Who I am outside the crop box

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. :)

beauty buys

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.


11 thoughts on “Who I am outside the crop box

  1. I think you and I must have been sisters in a past life. I would definitely call myself a perfectionist. Slowly I’ve realized people don’t want to see perfect, they want to see real. I’m trying to get over my need for a spotless house at all times, because with 3 kids it’s not realistic. I love your blog, keep doing what you’re doing :)

  2. Guuuurl. You need to start a hashtag #outsidethecrop and watch it take off. :) My whole Instagram is a strategic display of carefully cropped photos. It’s time for us all to get real every once in a while.

  3. Colleen: YES! I was trying to think of how to engage people with the idea and that’s perfect!

  4. Wow! I really think God is trying to teach me something today! Between your post on not worrying about perfection and Emily on Jones Design Company’s post on not getting caught up in the comparison pit… I think it’s high time I learned to just be me! Thanks for sharing! I needed this!

  5. That is what I love about your blog. You are so REAL Morgan. I love that you share the good, the bad and the ugly (and the cute and adorable too!) Way too many blogs (sometimes my own-guilty as charged) are striving for perfection. The truth is we all have a chin hair, dishes stacked on top of the dishwasher instead of in, and kids toys lying everywhere(ahem, as I type, I see….*counting* 12 blocks lying around and a pink pram complete with ken!) So thank YOU for keeping it real (most of the time) YOU ROCK.

  6. Yup.. that’s what I am writing about too lately… are we doing ourselves justice by only displaying the good? I am ALL for more good than bad which is just really real life. BUT, really, let’s just leave the crumbs out there for everyone to see. All my fav bloggers have one time or another done the “What the other side of the room really looks like.” post and I ALWAYS breathe freely after that… :) Thanks for leaving Spidey in the pic… it’s a breath of fresh air. :) And YOU my dear are also a breath of fresh air.


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