While I do my best to hold myself to true beauty standards, I am not above vanity. Yes, I am proud that my Twitter avatar is not photoshopped and is sans-makeup. However, it’s also a lucky photo of me, and I could name eight things wrong with it.
I may not primp for photos and vlogs because I want to be me, but I love it when I happen to be having a good hair day on a vlog. I also rarely take one picture and pop it up. I often have to take five to be happy since I have one where I fall over, one where I am kissing something for no reason, two that are blurry, another where I’m rapping, and the rest have flaws only I can see.
I finally went with the last photo because it seemed the least weird, which probably makes you question my taste in weird.
In my vague defense, I took three photos of my dog before I posted him to Facebook so it’s not like I’m only into selfies.
The bottom photo is the I finally used to illustrate our poor puppy is teething, and I still felt bad because he had eye goo. I also felt as ridiculous as I did posing with a book six times since I’m now thinking my dog is also a reflection of my makeup-less vanity. I find that if I just say SCREW IT and pick a photo, I do better than if I keep going. I see more flaws the longer I click my iPhone. In real life, when I feel the worst about myself, I take time to look a little nicer in the most comfortable clothing I own.
These lines we draw are not supposed to be perfect anyway. I’m just as likely to be caught caring about my appearance as not caring enough about it. I watch women more put together than me, and I am simultaneously envious and inspired. I watch women less put together than me and I think: I should’ve worn my slippers today, too. In the end, I strive to set a strong example for myself, my children and anyone struggling to look in the mirror, that my self-worth is well beyond my hair and eyelashes, but on occasion, I photoshop my face to perfection and delete it because it’s not me.
Mostly, I remind myself that I’d rather look better in person than on the Internet. And many days that’s true. I wear sweatpants and jeans and dresses and makeup and no makeup and ponytails and a wild blue mane. I wear what I feel like wearing and today it includes mascara and jeans and a ponytail.
Beyond all that, I want to control my vanity remembering that vanity is a self-centered focus on appearance that can as easily be telling ourselves we look so terrible as we look the best. Yes, it’s okay to put effort into my physical presentation, but I want my appearance to be secondary, and when it is what people notice first, I have to work even harder to make it second. I also have to put aside my reaction to other people’s appearance. If I am quick to judge them as better or worst than me, my vanity is showing.
So this is not just for me and my well-being, this is about how I treat others — strangers and friends. I have to be well-aware of what it means to be healthy and kind to my outsides versus picky and pushing myself to towards the photoshopped photograph I delete.
It’s blurry with weird lighting, but it is the first shot.