This post idea popped into my head yesterday morning. After like 10 failed attempts at taking a picture where I thought my muscles “popped” enough, I finally got this one (and I wasn’t even all too happy with it.)
The more and more I thought about my vanity with these dang pictures, the more mad I got at myself. Then I started really thinking about something: HOW WE PRESENT OURSELVES ONLINE. Isn’t it true that we all show our “best selves”?!? The perfect mom with her perfect body and her perfect kids and her perfect marriage. Don’t we all make our lives as beautiful and wrinkle-free as we possibly can?? Of course we do. At least the majority of the time.
It’s actually really ridiculous.
I want to be more vulnerable. Confident enough in myself as a woman to show all the facets, good and bad, of my life. I think I do a pretty good job of that, but I can be better. Because you know what….
…The best Instagram pictures are the REAL ones.
Like when I confessed that my littles made a mess in Walmart. Or when I hashtag poop.
….The best blog posts are the ones that break past that superficial layer and bring you into that person’s real life struggles/joys/heartaches. To this day, my number one viewed post is this one. Sad, but true.
….The best Facebook status’ aren’t about how great life is, but those that ask for prayer about a situation someone is going through.
I think vulnerable people make the best friends and the best lovers. Their life, their bodies – just THERE – take it or leave it. The goofy people. The slightly overweight girl who is perfectly content with her body and eats whatever she wants when you go out for lunch. The guy with the hobby that nobody “gets.”
I think we all crave it. For ourselves and in others.
Show me real life. Show me that you eat a freaking chocolate chip cookie every once in a while (and don’t hashtag it with #moderation or #cheatday). Show me you in your pjs and tell me that you didn’t get out of them all day and that it was just what you needed. Blog about your struggles. About how you’re trying to be a better mom/wife/friend, but that it’s hard. Tell me when you’re hurting so that I can pray for you – don’t mask life with a façade of perfection. I’m not asking for complaints. I’m asking to get to know you better.
Show me YOU and I’ll love you just as you are.
Because I’m desperately seeking to be friends with screwed up/trying-to-be-better people who are just like me.
QUESTION: Do you agree – is perfection overrated? How many edits do you make to a picture before posting it?
What a great post! I actually never touch up on pictures for the blog. And I use it as an outlet for the good and the bad. I find writing liberating so when things are good or bad, writing about it makes me feel better. And my (few) readers are always so kind and help me put things in perspective.
I agree, if a blog is personnal, I want to see the real person. Not a front of perfection…
And I always think that if people don’t want to hear about my imperfections, they won’t read. But it might help someone else that is feeling the same feel less lonely.
So thank you
Thank you! This was something I definitely needed to read today of all days
I really think we’d be great friends :) I’m with you on this – I’m so tired of the “perfect” and the “oh, everything worked out just as it should!” and the “humble brag.” I mean, if you’re blessed, I think that’s WONDERFUL and if you have a great day I think it’s FABULOUS! But all day, every day? Bull shit.
I have a friend that will delete her Facebook profile often, because she can’t stand to see that everyone else seems to have the “perfect life” and she feels jealous. I always have to tell her that SO many people only present the BEST parts of themselves online- and everyone has problems. EVERYONE.
I definitely don’t like to have an unflattering photo of me posted online, but if it happens- so what? Chances are NO ONE will care as much as I do (if at all).
Great post, L. :)
This is what I love about your blog, Lindsay. You’re always real, and you inspire others to look inside themselves and be real right back. Such an important message. It needs to be repeated over and over, I don’t think we can hear this often enough. Vulnerability is how we are loved for who we really are, and the best way to be love ourselves as well, when there is no pretense to keep up.
Well said. I struggle with this at times, as a blogger I feel like people only want to see the good however when I read other peoples posts about the not great days I feel like I can relate more.
Definitely! I love reading the more relate-able posts that other bloggers share. Not that I wish negative days upon anyone or anything like that, but when you share imperfections and regular ol’ “hey, I’m just a human” tidbits, it makes it so much easier to connect with people :)
I think I have a crush on you. It is absolutely refreshing to read someone real. I crave connections with people that seem authentic and honest. I go through bi-polar spurts where I will try to post pictures that try to portray something the opposite of what i’m feeling. ie://if i’m feeling like I’ve neglected my kids then i’ll post about how much fun we had at the park to validate myself, if i’m feeling husky because I just double fisted a bag of cadbury mini eggs in the closet, i’ll post a picture of the fabulous salmon dish I made for dinner. I believe it is innate that people want to be admired only to find that they feel unfulfilled and unrelatable. And then we start to come around. I started a blog that was to be about fitness and all of the shenanigans that I like to do to entertain myself. My second post ended up being this: http://sarcasminspandex.com/?m=20130227 It’s just what started coming out of my head.
Point being, I have felt more fulfillment over the last two months by being honest and relatable than by trying to be admired.
Novel? I think so. I guess I was in the mood for a little deep thinking and you gave me what I needed. Thanks little lady.
AMAZING!!! That is it – amazing post!!!! I think I do a mixture but it is hard when we get judged day in & out but you are right on about this!!!
Ugh, I struggle with this in *real* life, so I sometimes like that on my blog I can solely focus on the positives and “hide” those vulnerabilities. That being said, I’m never fake with anything that i blog about, but this is a great reminder to never be afraid of difference or imperfections-they’re what make us each unique and relatable!
This is just what I needed today! I completely agree. I spend too much time focussing on perfection. I can’t even send me friend a picture of my hair unless my facial expression is JUST RIGHT! Girls strive for the perfect image so that guys will notice them. I can tell you from experience that guys don’t notice girls because they “look perfect”. I personally look better in pictures where I’m curled over laughing then when I’m all dolled up with perfect hair & a perfect smile.
Thank you for a blog post that matched my mood to a T!!!
Love this!! I get so frustrated with myself and others who try to portray perfection. Life is about challenges and obstacles!! Embrace it. Early 2013 had been the hardest 2 months of my life. My fiance and I both lost our jobs in january, there was a car accident, my first speeding ticket ever, we had to move from NASHVILLE to small town OHIO to save money AND cancel our wedding that was 80% planned because it wouldnt have been wise to throw that wedding when we arent making half the income we were before. BUT this is our adventure together and I love every minute of it!!!
Thanks for posting this today. I had tried to write today’s post without including my health issues and the box of cereal I killed. It was just too…fake. I read this, edited in the reality (including a not-so-happy picture of myself) and feel a lot better about my writing.
I truly believe that I’m at my most attractive at the end of the day, with my hair in a messy bun, race long-sleeve crew top, penguin pj booty shorts and compression socks pulled to my knees. Why? I know that I’ve conquered my day with confidence and can go to bed knowing that I’ve done my best. :)
great post… yes, we tend to only show the perfect side of ourselves. it’s when we let some of our walls down that we really connect with the each other.
I think this may be my favorite post EVER! Yes, show me the real stuff! I connect more when people show their true selves…happiness, joy, sadness, passion…I want to know the real people. Great message as always Lindsay!
imperfection is far more perfect than perfect ‘seems’ to be. I’d rather see some realness than fake any day and I applaud your post for opening up to falling prey to this yourself. I know I certainly have from time to time too. but we are only kidding ourselves, right? great post!
I love your Blog because of these posts that are not all about how buff and awesome you are. I LOVE that you post about the real you. BTW I do think you are awesome. I try to be open and honest about everything but I’m sure I could do more.
You continually amaze me, friend. I swear we’re on the same thought train. Must be the sister in Christ thing ;). I love transparency, I love imperfection, I love transparency. That’s real, and I love real people. They’re the people I long to know!
There have been so many times that I’ve taken a selfie then retaken it again and again and again. And then stopped and thought: “Now this is just RIDICULOUS!” How much time have I spent trying to instagram this moment? 10 min. At that point it is no longer a moment. Ha! I totally agree, we need to be transparent, vulnerable. Good post:)
I love bloggers who “keep it real”. Show me those piles of dirty clothes! Let me know that I am not the only one who hides chocolate under my bed to keep my kids out of it! :)
Life is too short for me to have to worry about whether or not EVERYONE likes me.
Be you <3
Geez woman, this is the best ever! You’re awesomely real. So there. :)
Great post Lindsay! I really love this. :)
I think also though, for me, I try to be real & all that in posts (and sometimes get some negative comments, but whatevs), but I also am a private person–so I don’t share a ton of things online. Maybe it’s my own issues with sharing it ALL on online, but I obviously don’t try to be someone I’m not! It’s a tricky balance…BUT I definitely am transparent about all my issues I’ve struggled with! ANd yes, I am super NOT perfect—completely obvious to anyone. hahhaa, and can’t wait to meet you at BLEND!!
Agree with everything you just said. Thank you for writing this!
Amen. Perfection is so overrated and definitely something I’ve learned over the past couple of years.
This is great! I love REAL blogs and people who are real people.
Great post, Lindsay. I completely agree and try not to get too caught up in being “perfect” all the time, because nobody is.
Love this post, and couldn’t agree with it more. In fact I just posted a very vulnerable post today about struggling with anxiety. Who wants to read about someone’s perfect life all the time? Show me a real woman. That’s what I want to read about.
Yes yes yes–I couldn’t agree more that we all crave normalcy in others and we want to know that we aren’t the only one who isn’t picture perfect. The blogs that catch my eye are ones (like yours) that are honest about the good and the not-so-good. If I want a perfect story, I’ll read a book, but when I want to hear about what REALLY happens in life, I’ll read a great blog!
Yes. This is so true!! I hate seeing all of those super fit women on facebook on #flexfriday every flippin week. I’ve even had to unfollow them because they don’t make me feel any better about myself! p.s. thanks for making me want a flippin chocolate chip cookie :P Seriously though, will you send me one???
Excellent post, and it’s probably why I’m most excited about BLEND. I can’t wait to meet people in real life, and for all that will be . . . REAL. Interact in real time and talk through real conversations. :)
This post. Just… wow. I never edit my pictures but there really is something wrong with the blog world. It’s sad when I see the #cheatday on twitter. Why does one handful of m&m’s make it a cheat day? It shouldn’t because it isn’t. Thank you for posting this. I think a lot of people, including myself, need this reminder every once in awhile.
So true! I am more drawn to those who share their struggles and challenges because it shows that they are real, just like me. I’m kind of tired of trying to show the perfect (never been good at that). Thanks for this post.
This is a great post! I recently gave up on taking what I thought were “good” pictures. I have big thighs and a roll at my middle. That’s just who I am and if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read/follow/know me at all.
Have a great day.
I TOTALLY agree. Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself as a blogger because I desperately want my blog NOT to be egocentric. But then I’ll start writing a post and think, “Wow, is it really always about me?” This is some good food for thought. :)
Yes, yes, yes! I constantly write a blog post & go back & edit before I say “forget it, this is the real you, the words that are coming out of your head, put it out there!”. Perfection is overrated & kind of boring ;)
Yes, exactly, to all of the above. My absolute favorite blog posts are the ones that I can relate to. The ones that let me know that all of us in this little Internet world are getting up everyday and just trying to do the best we can. And I definitely can’t relate to perfection.
Great post and thoughts, Lindsay…It reminds me of how my mom used to always say, “Remember, people don’t connect with the first place person. They connect with weakness.” In other words, it’s not our successes that connect us to others (who has that many of those?!) but rather our weaknesses – our vulnerabilities, as you termed it. Totally agree.
When it comes to blogging, I do choose the better pictures, there’s no doubt about that, but when it comes to content for posts it’s just more of where I’m at the moment. There are times I have great things to share and times I call for prayer for simply need to share that it’s been a rough week. I don’t consciously think about it, but just share as life happens.
Love you, friend!
I’m always, always a dork and proud of it! That being said…there are certainly things I try to hide from the “internet world”. Weird how we fear and try to avoid rejection in any way. I think that’s what mine boils down to anyway. The whole point of my blog is about being real though so I do really try to stick to that.
Funny that you mention it – I was reading a great article in The Atlantic yesterday about this same topic, called “The Internet Narcissism Epidemic”! Definitely worth a read. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/the-internet-narcissism-epidemic/274336/
What a great post! I don’t even try to edit my pictures – I know I look like a dork and I’m totally OK with it!!!
Something hit me with this post because I am in tears. Vulnerability can be so hard to share, but it’s a must if you want to truly CONNECT with others.
xoxo you’re so totally right!
That’s what’s so hard with being vulnerable on the internet though. You never know exactly who’s reading what you write, and how they’ll respond. Sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. I try to have vulnerability, but I think sometimes it’s just a privacy/what you’re comfortable with issue. I wish we could all show how messed up we are without fearing judgment!
Yes, yes, yes to all of this! I’m definitely guilty of it at times. Not so much with pictures necessarily but more of painting my life on my blog as kind of what I wish it was and leaving certain things out.
BTW- I eat a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich almost every night. Processed and all.
I have always tried to be real. Opening up about calorie counting has been a huge struggle for me, but you know what? It’s amazing how much honesty can resonate. Sure, some people might not agree with what I’m saying or how I’m feeling, but raw truth means more than deceit. We have the option to make ourselves appear however we want, but being real is where the ‘good stuff’ is. Besides, if you aren’t truthful, when people meet you in real life they will be sadly disappointed.
Yes! I totally agree. It’s part of the reason I started my blog— because I am soooo far from perfect, but I’m still on a journey to a healthy lifestyle and I wanted to document that, so maybe someone else out there, who is looking for a not-so-perfect person going through the same things they are can find a support system!
Aaaaaaaahhhh yes…. this vulnerability and transparency are my buzzwords. It’s something we long for and yet run away from. I LOVE TRANSPARENCY. In fact, maybe I’m a little too transparent at times. ;)
Probably your best blog post yet.
Perfection is wayyy overrated. Real life is bumpy and lumpy and sometimes ugly but it’s so much more fun that way! I’m a huge fan of laughing at myself. Good thing ’cause I have to do it A LOT!
I think I have to get to a level of trust with people (even my readers!) before I can let my guard down. These is no way I would have posted something vulnerable in the my first years of blogging…but like you said, I found that it’s the only thing people really care about! That goes for real life, too.
Hugs to you beautiful mama.
Oh this is hard, but I want to be vulnerable too…Yesterday I binged instead of exercising. I stayed at home, eating and watching a movie instead of meeting up with a friend. I ate until I was so full that I was ashamed, and when I picked my daughter up from school, I felt like everyone I saw could see what I had done. But, you know what? God is good. All the time. He has renewed my strength through my weakness, and has even used you and your kind words to remind me that in Him, I am made for more.
Thank you for your words of honesty and truth…still wanna be friends? ;-)
Don’t really do that anymore but certainly used to! I agree vulnerability is a key thing. In blogging and real life. It is what helps us connect.
Yep – being anything other than real just wears me out.
we’re made to be real. I think we just need to trust that and be okay with imperfection. Perfection is boring and useless anyway.