Welcome to The Tearoom! So often social media lures us women into the comparison game and leads us to believe that we, unlike other women, just do not have it together. This week we have the honour of hearing Casey Capra speak on the pressures of social media and how we as women can break free of the pressure to have a ‘picture-perfect’ life. I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder on an almost daily basis! Thanks so much for sharing Casey!
How many of you ladies have gotten hooked on Instagram? Facebook? Pinterest?
Have any of these media platforms ever tricked you into thinking that some women have it all together? While you have dirty hair and legs that haven’t been shaved in two weeks and you’re eating another cookie instead of the carrot stick… SHE looks like she has everything she needs to keep her kids clean, her husband happy, and has the time and sanity to always look good in the process!
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about using these social media platforms for what they were meant for. I get so inspired flipping through Bloglovin, and I get great fashion ideas from Instagram. Facebook is one of the best inventions ever for helping us stay updated on those we love who may live far away!
But instead of enjoying these gorgeous pictures and adventurous status updates, have you experienced this green, oozy jealousy that starts to work it’s way into everything you think when you begin to believe that these women have everything you don’t? Or the pressure you immediately feel to have a feed that looks just like theirs?
Or am I the only one?
Both the pressure and the green envy has come over me enough times that I finally recognized the thought thread that was leading me to this bitterness.
Never fail, it always happens when I start believing the lie that these incredible Instagram posts and these adventurous Facebook statuses are what these ladies’ lives look like every day!
I’ll give you an example from my and Jon’s first Christmas:
I had high expectations for this past Christmas; our first Christmas together! But I didn’t know I did. Until our hand-me-down pre-lit Christmas tree didn’t light up. You can only imagine the confusion on my new husband’s face when I immediately started crying!
Why? It wasn’t just because my dumb Christmas tree didn’t light up and we couldn’t afford to go out and buy more lights. It was because I wasn’t gonna get that picture-perfect moment.
I wanted to have that beautiful, whimsical Instagram picture of our fairy-book first Christmas tree. I wanted to accomplish the perfect first Christmas that it looked like every other cute couple had.
When I took a step back and evaluated why I was feeling so crushed, I realized that my true desire was to be perfect. Not because I wanted to show off, I just wanted to be successful at being a wife and a homemaker! I just wanted to be able to show other women that “I can do it too! I can have a clean house and a happy husband and still have time to do my hair!”
What a humiliating realization…
What is it about us women that makes us want to appear that we have our lives together? We have a lot on our shoulders!
I don’t even have kids yet, but do you know how much I’m balancing with just a husband and college to take handle? Do you know how often I fail? It’s just too much to take care of! It’s an unfair amount of pressure that I would never put on anyone other than myself.
So I’m going to give you my two strategies for shaking off this pressure to be perfect that I sometimes feel as a result of social media.
One: Take a Break
Sometimes the best thing to do is just cut off the source.
Back in November I deleted Instagram off of my phone completely for a whole month, and forced myself to get back into it very gradually in December. I purposefully do not keep the Facebook app on my phone because it’s too distracting.
And if I’m having a bad day? I stay away from all of it for a day or two. I may post something, but then I’ll hop right off.
Why? Because if I am having trouble feeling secure or confident about myself, or tempted not to love my life, why would I spend time investing in a source that typically makes me feel worse?
Why not take some time exploring your true identity? Or spending time with the God that created you, and values you like the treasure that you are?
Two: Be Real
We as women put too much pressure on ourselves. We have a lot to do!
Let me just say, you’re doing a great job and you are a naturally fabulous person.
Even if you haven’t washed your hair in a week, you still have laundry in the floor, there are holes in your leggings and you’re wearing your ratty old tennis shoes instead of your perky new pumps.
You’re working your tail off for those grades, you’re trading sleep for more time with that newborn, and you greeted your husband home from work with a smile instead of exhausted tears.
You’re doing a great job at being you… so why not let that be what the world sees?
This world is far more hungry for people who are authentic than they are for more people who appear perfect.
Let’s have some grace for each other. We all make mistakes and we all have rough days. Let’s not be afraid to wear some battle scars and pass on the mascara. Let’s share what’s really going on and take some of the pressure off of ourselves to have it all together. Because, let’s be honest, no one does. (Even if their Instagram says they do!)
Casey Capra is a 22-year-old newlywed who blogs about faith, marriage and modest fashion on a budget at Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish. Previously homeschooled, she now studies Psychology at Regent University and is learning how to balance marriage, ministry, and full-time college while her husband studies Public Administration at Liberty University. She is passionate about Jesus, inspiring women to dress both modestly and fashionable, and teenage girls recognizing their true worth and potential. She is a talented singer (but not a talented cook) and her greatest dream is to be a stay at home mom of a bunch of kids and to one day write a book.