As much as I can turn the other cheek at a glimpse of a slender four-week post partum Beyonce, it's the design blogs that always do me in. A few craft projects, a couple of yummy recipes, and a perfect family photo later and suddenly I'm drowning in a sea of my own inadequacies.
Like an Drew Barrymore inStyle cover photo, I know that the lives of bloggers are heavily edited and photoshopped.
But I'm still victim to my perception of their perfection.
I do my own fair share of veritable life "photoshopping," with my stories and words shared here picked carefully, and photos, when I post them, chosen out of 50 or more rejects.
I am vain. And human.
I've long told my own critics who like to give me a mouthful in my comments section that the life you see on this blog is a small snapshot.
And I know it's the same for all bloggers, but it's hard to internalize that what you're reading and staring at isn't the whole picture. You're taking in what they want you to see, after they've cropped a bunch of photos and rewritten the paragraph a few times. Sometimes more.
But I long for outtakes, when the sinks are full of dishes and the hairs are out of place. Give me a blooper reel or a photo where one of the kids has his eyes crossed.
The flaws comfort me, which I guess is why I started sharing my own here almost seven years ago.
I spent twenty years hiding the birthmark on my forehead under bangs. I dyed the white streak in my hair to match my natural hair color.
And I tried hard to live up to what I believed a "mother" should be and not what was actually good for me and my kids.
I'm still learning to embrace all my imperfections, seeing them now through a filter of age and wisdom. Of time and experience.
"I love your signature piece" a hair stylist in Vegas raved about my white streak a few years ago, and in that instant, she turned my flaw into fab.
The perfection I see in the photos, recipes, and craft projects on some of my favorite design blogs isn't measuring my own worth.
They're not there to make me feel bad.
I will continue to read them, with silent admiration and a quiet envy. Because each mom's experience is perfect. To her.
So long as she's wearing the right pair of glasses.
I guess it really is all how you look at things.
Go get your prescription checked with me, won't you?