Blended Family Chaos

by Tamara Flaherty

Makeup, Breast Cancer Awareness, and Photoshop

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I received a request on Facebook this week asking me to post a picture of my face without makeup to support breast cancer awareness.

Now I have to admit, my immediate thought was that it would make more sense to post pictures of breasts to increase awareness, but then again, I’m not running the campaign.

Not to mention that’s highly inappropriate!!
But then again, so is posting a picture of my naked face!!

That got me thinking about all the ways that both men and women “conceal” our true selves, and the lengths we go to in an effort to hide our flaws from those around us, and even from ourselves.

The “makeup” we wear is usually the full-coverage, flawless finish kind.

It “covers” our burdens, faults, failures, regrets, loneliness, and pain.

This makeup is very expensive!!

The rates of substance abuse, divorce, depression, and suicide in America are through the roof!
We are disconnected in the worst way, from the things that truly matter. Things like faith, family, and friendship.

Ironically, the rate at which we share information about ourselves and “connect” with others is skyrocketing.

With the advent of social media and easy access to platforms like blogs, Facebook, Instagram and the like, we know more about the people around us then ever before.

But do we really?

The vast array of tools at our disposal allow us to portray ourselves in almost any way we wish.

There is this great app called Facetune that allows me to gently erase the wrinkles on my neck, smooth out the imperfections in my face, and even make myself thinner if I wish.
I have been tempted to use that thinning feature, but eventually I would run into some of you in person, and give away the fact that I’m not really a model in real life.

Sometimes I look at what other people write in their blogs, or post on social media and it makes me think that my life totally sucks!

The truth is that even though their pictures and stories are examples of happy, beautiful things in their lives, that isn’t true about their whole life, no matter who they are.

We share with others only the things that make us look, act, or feel the way we think people expect us to look, act, or feel.

That creates a disconnect that prevents us from truly knowing, understanding, and supporting one another. It creates loneliness, isolation, and dissatisfaction with our lives.

Now I’m not suggesting that you post a video of the fight you had with your spouse last night, or photos of the disgusting mess that’s under your refrigerator and couch cushions (I KNOW it’s there!) , but I do think that if we really want authentic relationships with each other that we need to be more real, more transparent, and less “Photoshopped” in our lives.

I believe that we go through difficult things so that we can reach out and help others and make the journey easier for those who come after us.
We can’t do that if we conceal our true selves or if they do.

I have committed to making my blog as real and transparent as I can without “over-sharing”, or “dumping” all my emotions and feelings onto the page.

Unfortunately I cannot do the same with my face, even if the cause is as noble and valuable as Breast Cancer Awareness!!

15 comments on “Makeup, Breast Cancer Awareness, and Photoshop

  1. We stumbled over here coming from a different page and thought I
    might as well check things out. I like what I see so
    i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page yet again.

    Like

  2. Ned's Blog
    April 2, 2014

    Great post, Tamara. It really is one of this generation’s great ironies that in the age of social media and “connecting,” people are really more isolated than ever. We don’t know our neighbors, and our kids communicate in Twitter-speak or text language. I see it all the time; unless it’s Facebooked, Instagrammed or Tweeted, it doesn’t exist. Not to mention the underlying levels of stress I see kids (and adults) carrying around with them due to the constant multi-tasking we are doing thanks to the “age of communication.” And how much of what we’re communication is real information? Sad and a little scary, no matter what face you put on it.

    Can you tell I haven’t had my morning coffee yet? 😉

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      April 3, 2014

      Thanks for the comment! I didn’t respond sooner because I have been visiting with my mom and step-dad. It’s been great so far. They don’t have cell phones, internet, a computer, or even a TV. They are totally unplugged. We just have several hours of great conversation over some hot cocoa and it was awesome! I think I’m going to unplug more often and just “be” in the moment. Unedited, unfiltered, real!

      Like

      • Ned's Blog
        April 3, 2014

        Unplugging is so important; it’s easy to forget that you can. I’m essentially off the grid on weekends and after 7 p.m. Our teenagers moaned and groaned at first, but now unplugging in the evenings is just what we do. It’s the only way to have those conversations and stay tuned in to each other. So glad you had that cocoa and conversation tome with your parents!

        Cheers!

        Like

  3. Miss Lou
    March 29, 2014

    #YES #YES YES!!!

    ‘Sometimes I look at what other people write in their blogs, or post on social media and it makes me think that my life totally sucks!’ – sometimes… me too… lol

    then I saw this;

    “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – and it helps me to put things back into perspective, sometimes.

    I don’t think people should post or write or share anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. If that happens to be a selfie with no make up, pictures of themselves, stories of their personal struggles or cuss words about the boss at work who abused them, I can handle missing out.

    I know that everyone has their own personal struggles behind the scenes – if they choose to only share the positive, I’ve no issue providing encouragement and saying ‘Well done’, ‘Awesomeness’, ‘Congratulations’.

    Sometimes I do read the highlights and feel a bit down.. BUT I also do not want to have to hear others bad stuff to feel better about my own journey either.

    I don’t need to hear their bad stuff to know they have it, because (like you said) we all do.

    Great thought provoking post 🙂

    ML
    x

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 29, 2014

      Good comment and good points. It’s all of it. The good and the bad that make up our lives, make us “real”.

      Like

      • Miss Lou
        March 29, 2014

        *nods* completely agree – whether or not we do or do not share it, doesn’t mean we don’t have the bad bits.

        ML
        x

        Like

  4. Deb
    March 27, 2014

    Your humor is just like mine! I love it! You made me lol with your comment about posting breasts. Keep writing! Good stuff 🙂

    Like

  5. justsandrajm
    March 26, 2014

    I must say that this is so true of you, it must be hard to put hurting into words but you do a great job. ; )

    Like

  6. susanddhavle
    March 26, 2014

    That’s very honestly spoken.

    Like

  7. Deb
    March 25, 2014

    I often feel like a whiner and cry-baby for dumping my frustrations on my blog..but–hey! Its my blog and I guess if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it, right?

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      No, not at all!! There’s a difference between sharing what you’re going through and how you are getting through it to either receive support and/or help others.
      I’m following you!!!
      Even those who just gush out all their emotions on their page probably get relief that way and may even help others who just keep it all locked it.
      I’m not judging.
      I just want to have a point to make when I share my painful or hard experiences. For me personally I don’t want to share just to share. I want to learn and teach something I have learned.

      Like

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