Pulling The Plug On Perfection

 
MESA, Ariz. - Nov. 12, 2015 - PRLog -- Why does not being ‘followed’, ‘liked’ and anxious, feel so damn good?

November, 2015, “Instagram Sensation,” a sponsored model of perfection, Essena O’Neill, 19, makes waves as she rebels against social media by deleting her accounts, and 2,000 photos of herself.  Later, on her new website, (wait, what?) she proclaims that deleting all those apps “was the most freeing and empowering thing” she’d ever done.

Social media can be addicting as she says, “The average teen spends 9 hours a day on social media.”  At 12, she longed to be like the perfect girls in the perfect pictures on social media.  She became one, starving for a perfect flat stomach, shooting hundreds of photos for the perfect one.  She discovered feeding the ego with likes and friends was a bottomless pit of illusion. She was miserable.  She quit, sort of, with a new website.  After a tearful YouTube farewell to her thousands of followers, some ‘friends’ became ‘frenemies,’ saying it was a hoax to get more attention.

August, 29th, 2015.  Amy Pence Brown, 40, an overweight mother of three, enters a busy Boise Idaho shopping mall.  She strips down to a black bikini placing a chalkboard at her feet.  It says, “I’m standing for anyone who has struggled with a self-esteem issue like me, because all bodies are valuable.  To support self-acceptance, draw a heart on my body.”  Tying a blindfold over her eyes, she holds a marker out in each hand.  Her video ends with, ‘In a society that profits from self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.’ She was terrified nobody would respond, but they did, lovingly.

Her inspiration?  August 17, 2015, Australian, Jae West, 24.  A thin, eating disorder survivor, did the same thing in London’s Picadilly Circus, to the same response. And, she shared the exact same fear.  Her video ends with, “60% of adults feel ashamed of the way they look.”

While inspiring, these stories show self-acceptance as still very misunderstood, particularly for women.  Why a blindfold?  It’s openly being filmed.  Isn’t hiding the eyes exhibiting shame?  What if nobody drew hearts on them?  Acceptance is believing what others think, is none of their business.  If it is being done to raise awareness, getting out there is the point, not how others react.  That's freedom.

August 17, 2015, Donald Trump said, “Sadly, Heidi Klum is no longer a 10.” Heidi responded with a sexy video, wearing a T-shirt with a paper stuck to the front with a 10 on it.  A Trump masked man tears it away reveal 9.99.  Heidi feigns sadness and shrugs it off.  All seen as a triumph against the boorish Trump.

Again, self-acceptance is misunderstood.  Why knock off 1/10th?  How is Heidi Klum not the best Heidi Klum she can be?  Is there another Heidi Klum to compare her to?  Why is any man, let alone a man Trump’s age, who is running for president, grading women on a scale of 1-10?

September, 2015, an unfiltered Trump told Rolling Stone, regarding Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face!  Would anyone vote for that?  Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”  Later he tried to say he was talking about her “persona.”  Carly responded, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

Finally, someone gets it right, it wasn’t about her.  It was about him projecting his skewed and tired perception of women out into the world.  Thank you Carly. Melania Trump, take notes.  This is a snapshot of what happened over a recent 4-month period.  It goes on daily, relentlessly, in and out of the public eye.  The message is believed by women, “Not good enough, needs approval.”  But when the subject of self-acceptance is brought up, the crickets can be heard dropping pins.

Why is there a viral fascination when the mask of perfection slips and it is revealed the object of adoration was shamelessly Photoshopped?  Or, they were abused, suffer a mental disorder, addiction, or some other burden that makes them just like everyone else?  The public rises up and screams, “You lied to us!”  while captivated by every scene of the train wreck of perfection.  Does the public love the dullness of impossible perfection or do they actually crave to be exposed and relieved of the burden of perfection?  People seem to be riveted to each.

What if women saw their own lives as a rich harvest of gifts from seeds that have been sown through their own unique experiences?  The desire to learn what fruitful gifts they bare is all that is needed to begin to harvest the growth of unconditional self-acceptance.  And, there are no bad seeds.

In her new book, available on Amazon, Wildly Human, artist and author, Christina Barnes, inspires women to connect the dots of their personal stories, own that story shamelessly, and realize they still have the power to create a life far beyond the superficial role of “Not Good Enough, Needs Approval.”

She does this in an imaginative way, creating a modern vibe using an Aesop Fable style.  She uses mostly animals as the main characters, for the simple reason that, “We don’t judge them.”  The pleasure police are barred from entry as cheetahs and chimps sip wine and discuss their dreams, desires, fears and perceived failures.  Life lessons are learned, the purpose for everyone’s life is explored, and love and compassion for being human is celebrated.

Christina Barnes is an Arizona artist. Interviews can be scheduled by contacting her through her website, www.digitalrabbithole.com
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