What defines "the perfect life"? Or maybe the better question is, who defines it? I would go out on a limb here and say, societally, we've allowed the white washed, algorithm savvy, perfectly curated few to dictate what 'perfect' looks like. Generally speaking, of course. There are plenty of us out there trying to 'keep it real'!
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Nothing new under the sun. Yes, social media is relatively new, but perfectly curated pictures are not. Growing up in the 70's and 80's, Teen Bop and Tiger Beat magazines were loaded with cropped and photoshopped teens, then moving up to Glamour and Vogue, where perfect hips, abs, boobs and lips grace every page, TV shows, movies, and so on, and on, and on.....
Somewhere, these "algorithms" of what attracts viewers, what people are most interested in seeing, existed long before the rise of the wide world of web, and the statistics showed what people wanted to see was a virtually uunattainable perfection. Zoom forward to Insta-perfection, FB falsies and mom blogs with beautifully coifed women, model daughters, dapper sons, dream husbands, perfect white walls, in perfect homes, families on perfect vacations, all with perfectly angled pictures to capture each perfect moment. What you have is exhausting perfection.
Or so it seems. And so, we measure our 'less than' against this curation and, BAM! You're that teenager once again trying to get the perfectly teased wings and cloud puffed bangs (look it up if you weren't raised in the late 80's- early 90's!) with half a can of Aqua Net, so you can recreate the perfect DJ Tanner or Heather Locklear hair! An unrealistic expectation and view of perfection, mostly because they had professional stylists, and my hair needed half a can of spray to hold anything even remotely close!! Ridiculous!
How does this look today? For many, following the top Instagramers who have this all figured out, with the perfect image of home, family, and community, which filter rates best, how much spacing, how many hashtags, and so on. Then creating our homes with model backgrounds so our pictures look ideal, instead of like our home, and 'creating a scene', instead of capturing the real moments of life. It looks like comparing our worst parenting moments to the best others post about on Facebook. It's comparing the 'look' of our Instagram to those with lots of followers and likes and feeling like we need to change, hoping for more followers of our own.
What I fear in this, is the lost sense of reality. I love a pretty picture of a nice white kitchen with lovely flowers filling the sink while two beautiful little girls in matching white tutu's and big yellow bows lean in to breathe in the beauty, but people, that's just not real life! It's JUST a pretty picture! Reality is more likely two little girls dressed in jams or play clothes, mussed up hair, dirty dishes in the sink next to the flowers and them either pushing each other, splashing the water, or pulling a petal off a flower!
Now, I'm not opposed to the pretty picture...at all. What turns me off is that being 'sold' as real life by whoever's buying it. As for me and my house, give me real. A thousand times over, give me something real. I love when I catch a blog or a post about something real, that I've been through, can laugh at, or can completely relate to. I love catching a picture of the kids when they are dressed nice, or posing them around the Christmas tree, but for the most part, what you'll find on my blogs and social media is my girl with her always wild hair and my country boys in their dirty jeans and happy smiles.
I doubt the trend will reverse. "Perfectly curated" is nothing new. But I hope we will remember, while some may live that life of white walls, dolled up little girls and perfect poses, most of us do not...and that's perfectly ok. If you are sharing aspects of your life through writing or social media, remember what makes it perfect is who you are sharing.
So, cheers to real life. May we live it, may we love it, may we not curate it!