I love the Quaker #stopCOMPAREnting ad. It gives us a gentle but powerful reminder that so much of the social media world is cropped or filtered to perfection, creating a false sense of reality.
I mean, c’mon… how many of us waltz out the door in the morning with kids in tow, wearing a complementary colour palette without a stain to be seen or a stitch out of place? I’m lucky if I get out of my dusty garage without inadvertently rubbing the whole front of my coat against my “white” SUV, which sports a Pig Pen dirt cloud around it all winter. My family’s mostly pulled together, but there always seems to be at least one thing that’s kinda “off,” y’know? Like our shoes don’t match or the stitching’s coming out of our scarf or our hair is standing up on one side or there’s lettuce caught between our teeth.
I don’t know how I’d get that one “off” piece right on each of us, let alone coordinating amongst us. I’m not coordinated enough to take a seemingly effortless family selfie with a complementary backdrop we just stumbled upon while striking a pose that portrays we’re madly in love and our children never misbehave. You’ve seen these photos and read the captions with clever hashtags – I know you have. It’s like a cotton-candy Pinterest post that screams how perfect life is, “and we aren’t even trying!”
Trust me – they’re trying. It’s called “hustling” and it’s a never-ending beast that reverses social media’s best intention – to connect us – and instead creates distance, a new class of “unattainables.” The reality: it’s a pile of pastel bullshit, my friends.
Why do we try to make things seem so perfect? Life’s not perfect. Life is messy. Life has missing pieces and worn bits and fraying things and rubbed off stuff. But like the Velveteen Rabbit, therein lies its beauty: it’s real. It’s relatable. We all have it. We all are it.
I find it so refreshing, especially at this time of year, when people post their less-than-perfect holiday photos, with the toddler who’s having a meltdown, or there’s a blurred bit because the setting wasn’t quite right, or clothing that doesn’t match. It’s those photos that radiate an authenticity that you can’t find in an Instagram filter.
So here’s to a 2019 with more of that. The world needs it. Don’t let them fool you—we’re all perfectly imperfect.
And it’s beautiful.