Social media is a boon and yet, for some, it proves to be a curse. Admiring other people’s lives and comparing it with your own has become an ‘everyday’ feeling. You can actually sense the aroma of that perfect bun that a food blogger just got out of the oven. You wish your eyes looked as perfect as in the photograph on that make-up artist’s (MUA) page. You yearn to click a perfectly whacky photo with your spouse just like that couple does while throwing some couple goals at you every week. And, browsing, through some random tourist’s picture-perfect travel shots, makes you want to leave everything and just fly there.
But, what is the reality behind those pictures? How many times did that food blogger have to practice to finally get that seamless shape and right consistency? Imagine the amount of editing that photograph went through in order to make those eyes look flawless! Does that couple have no tension or misunderstandings at all after portraying their happy pictures? And, do you know how much that tourist may be spending on gadgets, travel, drones and editing software in order to get those scenic landscapes look perfect? And what about their family lives while they are away from home?
Talking about family, people assume that a perfect picture means that you have the perfect family. Firstly, let me tell you that no one and nothing is perfect. It’s just a conception of something you look at as IDEAL. And, your definition of perfect may not be the same as mine. Let me give you an example.
Some of you may perceive this picture of mine as a perfectly happy family. You then begin comparing your whole life with this faultless photograph of mine. No wrinkles, all smiles, great poses, fair skinned, financially stable, etc. But, let me tell you why you should stop comparing your whole life to one perfect picture.
My kids get yelled at every single day. Just like you, we have to deal with tantrums because I’m pretty strict when it comes to healthy food, manners and behaviour. Do I look like a strict mom with those innocent eyes? Hahaha!
Generally, if you drop into my home unannounced, you will find me looking homeless. My hair uncombed for days, wearing the same shirt for three days and probably smelling of onions. We Indians eat a lot of onions! Like my daughter told my mother, “Mamma only brushes her hair and puts on her make up because she has to look nice in the picture or video.” Due to the pandemic, I actually have ‘roaming’ pants now because I barely get out of the house. So, don’t be surprised if you see me with the same trousers at the supermarket every week. Yes, mostly, I am quite lazy when it comes to dressing up.
My house is a mess. With no maid for 8 months, I clean the house once a month. I cannot stress myself with cleaning the whole house, washing all the utensils and doing all the laundry every single day! So whenever I have to click a picture or create a video for a brand, I dress up, ask my kids to look decent, clear a corner of my house and give it my best.
Some of you admire the way my kids act in front of the camera. Yes, they are confident but, let me tell you that I have to still bribe my son with extra television time or ice-cream to actually get him to smile or act in the video. My daughter throws her weight around if I need her to click a photo of me. She prefers being in front of the camera at all times.
Our flawless faces have been edited by the studio. I have freckles, my daughter was badly tanned after some harsh sun exposures and the boys are generally darker than shown in the picture.
As a family, we also have our bad times, calculating every penny we spend, prioritizing certain requirements over not-so-important things. So, it is not only you who got a penalty for not paying your bills. We are all in the same boat.
You cannot imagine how my recycle bin gets clogged while I’m trying to get a good picture clicked (of me). Many times the number of pictures clicked (by husband or kids) exceeds 200 while I feel my smile slowly fading away trying to get a shot which has the right angle, good smile, clarity and brightness. The whole process of getting a decent photo of myself at home takes around an hour or more. In the above photograph, we had more than 50 shots to choose from where all of us are smiling, especially my son who’s eyes are always distracted and looking everywhere else but at the camera.
My plant pots or books stand as my tripod. I am a bibliomania and I used to be a bibliophile once upon a time. But, if it is a bathroom shot, then I use hard liquor containers to hold my camera in place. Economical, aren’t I?
So you see, just comparing your whole life to one perfect picture isn’t a wise thing to do. Avoid killing yourself trying to be perfect just because you think that someone else seems so. Don’t go trying to do everything just because some else is doing something. Instead, find something that makes you happy and pursue that without any excuses.
We all have fears, tears, poor days, sad days, etc. Not to mention how life in general can be depressing, especially now. While many of us try and get beyond the negative and look positive, others tend to sit with the negative and pity themselves their whole lives. STOP! This will not help you at all. DON’T!! NEVER, ever compare your life to that one moment of perfection on someone else’s social media handle. Instead, get around your problems and swim beyond the turbulences in your life.
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :)
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