The Tao of Social Media: Compare and “Contrast”

Despite being a performer for a living, constant presentation is downright exhausting. I am too sick to play any harder than I am, and I like the balance that I’ve chosen. As a model and actress, that choice is made against a lot of pressure and notions about inadequacy. But, everything is relative. Perhaps some people look at my social media and think , “What a load of shit!” Or “Why can’t my feed look like this?” I genuinely hope that if it stirs anyone at all, it makes people more motivated than resentful-but if I feel like I am not doing as much for my digital self as I could be, it would stand to reason that perhaps people look at mine and think the same thing.

“Comparison is the thief of joy”, and 50% of that comes from the understanding that you don’t get to see the whole picture. My profile isn’t perfect, and I don’t want it to be-but it already takes thought, energy, a bit of planning, and thorough execution to do it as is. I think ahead about the pattern of my Instagram by balancing colors and composition. Blogging consistently; writing full captions of poetry, prose, and essays (or at the very least, selecting thoughtful and unusual quotes and lyrics); working as a model/coordinator/stylist/makeup artist on professional shoots; studying scripts and working long hours on set; developing ideas while I travel; editing personal photos for bright eyes and more color intensity; and choosing them from too many others takes a dedication you might not expect. I wouldn’t do it if I were not passionate about all of its components: writing, acting, modeling, photography, editing, and marketing. If you aren’t, I imagine social media as some type of space-suspended hellscape we are forced to access despite still being among the living.

This selfie was taken with a ring light I use for home auditions and vlogs on a day that I did my makeup carefully. I loved my lip color, my eclectic earrings, and my off-shoulder sweater-and I felt energized (for me). I am happy and proud to post the look as a secret style And makeup lover (liker*). But I never, ever want to set a standard where I can’t post makeup free, with my cat, in my robe and my messy room. I don’t want to be stifled by only taking photos with white backgrounds so it matches the rest, or only posting photos from professional shoots, or only posting when I travel (and I actually hate posting DURING travel), or only posting when I wear a push up bra, or editing all of it the same way. My life, though often spent in bed, is so much more dynamic than that. Some people can portray all the nuances in one color and feel empowered by it. I prefer to change the palette for the moment. And maybe even that will change on day.

When you look at ultra curated feeds, remember: you could, in most first world cases, play the game if you wanted-as hard as you want. I could take selfies with my ring light every day. I could filter more of my mind in my captions and more of my heart in my feed and more of my face in the frame. But I don’t want to. And if you’re not doing it, you don’t want to badly enough either-or perhaps it’s just not you. And if it is, it’s not too late. And for those who are, we I respect you-your work ethic, your attention to beauty, your lifestyle. You can say “good for you…not for me” in the same breath without taking anything away from either. One can use Boomerang or Botox without feeling boxed in, and if you approach social media with any authenticity-whether you require a pound of makeup and cat ear filters or being completely naked to feel like you-I believe you’re taking nothing away from yourself.

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