Keeping Up Appearances


Keeping Up AppearancesI am not an influencer. I generally try to not follow influencers’ pages unless it’s to try to win a contest. Despite all of this, I find myself, even at thirty-eight years of age, being influenced. Not only by the products I see online, but also in trying to make everything in my life always seem perfect.

I am honestly disappointed in myself. I am a psychology major and I know about how these subliminal thoughts work, yet still I find myself participating in this culture.

Some of it stems from experience years and years ago, when I had a close friend “hide” me on Facebook because I was being too negative, and also a relative telling me not to “air my dirty laundry.” Therefore, I try to keep everything positive the majority of the time when I post to social media now. I have found that this can backfire and cause me even more depression. Positive comments on pictures can sometimes be unknowingly harmful when the situation itself isn’t always positive.

Unfortunately however, a huge amount of it does stem from not only influencers’ posts, but also posts of others I know. I feel the pressure to keep up and make sure everything is always perfect. I find myself taking dozens of pictures, whether it be of my kids, family, or myself, until I can find the absolutely perfect one to share, where I don’t look too fat or too old. I also kept seeing ads pop up for Lightroom presets, like the influencers use, to make my pictures look more fluid and bright. They are beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but I feel a certain sense of guilt adjusting a picture of my already beautiful children.

I also find myself showcasing my accomplishments, whether it be something big like an accomplishment at school (I go to a university) or the fact that I cooked something new. It’s extremely embarrassing to admit, but unfortunately I find myself needing the validation that social media offers. I sometimes think of friends of mine that post very rarely and am jealous at their “normalness.”

Don’t get me wrong; my life is pretty perfect in my eyes.

I love my children more than the world, but were they not sitting down and yelling five minutes before I got that perfect picture? More than likely. My husband is truly my other half — my twin flame, my soulmate — but do we argue? Yes, daily. That’s what happens when you have two people in love that are “always right.” Do I wake up looking as nice as I do in pictures? Definitely not! It takes A LOT of effort, especially with three kids and how tired I am all of the time.

Am I ashamed and embarrassed to share all of this and to admit to myself that I have gotten sucked into that perfect social media culture? Absolutely. But I think there are more and more people that, consciously or subconsciously, are holding themselves to these ridiculous standards on a daily basis. I just want to let them know, and remind myself, that it’s ok. Nobody expects perfection.