We can all admit to wanting only “good” photos of ourselves to be posted on the internet. Even if that means refusing to share pictures representing accomplishments or wonderful snapshots of memorable moments in our lives.

How many times have you deleted a post or removed a tag on Facebook or Instagram because it was a “bad” photo?

Whether there was visible cellulite, a double chin, a few belly rolls, or some other “flaw” you didn’t want the world to see, you found reasons the photo was not acceptable for social media.  (Sidenote, these are not flaws. We have just been conditioned to think they are- another topic for another day.)

We all have a particular image of ourselves that we would like to portray to the world. Social media just happens to be the perfect platform for exercising control over that image. This is done by taking 37+ photos searching for the “perfect” angle that makes our faces look slim (but not too slim) or the “perfect” pose and lighting/filter combination for sculpted visible abs.

This is important to keep in mind as you scroll through social media.

EVERYONE (or near everyone) is posting their best photos and only their best. This is why social media is often referred to as a “highlight reel”. Whether you realize it or not, the images and content you view on social media are influencing you and your expectations. It is easy to get caught up in comparison on the social media world. BUT you can’t compare a person’s highlight reel to your every day.

As always, the most important part of learning is putting what you learn into action. So instead of contributing to this misrepresentation of real life and unrealistic expectations, I challenge you to begin practicing authenticity. The world craves authenticity and realness, and it begins with each of us.

Here is a photo of myself from an adventure several weeks back. I had a great time kayaking with people I enjoy doing something I love- being active outdoors. A year ago, this photo would not have made it to the internet, due to my ridiculous notion that it was not worthy to be shared. That may sound absurd to some of you, but yet for many this will hit home.

My body has belly rolls at times, and that is perfectly ok. It does not make me any less worthy and it is not a flaw. It just simply is part of me. We need to post more photos like this, show the world who we are at every angle and with every lighting. This is normal. This is a body, and this is just one photo of this body. A snapshot of one of the millions of moments I get to experience with this body.

Instead of providing a few tips, today I want to challenge you. This will require some courage and vulnerability. But if we don’t start paying attention and taking control, who else can we blame?

Authenticity Challenge:

Scroll through some of your pictures that have not made it to social media yet.

Upload a snapshot of yourself that represents a blissful moment or significant accomplishment, a picture that you had previously deemed unworthy of social media. It’s not easy to be vulnerable, but nothing will change if we won’t. Tag me in your photos or use #lifewithjen, so I can follow along and offer some support!

Remember, we must be the change.