Peer pressure does not stop when you become an adult. Hence the term I grew up hearing, ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’. The multimillion dollar hair, makeup, fashion and plastic surgery industries suggest that we be the best imitation of our idol that we can afford. Or heck at least die trying…literally.

I’m in awe of how technology has not only surpassed our expectations; its helped shape them too. When we meet people for the first time, we are disappointed that they don’t look like their photo. It’s very rare these days to hear the phrase,” Wow, you are much prettier (or handsome) in person! Your picture doesn’t do you any justice!” Now when we hear the term, “Oh you’re so photogenic!”, we say thank you but are really thinking to ourselves, “Yeesh is that code for ugly in person?!” Our obsession with our appearance has gone haywire. It’s become the hottest topic of conversation, a consistent New Year’s resolution and a factor in whether or not one is bullied (if they’re paid any attention at all).

Though I have alluded to this topic before in my previous post Owning Our Stripesmy awareness of these modern-day pressures affecting both young and old alike has heightened. Now I admit…my being married and with the same man for the last 21 years has affected my street cred just a bit. I’m respected by my single friends for the longevity of our relationship but told I have no idea how rough it is out there. So I thought about it…

If I wanted to give a good impression to someone I never met before, which picture would I show or send? My photo on the left shows the real me. It’s displaying my dark circles, no makeup, skin imperfections etc. By looking at that photo you can’t see that I’m Plus Size and you certainly can’t see what I’m working with (or in my case not working with) down below LOL! Whereas my picture on the right has this neat filter feature overlaying it. To the untrained eye it would appear as though my makeup game was on point! But its not. Sure it’s a polished picture but I am no where that polished looking in person…even with make up on!

No worries. There’s an app for that. 

We are growing so accustomed to working on how we look instead of developing who we are. Looking the part and lacking the power. Perfecting the presentation and hoping the audience never peeks backstage. Are you up for the challenge? Certainly we should strive to be the best we can be in every area of our lives. This includes (in no particular order) emotionally, spiritually, mentally, financially and physically. It is a way of honoring our God-given temple and not just saying thank you for the life we have but showing our gratitude by taking better care of ourselves.

There does come a time however when we have to deal with who we really are. Rolling up our sleeves, discerning the difference between criticism designed to crush our spirit and critique offered to feed our soul. A time where we silence the voice of the naysayers, endure the growing pains and anticipate seeing the finished product of the best we, that we can be. Not the optical illusion of what that looks like.

(Sigh) LifeI’m actually quite relieved there’s no app for that. Here’s to OUR living it to the fullest starting in 5-4-3-2-1…NOW. 

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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