Well, now that you are here, might as well stay a while and let me tell you a story.
The other day I was on a date with my boyfriend, Carlos, at a coffee shop. Just before we arrived, we were having a conversation in the car about how I am a Words of Affirmation girl, and I need to be reassured constantly. It is just who I am. I actually need to be complimented and loved through kind words.
Anyway, as we got up to leave the coffee shop, a lady working there opened the door for us, and asked my boyfriend in Spanish if we were going to have a baby... Yes, she thought I was pregnant...He said no, no, no and we walked out. I looked at Carlos, who somehow maintained a blank face, and I knew that he was hoping I didn't understand what she just said in Spanish. Unfortunately for him, I most definitely comprehended it. I looked up at him and said, "I know what that lady just asked and I think I am gonna go cry now" (in a joking voice) and we both laughed.
Then, as we drove away, those words really started to hurt me and the conversation evolved into a little something like this,
Me: "Well, I guess I'm just fat"
Carlos: "The lady wasn't trying to be mean. I think the dress you are wearing was just blowing in the wind"
Me: "I don't care!!! The point is you've said nothing!! Aren't you going to tell me I don't look pregnant and I'm not fat?? Can't I just get some reassurance from you?? I mean, did we not just talk about this?!
Carlos: "You are not fat at all, you are gorgeous"
Me: "Ok, yeah, now you say that, after I yell at you."
Needless to say, I took out my insecurities on my boyfriend and drove home feeling embarrassed and depressed.
Then I got home and posted a video on snapchat sarcastically saying "Well a random lady at the coffee shop just thought I looked pregnant, so I think I'm going to go read some health magazines, and workout until I can't breathe"
Deep down, I wanted affirmation from people, even if I was kidding.
I wanted them to say, "What, that lady is crazy for asking that?!"
But then again, I would never say how I actually felt, I was just going to laugh it off.
Kind of like everyone does on social media.
I mean imagine a world where people were able to post exactly how they felt and say whatever they wanted, without being looked down on for complaining.
Like what if I said "Hey guys, so far this week a lady thought I looked pregnant which made me feel super insecure, I was sick with a fever throwing up and had to leave work early, I was in bed sick and depressed for a few days, and today I randomly got a sore throat so I couldn't talk or sing and now I am pretty sure I have strep throat or something so I have to go to the doctor in the morning. And to be honest, I feel really bad about it all and it is all just too much for me to handle".
But no. Instead we put on those selfie smiles and say everything is wonderful.
Moreover, as I scrolled through social media today, this is what I saw in my feed:
The perfectly put together outfit.
Beautifully decorated home.
Precisely edited majestic scenery.
An artful latte in the most adorable coffee shop you ever did see.
Braided hair and on fleek brows.
The cutest family photos.
A variety of food spread out on a white table, untouched, and positioned just right.
And of course each are consistent with the same moody or vibrant color scheme.
You all have an idea of what I'm saying.
Well there is a reason I follow all of those accounts.
1. For self inspiration
2. I enjoy their style
3. I want to support their following because I know that keeping up a consistently beautiful feed is hard.
4. I secretly want my life to look more like theirs.
I think we are all guilty of number 4 actually.
I mean, how can we not want to be drinking a yummy gourmet latte, in the perfect outfit, in Paris?
But you know what, I am being super honest right now.
For the past week I haven't posted much on my social media.
For a reason.
And that reason is,
It. all. feels. fake.
There I said it.
You can call me negative Nelly.
But no no no, I'm not allowed to be anything but positive on social media! How dare I?!
That would mean I am being...real... (gasp)
Haven't you heard the rules?
You cannot show any other emotion besides happiness on social media because no one wants to see a negative post or else they will unfollow you forever and not be your friend anymore.
Because people are on social media in the first place to make themselves feel good.
They want your pictures to either make them happy or make them daydream of the perfect life.
Ok ok, I'm over-exaggerating a bit, but I just needed to rant for a second.
The truth of the matter is that I am saying this for myself.
I have felt fake lately.
I have felt like I've been trying to be like everybody else.
But the part I struggle with most is that I don't know how else to do it.
How can I run an online business without trying to please my customers?
How can I gain a following without having a nice looking feed that inspires people?
Building something beautiful isn't wrong, so why do I feel bad about it?
Well, maybe it's because I am pressuring myself or comparing myself...but I sort of have to do those things in order to get stuff done and do it well...so that's confusing.
Sometimes we all just want to post exactly how we feel and truly "live authentic".
To be honest, it has become socially unacceptable to do that online.
When we say, "don't let your emotions out on social media", we are also saying "hide your real personal life from the world".
People are just quickly scrolling to find satisfaction and guess what? That is where the pressure comes from.
You know, that pressure to have the best selfie and best angle?
Ok rant over.
Sorry for being all over the place in this blog, I just love it here because it's my little space to say whatever I want, for as long as I want, however I want to say it. It's great.
But still, deep down, I want you guys to like reading what I have to say.
So there it goes again.
What can ya do? I still don't know the answer.
But what I have learned after reflecting on this is that I think my problem is the affirmation.
If I am in it solely for the pleasure of the views/likes/comments/followers, then I will always feel the pressure to please everyone.
On the other hand, if I am posting for myself and because I like the picture or because I enjoy being able to help and inspire people, then it's a whole different ball game.
Most importantly, I should never post anything before thinking if it will honor God first.
If all I am doing is complaining or being negative then that won't give a good example of the grace and love of Jesus in my life.
Instead, I can have the freedom to post how I feel but in a way that is genuine and honest for the sake of being vulnerable, rather than for the sake of the approval of others.
..remembering that I don't need to have a beautiful social account, in order to have a beautiful life.
"Confidence is not 'they will like me'. Confidence is, 'I'll be fine if they don't' " - Christina Grimmie
Christina was always herself online and didn't let the industry change her. That's why people loved her and felt connected to her. She is my role model and her legacy will live on in my life.
I hope I can get to the point where I am able to be personal online like she was, without worrying about exposing the real me.
I want to be my weird self, yet still display beautiful creativity in my photos, business, and social accounts.
My goal is to say what I wanna say, and be legit without needing anyone to validate it as "acceptable social media behavior".
I just wanna be me.
The journey has begun.
It is time for us all to stop the judgements and allow people to be real on social media because whether we accept it or not, social media is the new modern reality.