One of the most common critiques of the social media world–a world most of us find ourselves entrenched in–is that it presents us with edited and often idealized images of other people’s lives. We see more of others’ aspirational lives than we do of their real, everyday lives. While we might lament this, we often tend to present the same camera-ready version of ourselves–especially those of us in the blogging space. Most of the bloggers I read look great in every image they post, and some have professional photographers do all their photo shoots. And I don’t even read fashion blogs, those are just the lifestyle blogs!
So where do I fit in to this?
I’m committing to posting real pictures of myself and my family. I’m committing to showing you my bad hair days (aka every day), unflattering angles, blemished skin, and imperfect outfits. I’ll also show you my untidy, incompletely decorated home, my children’s mismatched clothing, my husband’s funny haircuts. I’ll probably write a lot about my struggles and challenges, too.
While ultimately I want Dear Sabrina to be a positive space to visit, I don’t think that has to mean glossing over the myriad imperfections of everyday life, and especially of myself. Being married, raising kids, raising kids abroad, and, you know, life, are inherently messy and difficult things, and I don’t want to hide that from you. I want to deepen this space by being real about all of that.
I also hope to post some flawless, beautiful pictures of me, my family, and my home sometimes, if that’s ever possible. I’m not saying it’s bad to look great in social media or on one’s own blog, because I’d love to look great everywhere I am. I just want to try to balance the perfectly-presented, Photoshopped version of my life with the real version, which is often inconvenient, messy, and mismatched. Who’s with me? Use one of the tags below to post some beautifully unbeautiful pictures today.
When I told James I was writing this post, his response startled me. “But don’t people visit lifestyle blogs to be aspirational?” He asked. “Don’t they want to see someone who looks great, with a beautiful home? Isn’t that why they’re coming to your site?” Honestly, I was shocked. I’m trying to build this blog as a haven of realness, thoughtfulness, and introspection, and my husband was the first to tell me that no one wants that realness.
So I turn to you, friends and readers. While I stand by my commitment to be real in this space, I am soooo curious to know if there’s a kernel of truth (or a nugget, or a boatload!) in what my husband said. Do you visit blogs and social media sites to see how great everyone else is? Or do you want to see reality, even if it’s a bit messier and maybe less inspiring? Please tell me!
(By the way, I love Glennon Doyle Melton’s self-reflection and honesty here.)
All photos by James (my husband)