Why You're Never Going to be Happy

We girls do this weird thing to ourselves where we pick a person, or a few people, and compare every flaw of ours to every perfection of theirs.
Think you're not guilty of this? What about the last time you sat on Facebook, scrolling through someone's pictures, wondering why her hair is always so perfect, or why her kids seem so well behaved, or why her life seems so awesome.
For me, it was a girl my friends and I idolized for the last few years. She has really successful business with her husband, and is just all around awesome. We would watch all her pictures and videos and say, "Why can't we be like her?" She posted a picture the other day of her, skinny as a pole with a perfect round baby bump, standing on a balcony in LA. Everything about the picture made me envious. She was skinny, she was pregnant, she was in LA. But there was more, of course. It looked early in the morning, and she was already ready, so clearly she was more of a morning person than me. She could afford to just go to LA on a whim. Her clothes were cute. She was perfect, and I was, in every possible way, failing to reach the potential perfectness that she has already accomplished.
My friends in High School did the same thing with this older girl who was also from Brigham. Apparently when she graduated, she did everything right, became as perfect as can be, and an idol for us younger girls. I never really understood the obsession. Whenever they'd go off on the cute way she dressed or how handsome her husband was, I just sat there confused as to why she had become the goal we were all trying to reach.
The problem with this thinking, especially nowadays, is that we're comparing apples to oranges. Not even that, we're comparing apples to raccoons. Our real lives are not and will not ever be like someones fake instagram life.
Facebook and Instagram have become like a strange form of bullying among girls. We post pictures and statuses of only the best, most perfect moments of our lives. We look amazing and happy in the pictures, we're surrounded by friends and loved ones, our houses are perfectly clean and even though it's 2:00 on a Wednesday, none of us have jobs tying us down. We don't discuss financial troubles or marital problems or any problems, for that matter. And without even realizing it, we are setting completely unrealistic goals for the girls who are looking to us, wondering why they can't reach what we've reached.
It's absurd. No one is perfect. Do you really know anyone in your real life who is completely perfect in every way? Someone that you would trade everything you are to be like them? Once we get close enough to people, we see that things aren't nearly as perfect as they seem online.
After I saw that picture in LA, I realized I spent the next twenty minutes or so beating myself up about where I was at in life, and wishing I had half the things she had. But then I realized how crazy I was being. This was a girl I've never even met. I thought I knew her through her posts and pictures, but that's impossible. I was already planning ways to be more like her, and all that could do was set me up to inevitably fall short, feel worse about myself, and spiral down into the abyss of "I'm not and will not ever be good enough."
So instead, let's look at the facts. There are a lot of things I'm good at, and I honestly and truly love my life. Instead of looking at someone else as my twisted, distorted, online role model, why don't I look to myself and try to see myself the way others see me, online at least? What are the good things that I have to offer, the things that people are desperately hoping to find that I've already accomplished?
Better yet, why don't I find a real-life, living and breathing role model? If you absolutely have to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to someones real life. Instagram is like People magazine. It gives us a glimpse into someones life without showing the real picture. Just like a practiced celebrity isn't going to go to the store without her cutest shorts and sunglasses on, so are the instagrammers of our lives not going to snap a picture until they look absolutely perfect.
I'm sorry to break the illusion that we've all been carefully putting together online, but I've seen it more and more lately among my friends and among myself, and it has to stop. It leads to a road of self-destruction and self-loathing. I'm not suggesting that we never try to better ourselves, just that we start living in reality instead of solely online.

1 comment:

  1. President Uchtdorf gave a wonderful talk on this not long ago and brought out the same ideas...we need to be the best us we can be and not compare our weaknesses to other's strengths. It is hard to focus on, but it is something we all need to learn how to do. Thanks Anndee for sharing your strength in writing.:)