So, without any planning, I actually did a little experiment on my Instagram story today.

Everyone’s been loving the “Add Yours” feature that allows someone to create a type of photo challenge in which others can add their own photos onto it. If you’re hip to Instagram, you know what I’m talking about. Today, I decided to make one of my own to see if anyone would add their own photos. It stated:

“NO makeup/filter/lashes/hair extensions”

And I took a picture of me then and there, and posted it to my story, wondering and hoping that others would join. And to my sort of not surprise (is this even a real phrase?), no one so far who’s seen it has contributed. And part of me wonders why.

I don’t wonder in a judgmental way, but I truly want to know why people wouldn’t join…is it because people don’t take pictures of themselves in their FULL natural state anymore? I was just talking to my friend Caylin today about how people on Instagram are almost all starting to look the same because people want to only post their highlights, or the pictures of them that are photoshopped, or taken during a photoshoot. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of this because if you know me, I LOVE a good photoshoot! But, have we gotten so used to having to look a certain way on social media that we don’t even take the time to appreciate ourselves, and take pictures of our TRUE selves, as we are?

Did no one join my challenge because they thought it was a joke, or because they thought I’d make fun of them and they way they look naturally? I truly hope this isn’t the case. Because I know that, unfortunately, some people really don’t feel beautiful without any of the things I mentioned above. And I know I felt like that for a long time, and I still get twinges of self-deprecation here and there. I struggled a lot with feeling like I had to be “all done up” like other girls or even like celebrities to be completely beautiful, or to be accepted. And this is all while I had people I love tell me that I was beautiful naturally!! It just shows the power that social media can have on the mind.

I know a lot of the time, we display our natural selves as a joke; many posts I’ve seen (and I’ve even done one!) show one version of ourselves with makeup on, hair done, cute outfit, and then the other version of ourselves as completely natural, but we low-key joke about how our natural selves isn’t all that great in comparison. And we see, repost, and post OFTEN how what we say about ourselves matters, and affects how we view ourselves, yet we do little jokes like this over and over again, then sometimes wonder why we don’t like the way we look more often than not.

Again, I have participated in this, so this isn’t to point fingers at anyone in particular, but it’s to just allow us to stop and think for a second about how we really feel about who we are, and what we look like underneath all of the enhancements we put on. Of course, there are certain ways we have to look for certain occasions, like our jobs or events. But in our every day, are we sincerely that afraid to be ourselves?

I hope that, if you are struggling to embrace your true physical self, that you take the time this year to learn to do so! Because there are so many people in the world who look different than us due to health complications, or accidents that they’ve been in, and they STILL find a way to see the beauty in themselves. I could go on and on about physical beauty, or how our mental, spiritual, and emotional beauty matters a TON as well, but I feel like I’ve given you enough to think about tonight.

I just desire for all of us to embrace ourselves the way God made us. Because He didn’t create us, and think, “Ehh, they’ll need a touch up once they learn how to do it themselves, or get someone to do it for them.”

He created us, and thought, “They are GOOD.”

What holds you back from being your fully natural self? Do you feel the need to always have an enhancement on your face/body, and why? Do you feel ashamed by either embracing yourself naturally, or having to depend on enhancements to make you feel beautiful/handsome? Why do you think this is?

Mishy 🦋