Confession time: I have a lot to learn when it comes to technology, even the basics on some stuff like adding filters to the camera when I take a picture. It actually started as a “moral” thing where I didn’t want to project a false image. I genuinely hate when we feel like we need to put out something that isn’t who we really are. When we were younger, we honestly didn’t give a damn about making those candid snapshots look perfect because we didn’t have the phones/digital images/filters we do now. We lived in the moment and had fun. That isn’t to say that we haven’t ALWAYS altered images in media or created false ideals about what we should look like. I didn’t want to contribute to that. Not that I was comfortable in my skin, but I was less comfortable with what felt like a lie.
We went to a small birthday party the other night and I took a picture with the birthday girl/host and she was using a filter on her phone. I instantly felt so old because I was fascinated by it. I had done my makeup so I initially didn’t realize that’s what it was until I really looked at the picture. It was one of the first pictures I’ve taken where I felt pretty immediately. I share a lot of photos of myself post-workout so I’m sweaty and completely raw/unedited and the goal isn’t to be pretty—so seeing that was different. And then I saw my smile. I’ve always been self-conscious about my smile and in that photo, I knew it wasn’t my smile. That was what gave away the filter for me. It wasn’t me. At the same time, I could instantly see the addiction to making ourselves look perfect, but that voice stayed loud: that wasn’t me.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it didn’t detract ANYTHING from the night. We had an amazing time. I just really started thinking about my reaction and how easy it is to get addicted to making ourselves look perfect. My friend is gorgeous but she feels like she needs this filter on every picture she takes, like she can’t let the world see HER beauty. She is one of the most unique people I have met and she has an amazing heart and a million other things that come before how she physically looks, but this is what we still base our standards on. THAT is the stigma I never wanted to contribute to. Yeah, it’s embarrassing to post or share an unflattering picture. But I want to share the journey and the reality of what it takes to get the work done. I want to share MY journey and part of that is creating a space where people can see theirs as well. I want people to remember the real beauty in the world, not the edited story.
The truth is we can tell ourselves anything we want. We can write any story, we can show any altered image and make our lives look perfect. It doesn’t make it real. The point is, the real is beautiful in its own right. The messy, the loud, the broken, the natural evolution and creation of life. Just because it isn’t always aesthetically pleasing doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful. Beauty is more than aesthetics. Beauty IS life. Beauty is how we view life. Beauty is the filter of our mind and how we see the world. That is the only filter I want to work on.