Here ye, Here’s me.

A lot of people (my husband included) take umbrage with social media. I get it. I block negativity and ads I don’t like. Narcissism abounding. But on the whole, I like it. I may be a narcissist. I do wish social media had existed when I was younger because I wish I could post the cool stuff I did before I became a mom.  My comedy group, Broad Comedy, my jobs, my figure, my wedding, and all the travel. I LOOKED SO YOUNG. Myriad pictures of myself running in a jog bra and shorts! If I tried that now, our neighborhood Ring network would alert locals to a piece of rubber-banded deli turkey hurdling down the sidewalk in running shoes. Aging is cruel but time is kind. I just wish I could Flash Back Friday on my Flashdance body.

My social poison of choice is Instagram because it seems like a more intimate party with less ambiguous rants but I keep Facebook in my life because my entire family (and Joe’s) is from the South and I’m not a phone person or a party person… or a fly to an event person. To be honest, I don’t think I’m a person.  My mom is happily stalking me on social media and enjoying having an online scrapbook of her children with comments from friends.  Isn’t that what social media is for? However, she did tell me recently that I posted too many pics of myself at parties. Listen. I want friends to know that I actually show up to parties sometimes, because asking me to go to a party is like asking a snail to cross the 405.

My friend’s social media feed feels like walking into their house and seeing a pictures of us having fun on their wall. Now back to my mom worrying that people would judge me for partying. Michelle. A mother. A wife. A fallen Southern Belle. She doesn’t know that when I was in high school, my friend Tony said there should be a page in the yearbook (the original social media) for “Most Likely to Not Give a F***” because that would be my page. At the time I thought he was insulting me because I wasn’t pretty. But he was right. Here I am not giving a &^$@.

I feel like people want older women to post pictures of their kids and stay in their lane.  Don’t seem sexy (a little), wealthy (I’m not), cool (that either), or wild (like bear not Brittney) because you’re a bad mom or a narcissist. “Who’s watching their kids?” they might ask upon seeing a picture.  I’m still the same person I was 10 years ago before kids. The thread of who I’ve always been is thickest at 41 and I am so proud of the things I do because I’ve beaten assault, death, anorexia, growing up with a depressed sibling, and finally, the self saboteur that would rather destroy than feel loss. I will not stop taking pictures of myself when I feel pretty (it’s very much about angles) even if it’s not what people think they should be seeing from a 41 yr old married mom of two. I LOVE to see pictures of women when they feel confident. You can tell. It’s in the eyes. So great. If you’re one of those people who judges when you see a post of a woman looking amazing in a sexy bunny costume, then you need to stop and ask yourself why it bothers you. Is it more palatable to her in a bunny sweatshirt? Stop it and pat the bunny.

My niece who has CFS has no eyebrows or eyelashes and a fantastic fro. She’s gorgeous. She just donned her Valentine’s dress for her first dance and that girl slayed. She gave FACE.  I posted pictures of her on social media because she looked beautiful and knew it. We all need to allow ourselves to shine in our shiniest moments. I haven’t always felt beautiful. I’ve had moments where I’ve felt hideous. So imperfect… I will never be able to shake the terrifying reflection of days where I saw bones, veins, and skin where no amount of loss was enough (sorry so graphic but it’s part of me).  But that’s inside stuff. You can’t FEEL ugly or fat. You can feel hurt, loss of control, powerless, anger, and so much more but you can’t FEEL ugly. So often, the tangled mass of emotions that reflect in our mirrors are versions of pain we need to speak to in the kindest of voices.

Intermission: I’m not sure I can even say someone is beautiful anymore with the current backlash against beauty before merit… I get it but wait… What if I wake up in 2030 with a “good morning, you look so presidential?” What if I get out of the car and get, “you look like a Supreme Court justice.” Seeking beauty is in our DNA and we honestly can’t fight it but I think we can be beautiful AND smart AND funny AND powerful. That’s our superpower. Models, politicians, doctors, moms, Waffle House waitresses, and writers are all allowed to be beautiful AND. Whatever the narrative, I’m still fine with someone telling me I’m beautiful. Even if you guys are over it. Even if I’m the poor man’s Chloe Sevigny, I want to hear it.

Back to social media’s finer moments: I was in Brooklyn a few days ago and immediately recognized (thanks, Instagram) my cousin Larkyn’s daughter, Austin, walking down the street. I said her name and she looked up and smiled at me! I then saw Larkyn’s husband attached to her hand. “Hi, Jim!” “Hi, Michelle!”  I would not have known Austin’s current face without the pictures I see on Larkyn’s Instagram. How great is that? I’ve also witnessed social media’s influence on my dog-of-choice. When I got my first corgi 15 years ago in Montana, my coworkers told me it was the ugliest dog they’d ever seen. Atlas was an Island of Doctor Moreau dog. Now, I can’t walk down the street without someone yelling something to me and my newest corgi, Chuck. “The Queen’s dog!” “Look! A Corgi!” People get out of their cars and take pictures. It’s terrible. I feel like I’m in an episode of Black Mirror where the introvert goes to hell.

Bag on it all you want, I do still love social media and I find inspiration, laughter, and depth within it’s walls. I tell my husband what all of his friends are up to so he benefits by proxy. Show me your gorgeous through pictures. You may know way too much about me, but I’ve got nothing to hide but knee wrinkles and mismatched socks. Come see me sometime, @badgerpercolator.

2 thoughts on “Here ye, Here’s me.

  1. I love it. I feel like I wrote this but in my head because I’m silently being judged. And your mom and my mom both. But mine’s passive aggressive has gotten more aggressive with “why so many drinks in your pictures?” you shine on girl. Cuz I see you!!!


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