We all do weird things in front of the mirror. I make this little pout with my lower lip which marginally improves the dimensions of my face and then I walk around the rest of the day pretending to myself that I actually look like that. Sometimes I do the pouty face in the rear-view mirror of the car when I’m putting on lip-gloss and then I notice someone watching me and feel pretty silly, as I deserve to do. With the advent of social media and the inevitable growth of The Selfie – that long-armed, flattering pic your take of yourself with your phone – kidding ourselves that we look a certain way has been taken to a whole new level.
We’ve all lain on the beach and looked down at our thighs with the sun and the sea in the background and thought, ‘hm… not a shabby pic.’ Sometimes we even *clears throat* take that pic. And we’ve all, en route somewhere we want to look fancy, taken a photo of ourselves in the mirror to make sure the outfit we picked out actually works or sent it to a friend for advice on shoes or used it to establish whether the smoky eye we saw them do on TV makes us look like an extra on Jerseylicious. And this is all well and good, but it’s like picking your nose in bed – while it’s a fact of life, nobody needs to know you do it.
But then there are those people who actually post the pic. And it blows my mind. Because the folks who end up seeing it on Facebook and Twitter don’t think, ‘oh wow, s/he is looking awesome, those Cross Fit classes are really paying off,’ they think, oh-my-fucking-god-are-you-serious?! Whether you do it out of insecurity or plain, old vanity, it just makes you look like a twat. So, your new eyelash extensions are amazeballs, and when you stare directly at the light and aim the camera just so your eyes totally look like those coloured lenses? Do not post the pic. Your arm looks so freaking thin from that angle you’d swear you hadn’t eaten since October? Still – do not post the pic. When you lift yourself a little off your beach-towel and clench your stomach muscles hard and the light falling a certain way creates the illusion of a six-pack? Especially do not post the pic.
It’s hard, I know. We all want to look great and be loved and admired but the truth is our friends and loved ones know what we look like. They’ve seen us first thing in the morning, drooling after three bottles of Shiraz and doing the ugly cry minutes after we’ve been dumped. No amount of funny faces or distorted body poses are going to convince them we turned into Heidi Klum overnight. Nor is it going to make them want to be around us more. Because the truth is, it’s the quirkiness and imperfections we share that truly make us loveable. So, by all means send the pic to your besty and write ‘fucking hell, I am SMOKING right now!,’, but don’t put it on your Timeline. It’s just the wrong thing to do.