We have all had that experience of being tagged in a photo and just dying a little bit inside because we’re pretty sure that the gremlin on the far right is us.
To make it worse your friends insist that it’s a great picture of you and in your head you are already praying to all deities to erase that image of your mind and soul forever.
Obviously, that doesn’t happen so you are stuck for the rest of the day wondering: if that’s you looking great, what does awful look like? And, oh boy, that consumes a lot of time and self-esteem.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting about how much I can lack on being compassionate towards myself and how my brain has been forging a misleading idea of what people look like in reality and the impact it has on me.
I’ve come to realise that the culture of filters and editing pictures for social media has distorted the way I expect people to look like and it might have produced an impossible beauty standard for myself.
Relax. I’m not saying that people using Juno as a filter are making me feel bad about myself. What I’m trying to say is that all the micro innocent editing might not be that innocent after all.
A couple of months ago, I’d scroll down social media and not even think for a second that some pictures that look so candid were actually heavily edited. I had reached a point where I’d feel bad about my skin texture because if you look at pictures nowadays there isn’t a single person with skin problems. Go ahead. I dare you to go to Instagram and find some acne or rosacea.
And here’s the catch we can argue about how these pictures are a form of people expressing themselves or just a little fix that if they wanted to they could also take care of but in the end we are not thinking about these things when we scroll down those pictures. For all we know that’s what they look like. We are seeing these people without imperfections and taking for granted that it’s a reality.
Obviously people like that don’t exist though. Please remind yourself. And if after that you are still feeling unsure the next time you are with someone simply observe. If you really pay attention you will realise that the things that make you feel imperfect are the most common things in the world.
After a couple minutes you’ll discover that pores still exist and no amount of primer and foundation will cover them fully. Foreheads can get oily after a couple of hours and hair can get a bit crazy after some wind and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Please stop to reflect on what kind of standard you are applying to yourself. Always focus on being a better version of you but don’t seek perfection because it does not exist.
Embrace what makes you your own being. Look at your body with more love and appreciation. It is doing so much to keep you alive. Those legs that you might feel like they are too chubby or too skinny, they are taking you places and those arms and hands are allowing you to grab your lover’s hand.
Question yourself and reflect on what is actually wrong with the way you look. If you are compassionate enough and treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend you might discover that there’s nothing wrong in being human.