Update: A few friends and I have started tagging our photos on Instagram that fall #outsidethecrop. Take a look at what others are posting and if you’d like, include your own. :)
I posted this earlier today on Instagram with this caption:
Was going to share some of my drugstore beauty buys for fall and then saw dead Spiderman and all the lovely power cords in the distance. Just a reminder of who I really am outside the crop box. #momlife
I immediately thought, “Dang, I need to write about this!” I realized how often I’ve posted very strategically cropped, staged, planned photos and pretended they were my real life. I think we’re all guilty of it in some shape or form. Raise your hand if you pause to grab “the cute mug” and make sure there are no chips in your nail polish before snapping a shot of you drinking your morning coffee. I get it! We all like pretty things and it’s inspiring to see that type of stuff. I mean, how boring would life be without cute nail polish? Uh, VERY. But I started thinking about myself and the whys behind my perfectly planned shots. Why am I painting this picture of myself? Why did I force my kid to smile and stand still? Why do I care about the spacing between my new lipsticks? I’m telling ya, it got pretty deep in my brain parts for a few seconds there.
I’m not the first one to talk about how Instagram/Facebook/the internet is a place to pretend (oh how I love some of those Instagram parody videos). There’s a reason the crop box exists. We can pick and choose what to reveal to the world in that tiny square and that’s totally okay. It’s YOUR life, after all. If that photo above had a pair of my underwear crumpled up the background, you best believe I would leave that out. Or like, a dirty diaper or body hair or something. That’s a no. Too real. I’m just realizing that for me and what I put out for the world (or my 10 friends) to see, I do like showing the whole, real picture sometimes. I think it’s important to show that my house is messy and my kids can be complete brats and I have a double chin if I don’t tilt my head a certain way and some days I totally mess up when I’m filling in my eyebrows and other days, they look fantastic. That’s LIFE, man. And we’re all living it imperfectly.
I have a friend who jokes with me when she comes over to my house. She’ll say, “Did you frantically mop the floor before I got here?” because she knows me. I have struggled with that ‘perfection’ thing my whole life. Did you know I took gymnastics as a kid? No? That’s because it was ONE class and I never talk about it. I sat there and watched the older girls who had been going for years, doing flips and all this circus craziness and I couldn’t even walk a straight line because I was so uncoordinated. I ran out of there crying to my mom and told her I never wanted to go back. Why? Because I didn’t even want to try if I wasn’t going to do it perfectly on the first shot and I didn’t want to fail in front of everyone. Issues, much? As my Grammy would say, “IT’S A CLUE!”
I’m so thankful that I have friends and family who know the real me and love me anyway. I’ve played pretend and strived for perfection for too long. Newsflash: It’s unattainable. I’m the one with the dirty kitchen floor who hates to mop and I won’t freak out if you drop by my house unannounced before I get a chance to clean… anymore. I will make you wait outside until I hide my underwear though, because that’s just sick.