I know you’ve seen it. So many times. We share a picture, and then we say:
- Excuse my mess.
- Excuse the dirty dishes.
- Excuse the child in the background.
- Ignore my mismatched clothes.
- Please excuse my under eye circles.
I can’t take it anymore. PLEASE STOP ASKING ME TO EXCUSE YOUR MESS.
Because that mess is your real life.
Instagram pictures are lovely. I can enjoy a beautiful flat-lay picture just like all my fellow Jessicas from the ’80s. I love seeing pictures of pretty clothes, gilded-edge books, and fields of flowers. But I’m begging you; stop apologizing for the pieces of reality that might “mar” your perfect square shot.
I have under eye circles. You know why? Genetics, four kids, and the fact that I just don’t sleep well even when my kids aren’t waking me up. It’s just a part of me.
I have blemishes. I’m 39, and I still break out, and you might, too. Oh well. REAL LIFE. Very few of us have dewy, glowing skin without a filter.
My four-year-old daughter is probably in the background of most of my pictures, in something that is hideously mismatched, because I don’t care one bit. (See also: four kids.) She’s dressed, I didn’t have to help her, and I celebrate that fact. I will not ask you to just ignore her crazy clothes and only see the beautifully matched parts of my life. (Which are…few and far between.)
We usually have dishes on the counter and crumbs on the floor. No one in my house seems to be able to find a home for their shoes that isn’t in the middle of the living room carpet. Our couch is so flat to be almost unusable. But still, I show them in pictures. And I won’t ask you to excuse them. Because it’s my life. My real life.
I read an article a while ago about how we’re doing ourselves a disservice to think our house should look like a magazine cover: gleaming with fresh cleaner, always vacuumed, no dishes in the sink, no laundry to be folded. I know some people really thrive on a spotless home, and if it brings you joy, go for it. But we also need to remember that our homes are lived in. If you’re reading this, yours is probably lived in by a combination of adults and children. We are not robots who dust behind ourselves as we walk.
This applies to our bodies as well, friends. We are humans, and we are not all built the same way. We are different sizes, heights, shapes, complexions, colors. That is what makes the human race beautiful. We do not need to ask people to “excuse” what we see as wrong with our bodies. Your body does amazing things just to keep you alive. I am consistently astonished that my body grew four humans to full term, birthed them, and then I fed them each with my body. It’s ASTONISHING. Who I am to criticize that?