If launching my website has taught me anything at all, it’s that people want to connect and be vulnerable and, honestly, we’re all looking for someone to talk with. I decided I’m going to start being open and vulnerable about things that aren’t popular to be open and vulnerable about. Because I wish that somebody who was that way for me when I was growing up. I wish that I had someone to look at and think, “Wow. They feel that way too.” That’s not to say that my parents and siblings have not been fantastic role models and support systems for me, but sometimes knowing that some stranger you “look up to” feels that way does make a difference. It’s less isolating.
I think that’s huge. I think that’s something that I want to be able to do for young girls and I want to do for myself. The reason this blog came into existence is that last weekend I wasted so much time trying to get a good picture to post on my Instagram (michellenmott). For what? For people to think that I’m pretty? For me to prove to myself that I’m pretty? Is it for followers and more likes?
It’s hard living in a society where you never feel good enough. You never feel pretty enough, liked enough or followed by enough people. So I’m going to start talking about things like that. Because I think other people need to hear them too. To put yourself out there and to be vulnerable is extremely difficult, but it can be therapeutic too. We always see these stories of someone being completely vulnerable that goes viral. Please don’t misunderstand me or assume that I’m claiming that to be my goal because it’s not at all. My point to that statement is asking the question why? Why do these sorts of posts tend to go viral and get so much attention? In my opinion, it’s because the vulnerability shown resonates with a mass amount of people in a way that no photo of a beautiful person could.
Enjoying beauty is natural, yes. But is it relatable? Is it relatable in the same way as being honest and exposing your human flaws? I certainly don’t think so. Likes on Instagram gets you the same thing that having 1,000 friends does… a false sense of confidence and self-acceptance that withers away the second the numbers drop. Humans are by nature selfish creatures. We’re looking out for ourselves and for self-preservation at almost any point in a given day. I don’t think it’s abnormal that we want others to think we’re pretty, kind, and caring. However, I think it’s unhealthy.
Let me clarify, it’s not unhealthy to want to have a good reputation and image. Those things are important in life if you want to reach your goals because you can’t be successful on your own. We need others in order to be happy and to be able to pursue our dreams. That being said, they need to like you and want to help you. Your image is important. But when it becomes so important that we find ourselves doubting who we are and what we stand for, it presents a problem.
How do we fix that in our society and in ourselves? I don’t know and I’m not claiming to know. I’m claiming that I myself am going to make a change. I’m claiming that I believe being relatable is always more advantageous than being one in million. I’m claiming that as a society I believe we care too much about who others think we are than who we truly are.
It’s hard to look inside ourselves and search for the nasty truths and qualities that we don’t want to come to light. It’s easier to ignore them, pretend like they don’t exist and continue to post in a manner that gives the illusion of perfection in our day-to-day lives. I felt miserable last weekend when I realized I was spending too much time trying to please strangers more than my family and friends.
I don’t know if there will be a time when our society promotes everyone to feel that they’re good enough as they are. I doubt it. That’s the thing about our human nature and self-preservation, we’re too competitive. So what can we do? We can encourage others, and encourage ourselves, that we are exactly who we’re meant to be. More than just saying it, we can mean it. It might not change the world, but it can change your circle.