It is so so easy to fall down the rabbit hole. To get consumed in scrolling days down into the Instagram algorithm, whatever that is (still not really sure what that means, to be honest, but a lot of people throw that word around so I too will throw you that word). To forget that the pictures you spend however many minutes or hours a day liking and zooming in on and maybe saving to your collection if they really strike at some sort of gold within you are curated to look unreal. And that's maybe because they are.
I think many of us are guilty of it coming up with a picture idea to go take with your friends or of yourself or your food, whatever it may be. Whenever I find myself thinking like this I try to pull the brakes for a second. Shouldn't we let the pictures come as they are? Naturally? Unless you're posting a #ad (which if you are, amazing! Get that money, honey) or are suddenly a clothing model or whatnot, pictures are always the coolest when they're off-beat. Out of step. Candid, but a real candid and not one of those fake laughing candids that everyone knows isn't actually a candid. Guilty.
Over winter break, one of my friends was reminiscing on the night his baby cousin took better pictures than him. Hers were taken on her fancy new Polaroid camera, high-tech for a six-year-old, and were all taken completely off-guard. No one was warned that a flash was coming. No one was safe from her tiny fingers snapping against the button to snap pictures of the family. And yet they were so simplistically beautiful and uncultivated-they just captured the true moment. So when my friend met us on the beach that night, he channeled his tiny relative with his own Polaroid camera and snapped secret candids of us while we were dancing around in the shore-break and singing along to "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas.
Our eyes were closed, our hair was flying in an insane orbit around our heads, and our clothes were getting wet and cold as the waves crashed into our flailing limbs. But we also had on the biggest smiles, with our faces turned up to the cotton-candy skies as the sun set behind us. Mission accomplished, I'd say. I'd take a-dancing-around-with-my-eyes-closed-while-singing-to-some-early-2000s-bop picture over a picture of us awkwardly lounging in the sand. We're not all models and we know it. So let's embrace all of our little moments that really showcase what the world should know about us, rather than adding to the highlight reel that is already so prevalent.
"Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but a good part of it actually is". I think I see that quote on Pinterest daily, but whoever said it first did get something right. We can show it all, all parts of the spectrum. The sunshine, the rainbows, but also the times when your oatmeal explodes out of your bowl or the mozzarella doesn't melt into your mac & cheese. I am also guilty of leaving out those bits, but from now own, prepare to witness the moments when my hair is in full orbit and the cheese just didn't melt.