I nearly had a nervous breakdown the other day. I took a picture on my phone, it came out really nice. I wanted to post it on Instagram but I had a little reservation. I had way too many flaws. My skin looked rough and tough. I could see the uneven skin texture. I was not going to post this raw portrait of myself like that. That was not going to happen.
But you know what did happened? I went to edit it. I couldn’t. I nearly lost my mind. The recent update for my phone’s software apparently disabled the “soften face” feature. To my surprise, it was only disabled for this exact picture.
Yet, I was determined to post it. I tried and tried all of my options. I took a screen shot of it anticipating it would edit the picture. Nope. Then I emailed it to myself and downloaded it. Hoping that my phone would treat it as a new file. Bummer! I was still determined. After I have exerted all possible options, I decided to make it black and white and played with the contrast. Then I posted it. The flaws were still there but they weren’t as prevalent.
I hope this post delivers someone but if it doesn’t it sure is delivering me. As I’m writing this post I’m uncovering how uncomfortable I am with my unpolished self. I’m willing to go through a great deal of things simply to show people I have something I don’t have; beautiful skin. Instead of going through all of that, why did I just not post it altogether? I’m in a prison of illusion. I have an “obligation to post” and an “obligation to post a perfect person.”
What a crisis! What an epidemic!
Admit it! I am not the only one in this catastrophe. You’re guilty of having that thing you do or get simply to make you feel pretty. We all have been influenced one-way or another to reach a standard of beauty that is unattainable. We are searching for the “it” that is missing in our perfect little equation. Sadly, “It” is but fantasies; perfect pretty face, small waist, flawless mammaries, curvy derriere and the perfect pout. These “standard of beauty” have encumbered us.
We’ve allowed the absence of “it” to make us feel ashamed of our appearance and our body. We latched onto the counterfeited ideas of beauty. We seek to have the right ratio in everything to be classified as beautiful, as if beauty was purchasable and filterable. Too many of us have been hiding behind the filters. What people see on our social media is but our filtered self.
Very often we aim to feel and look pretty on the outside and neglect what actually matters and struggle on the inside. No matter how much make up we put on, we still battle the insecurity. What happens when we wash off the make-up?
Television has been teaching our young girls to showcase their body to be seen by men. We allow them to lock their minds up in a prison instead of leading them to finding refuge and acceptance of who they are. We push our kids to self-destruction when we don’t anchor them in knowing their worth.
In the same way I’ve been desperately looking for the filter to give me the perfect skin or even some validation, tons of women are looking for the perfect body. It turns out the perfect body were hiding in a plastic surgeon’s office this entire time. Perfect has become the impossible. Having an hourglass shape is a dream for all of us and a nightmare for those who don’t have it.
To that I say,
Woman, you are beautiful just the way you are, with flaw and all. You are so much prettier with your scar. What you naturally have looks good on you. A toast to what you don’t have. You are gorgeous without it.