Thursday, October 10, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Comparisons

Do you know that most (all?) of the visual media that we are fed has been altered in some way? Some of it is fairly benign, a brighter colour, tweaking the background.  We even do some of these smaller things on our blogs, to make our photos look just a little better. Some of it, however, is anything but harmless.

Television commercials have actors behaving as if they were random people being interviewed, spewing out perfect little sound bites that coincidentally enough promote the product in a succinct, pithy, positive light.  Except it isn't a coincidence.  It's choreographed, right down to the pauses in between sentences and 'surprised' facial expressions.

Magazines show photos of clear-skinned, waif-life models with perfect makeup and men falling at their feet.  Except, that perfect model had her legs lengthened by the equivalent of 4 inches, her waist tucked in, her chin sculpted a bit, and her colouring tweaked so that she went from a very attractive woman to a model (model) of perfection with a few clicks of a mouse and the right software.

Bloggers share awesome weekly diy projects that make us dab jealous drool from our chins and they post fabulous photos with flawless lighting, perfect arrangement, and interesting composition. Except, those same bloggers may very well have a chaotic mess of toys and mushed cheerios just out of camera range where their 3-year-old decided to have a tantrum of epic proportions just as the blog post was coming due.

Now maybe these fictions aren't detrimental in and of themselves. Where the harm truly originates is us comparing ourselves to this land of make-believe. Us, comparing ourselves to the air-brushed model, the perfect blogger, the fake 'random' actors, isn't healthy.  It isn't real.

I look in the mirror and see my pouchy belly and compare it to the no-belly in my women's magazine and I feel bad about myself.  I feel like I'm worth less. That's sad enough, but to be comparing to something that doesn't actually exist? Failing to measure up to something fake? How can we expect to?

Comparison is truly worthless energy.  No good comes of it.  Even if you end up on the better end of the comparison stick, the victory is hollow and fruitless.  What do you get when you win? You get to put somebody else down instead of bolstering others.  Not such a win.

I love this picture from "If I Were Your Angel":

There is nobody who does You better than,…wait for it,…you. It’s true.  You are the only one with your very unique life history. Do you think it is particularly difficult to be You (without comparisons) in the age of social media?

Just before this was scheduled to publish, I saw a facebook post by Leonie Dawson, too perfect not to share:

"Flick the switch and show the world your beauty. No regrets. No fears. No holding back. Be proud + be brave. You were born to be you."


Tina Bradley said...

Ah, yes...comparison... Unfortunately, I do it, too. It's oh-so-easy for me to often forget that each one of us is like a snowflake: precious and one of a kind. Sage reminder, Terry! xo T.

Magic Love Crow said...

Another great post lady! I know I often joke about my "bald spot", but seriously, not until 2 years ago, did I really stop wearing a hat! I still do my tricks with my hair and go through a lot of hair spray! I have to stick down what I have, so it doesn't blow away! LOL! I am getting better ;o) Just try not to be around too many tall people! LOL!