Friday, August 1, 2014

Not Photoshopped

Photoshop has become a dirty word.  Originally, photoshop was used to enhance and focus an image; now, it's seen as a devious tool, promoting a lie and distorting "normal" body shape. As people--young women especially--struggle with their shape and size and skin enough, we don't need a reinforced idea, why isn't your face this flawless, why aren't your hips this narrow?
 Two sides hurls arguments back and forth: don't take away our freedom to adjust and tinker while some celebrities and magazines are vowing not to use photoshop whatsoever.

Regardless of your thoughts on the photoshop controversy, one thing remains true: we have a tendency to gloss over our ugly and promote our "perfect." The pressure comes when we realize that nothing in our lives is really perfect. In her blog, Ann Voskamp labels perfectionism this way:

Perfectionism is slow death by self. Perfectionism will kill your skill, your spark, your art, your soul.
And I have no idea why all us Murielles and neighbours and women down the street and across the table keep holding each other to a standard of perfection instead of letting us all be held by the arms of grace. Judging others is a blindfold that blinds us to own grime and blinds us to the grace which others are as eligible and entitled to as we are.
If I have loved breathing in grace for me, how can I deny you the same oxygen?  Ann Voskamp
Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest inspire some creative ideas, but these social networks can spiral us down into a pit when we compare our "friends'" edited life to our unedited reality.
Dilney Goncaleves, at the IE Business School in Madrid, conducted a research study which argues that much of how we judge our success in life is by comparison with others: " The problem is that Facebook gives us a limited view of our friends' lives, and that view tends to be unrealistically positive." He added that the more friends you have, the more likely you are to spend your day enviously reading about someone else's paradise vacation, new girlfriend or job promotion.

I don't know about you, but my life is not a witty tagline or artistic snapshot. And this pressure to promote it as such can leave us all heavy-hearted and discontent.  The shame alone could drive someone to a legalistic depth that denies true community and acceptance. 
But if you're like me, you crave an authentic plunge, a freshwater vulnerability that says, "You can be who you are and it will be okay...more than okay." I think we are all craving a little more real. A little more, how are you...really? Who are you....really
So, I'm going to try a little experiment. Each week, let's say on Thursdays, I'll post a photo (it won't be edited and it may not even be pretty, but it will be the real deal). Not photoshop but photoslop, if you will. Because...
I sometimes make gluten-free, sugar-free pancakes for the kids, but they do eat a lot of cereal and PB&J. We don't read or paint all the time. We often wake to kids' quarrels and toddler's cries.
I am a germaphobe, but I've had two poop incidents this week (ah, the joys of potty-training).
I love to have heart-to-hearts with my kids, but I've done a lot of crying, yelling, and "God, help me!"

my laundry suffocates the couch
my mirrors are spotted
my dishwasher is full
my living room explodes with toys
my desk overflows with papers
And I long to know, do you still like me, even with all that? 
I think the answer is "yes" because I crave to know the real you too. To know that we are all equally insufficient in this life-quest. God has granted us what we need; let strivings cease.

No comments:

Post a Comment