Superficial irrelevance, “perfection”, and image

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The other day I was playing on my phone and for the first time discovered a feature I could use to alter my pictures by changing my facial features .  This was funny and ridiculous.  You can alter anything on your face including your complexion.  Hmmm…Anyway, I tried them out and compared the before and after.  Above are the pics.  On the right is my face unaltered with my chubby cheeks intact.  The first pic was after using the feature to slightly alter my face.  I don’t plan on using this when I post pictures. First, because I just don’t see the point and second I don’t like the idea of changing how I look to get likes.  I was curious to see how subtle yet believable these changes looked.

If someone did not know me personally they would never know I changed my features.  Honestly, those who know me probably would not be able to tell because the changes are small but it’s just the principal.  I could have made them more drastic but did not want to.  People use these features so frivolously and have no problem with using them to deceive others by making themselves look “better”.  This made me think of how people do this everyday in society especially on the internet displaying false depictions of themselves. This is a little disturbing on so many levels.

Society has been obsessed with image over the years with the influx of social media perpetuating the cycle by making it easier for people to “alter themselves” online.  We end up forgetting what is truly important by becoming distracted by what I call “superficial irrelevance”.  Superficial irrelevance being just that; things of a shallow nature which do nothing to improve our wellbeing whatsoever.  This shallow nature causes us to think that we actually can determine what someone else’s life is like based on images.  Many like to think that what they see depicted on social media is perfection based on these images.

Usually, we don’t see the “bad” with the “good” because most people only want you to see the “good”.  Nothing is wrong with that.  It is best (and wise) to keep your personal life and struggles even your “flaws” to yourself.  It becomes a problem when you enhance what you post with the intent of creating this false depiction of your life.  Not only are other people fooled but you fool yourself into believing this is your reality.  Clearly it is not but you distract yourself with these images to feel better about yourself and your life in general.

It’s unhealthy because at the end of the day after you shut off that device you are faced with those flaws which do not live up to that image.  On the other side of the coin, some members of your audience (including some people who like to dissect other people’s lives by comparing what others have to what they don’t have) have this perception that your life is perfect.  At the same time, there are many who post realistic images of their lives that are perceived as perfect by their viewers but it is not their intention to put that out there; they just post nice pictures and cannot help if others think they have it made.  Ultimately, we need to just know and understand that everyone has flaws and problems, not everyone is open to display that publicly (and have every right not to).  We should stop comparing our lives to others especially when we base our perception on images.

Perfection is about perception and to some of us it is nonexistent.  Some people refer to their lives as perfect because to them perfection means they are happy with their life regardless of the flaws.  Then you have others who do not use the word perfection lightly because they embrace the “flaws” proudly.  Either way placing so much emphasis on achieving perfection can be superficial and honestly quite stressful.  When we base perfection on image we are missing the point.  Hence the irrelevance of image.  You can easily become blindsided when you place more focus on how the package is wrapped versus what is inside the package.

With that said, I want to challenge you to participate in doing something that will not only improve your wellbeing but be of benefit to those who you come into contact with.  We’ll call it a wellness challenge.  Your wellness challenge for the week is to use some of your free time over the weekend to make a list of qualities that you want to work on improving that do not have to do with appearance.  Then, write down at least three ways to improve this quality.  Make sure you’re being realistic and let these be small efforts.  The smaller and more realistic the efforts the more obtainable your goals can be.  Over time you can challenge yourself more but start small depending on how difficult this change is going to be for you.

Make a point to work on one or two of these qualities a day.  For example, if one of the qualities you want to change is selfishness you can make a conscious effort to make sure each day you do something selfless like hold the door open for another person when you go out, give someone a genuine compliment, or just do something nice for another person.    You will find that you will become much more productive.  The goal could be anything and have an affect on any aspect.  You will be so busy setting goals for yourself while focusing more on improving your inner qualities that you won’t have time or even the desire to focus on things of no importance.  Peace, love and blessings.

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Author: Angelica

Angelica is my name. I'm a licensed graduate social worker from the DMV who has love for everything mind, body, soul related. A devoted wife and mother whose interests include music, art, yoga, books, exercise, meditation, and cooking. Amanisoul is a synthesis of the name "Amani" which means harmony and peace in swahili and the word "soul" which means essence or spiritual self. Discovering one's inner peace involves being healthy mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I make it my mission to spread the word on how to achieve balance in all of these areas.

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