This seems to have gone over well on FB, so I figured I would share here, also. So I didn't edit either one of these photos, but they were taken just a few days apart. I think it's important to note that lighting, angles, facial expression, and make-up make a huge difference in photography and presentation (especially in my case!). Social media can make it easy to feel like everyone else is awesome and perfect all the time, but that's really never true. We should keep in mind that behind every pretty face or perfect lifestyle is a regular person, and that there's really no point in comparing amongst ourselves because this is all cultivated. I think of all the young people out there, especially girls, who are influenced by media in this way, and I think about how badly I know I'd feel if I were a teen today, trying to cope with ever more perfect females all over the place, and how that would likely suck even worse than what prior generations had to go through. Part of the solution, I think, is more people opting to take a moment here and there to be real and show what's behind the smoke and mirrors, because it's relevant for y'all to know that this isn't reality. In reality, nothing is perfect, life is messy, and people are flawed. So the best way to be happy with yourself is to cultivate YOURSELF, vs. cultivating an IMAGE, or comparing yourself to everyone else. Do the things you want to do, find things you love, figure out what and who you want to be, and then set out to do that stuff. Think about what matters to you, and then try to engage with those activities, people, and/or values daily. Do you. For real.