I do not pretend to think even for a moment that my thoughts are new. But…I do pretend. Actually, I think a lot of us do. Like mentioned before, I do…often…and here is how.
I pretend every time I edit, crop, lighten, boost, frame, fade and blur…every time I choose Hudson, Sierra, Lo-Fi or Mayfair. I pretend every time I take a picture of myself next to a soft light lamp, in direct sunlight, with the camera held high make the “angle” more flattering, in front of the sunset, after I have put on nice makeup or styled my hair…every time I choose 1 shot out of the 10 that I just took… one after the other in hopes to get a least 1 “good one”…
The fact is, the more apps that come out for beautifying and altering, the more I find myself comparing and yet…lacking. I end up creating my “ideal” self that in the end, doesn’t even really look like me. It actually looks more like a girl with a better tan, smoother skin, a glow-ier glow, and softer face lines. Please hear me, I definitely have an appreciation for art and realize that editing pictures requires technique and “the eye”. I get that. What I am talking about, is when I alter the picture of myself because frankly, sometimes I just do not like the original, the true, the unrefined and unedited version of me.
And… I really hate to do this… but I’m goin’ there–Do you remember that one John Mayer song that “maybe” some of “us” listened to in high school…something about “our love was comfortable…” etc. Remember that one line in the song that goes like this…eh hem…”I loved you gray sweat pants, no makeup, so perfect…” I’m just sayin’- I’m not convinced that a “gray sweatpants, no makeup” picture would be my first choice for my profile picture. I’d like to think that it would be. Would it be yours?
…which brings me to my next point.
I write this post because today I almost changed my Facebook profile picture, to a picture that looked more refined, more together and more…beautiful. A picture that was both softer and glow-ier. It hit me how absurd this was when I asked my room-mate’s advice as to which picture I should put as my profile picture. Seriously, I DID that. (Insert a lot of question marks and are you kidding me’s here) After my room mate chose which one she liked, I walked away and thought…not “WHAT am I doing?” but “WHY am I doing this?”
Again, I am not saying that editing is bad (hence me LITERALLY just posting a picture on instagram with…a filter *gasp* and chances are, I will probably post another one sometime this week)
I am just asking the question… Why?
Okay and…I’m not tryin’ to get all “inspirational speaker” on you right now because let’s be honest, we both know that could end awkwardly. For humors sake, can you just imagine with me what that could potentially look like? “Okay everyone, stand on your chair and on the count of three, yell “I – AM – BEAUTIFUL!” Yeah…definitely not happening.
I just want the truth of what Jesus says about us, to infiltrate and if needed, COMPLETELY invade our hearts today. I want it to be so loud in our minds that every other voice or “assumed voice” is silenced. I want the confusion that we create for ourselves to cease. I want the projected view of self to be completely restored into the knowledge of the King of the Universe – who created us wonderfully and intricately. He alone is the one who can make things intricate, and layered. Complicated? Maybe in the sense that we will never fully understand the power of His creating hand while on earth… but not confusing.
I love what my grandfather (the greatest photographer I have ever known) says about beauty in one of his photography books:
“These fine art prints distill beauty with their simplicity”.
Beauty WITH their simplicity. It is no wonder that I often feel I am “lacking something” when I get lost in the world of “a little more of this and little less of that…” It is in this world of on-going changes and filtering that things can potentially become confusing; and it is in this world where it becomes easier and more comfortable to pretend.
I just have to wonder…when we pretend that we are something/someone we are not, could it mean that we are willingly choosing to believe that being created in the image of God is not enough to make us feel accepted and loved today?
My heart is to not over-spiritualize social media in all of its facets. Really, it’s not. BUT… it really is my prayer that those of you who read this blog would feel the freedom and the acceptance of the Lord today. I pray that you look into the mirror with unfiltered eyes and see the son or daughter who was made in the image of the Living God.
So, when was the last time you asked Why? Were you prepared for your answer? If it is not outward beauty that you feel this way about, then what is it?