the parts of my body I am most self-conscious about. I try to catch my kids mid-giggle because I think that's when they look their cutest. I try to make my Intsagram feed look cohesive and aesthetically pleasing because I enjoy the challenge of it and it's an artistic expression for me but also because I think people will like it more than if I were to just throw it together. Sometimes, I loathe myself for all of this because it can feel like I am putting out a hollow version of myself instead of the rich, complicated, flawed creature I am. But then again, I don't necessarily owe anyone any piece of my life so I guess I can just share what I please.
Sometimes when people use the phrase "_________ is so beautiful on the inside and out," I wonder if they would even be praising the inside beauty if the person were not beautiful on the outside.
My worth as a person and my ability as a mother is not dependent on whether my skin is blemish-free or if my weight is a certain number on a scale but I think that all those things can get wrapped up together in peoples minds. To be honest, this isn't something I'm up-in arms about or angry at the universe for. I am also guilty of making assumptions about people because of what they look like, I think that is human nature. But this was an ah-ha moment for me and something I want to be aware of especially when raising my boys.
I know people are talking about this subject a lot lately (which makes me happy) but I guess I just want people to be aware that I am choosing the photos of us that hide the double chin and the unflattering angles, the crying babies and the unfortunate lighting. And just because they are not posted doesn't mean those photos don't exist, because they sure as hell exist. My blog and social media is me documenting my favorite moments of our lives and little style things that I enjoy to write about, not because I think I am hot stuff or have the greatest family or fashion sense but because I like expressing myself that way.
I hope I don't add to the problem of women comparing themselves to other women.
I grew up as a copy cat. I hated so many things about myself that I would take on other girl's mannerisms and style in hopes that maybe by doing so, my nose would look smaller, my teeth would look straighter, my hair would be less frizzy. Every birthday wish was with the yearning of changing something about the way I looked. I feel so sad about those times because I was ignoring all the great non-physical attributes about myself l and was almost obsessive about how I matched up to other girls, assuming their life was perfect just because of their outside beauty. It breaks my heart that this still happens everyday and sometimes I can even caught back up in it.
All this said, I am not trying to diminish trying to look your best because I feel like I am mentally the best version of myself when I am taking care of my body and eating things and dressing in ways that make me feel good about myself. I wanted to write this because I feel very aware of the sole importance that is put on the physical and how that is just the shadow of the whole people we are.
Now here are unrelated photos from several months ago that I forgot to post: