6 Feb

fdfI’m so sick of #mancrushmonday. Girls post pictures of unrealistically muscular and unshaven, shirtless men with their heart-eyed emojis and THUMBS UP stamps of approval. OR WORSE, they post pictures of their husbands looking their best or acting like Father of the Year, making every other mom or wife exhale a giant sigh… “Her husband is so kind to her… he always sends her flowers… Look at how he plays with the kids so nicely… they have the best marriage ever.”

I’m equally sick of #transformationtuesday. Where people find the most dated and/or unattractive photo of themselves and then pic stitch it to a glamourous selfie (which was probably attempted 15 different ways with different lighting, angles and filters) to say (in not so many words) “Look at how beautiful I am… Look at what I have blossomed into.” It is no more a reflection of your beauty than it is a reflection of your mastery of cell phone camera usage.

#womancrushwednesday is just flat out detrimental to the self image of women everywhere. The fact that men use the hashtag to idolize their mind’s version of perfection for the rest of their followers to see and compare is beyond unhealthy… it’s destructive. If you were to look up that hashtag (which I do not suggest) you would be accosted with over 4 million (4,132,316 to be exact) photos of sexual selfies, chiseled triceps, inappropriate amounts of cleavage, celebrities (who are so posed and photoshopped you may as well have posted a picture of a painting because it is created by an artist, not by nature), and scores and scores of photos that idolize something that most of us are, well, not. And if we’re just being honest, the subjects of those photos are likely not what they portray either.

None of these hashtags are promoting positive self image, healthy relationships, or honesty. They are promoting a war that is being waged on anyone with a smart phone or social media account. And that war has no winners, only broken hearts and carnage of self esteem that once was; bitterness where friendships once lived; competition among people who are all on the same team.

So enough. Enough of the bullsh**. I’m guilty of posting pictures of my family’s happiest moments just like the rest of them. And guess what? That means I’m guilty of creating a perception that my kids are always dressed in adorable little outfits, or that I spend tons of time snuggling on the couch with them laying across my lap or the biggest joke of all, that I’m doing “So much” as a work-at-home mom, managing not only my business but my family with ease. I CALL BS. On mySELF! Go look at the unfolded laundry in my dryer that’s been there for 3 days. Or the fact that my kids have been in their pajamas for 2 days straight. Or the fact that I HIRE PEOPLE TO HELP ME because I CAN’T do it myself. You guys, of course I only post the happy moments. Because in the frustrating moments, I’m too busy feeling stressed out to grab my phone and document it. Also, who wants to document the fact that the dog just ate a friggin diaper? Or that my two year old just used his $1.50 organic food pouch as hair product? Or that the baby is dealing with pretty bad eczema and I can’t seem to get his skin cleared up because of this darn winter weather? Or that I definitely still rock a mean muffin top in 90% of my jeans? THAT IS NOT THE STUFF THAT INSTAGRAM POSTS ARE MADE OF! But guess what? Our social media has become our looking glass into our lives; for friends, family and whoever else you’ve invited in. So let’s stop portraying the fairy tale and let’s just get real.

I’m proposing a new hashtag. For moms who are sick of the mommy wars. For girls who are sick of #fitspo and the fact that instead of the hashtag inspiring, it usually discourages. For men who see too much of other women’s skin on a daily basis.

Tomorrow, join me in #fulldisclosurefriday. Where we pull down the “filters” that we use to make our kids look sweeter, our tummies look flatter and our eyes look greener. Where we take a moment that might make us want to cry but we use it to say, “Guys, I’m struggling here… full disclosure… this is what’s real and what’s happening and it ain’t pretty but this is real.” Let’s use it as an opportunity to encourage one another instead of idolizing one another. Let’s use it as an opportunity to pray for that person whose toddler won’t nap. Let’s use it as an opportunity to encourage that girl who just got a terrible grade on her exam. Let’s use it as a chance to pray for the hearts of men who are fighting their own war; of female/sexual idolatry, of greed, of dishonesty, of self-promotion.

Even if you choose not to participate in #fulldisclosurefriday, let’s give all the other daily hashtags a rest. You’re fighting on the enemy’s team if you promote the epidemic of comparison, competition, self-deprecation and the polarization between groups that it creates.

Lastly, no I don’t intend to stop posting cute pictures of my kids. I think my kids are cute! I’m obsessed with them! And I want to capture that cuteness so that when they are tyrants, I can look at that cute picture and remember that somewhere inside of them lives a sweet child that I do occasionally like. And I don’t intend to stop posting pictures of my business. It’s my career, and my username reflects that, so if you don’t want to see those pictures, I encourage you to unfollow me! No hurt feelings. I understand that my work is not for everyone and I don’t wish to cram it down anyone’s throat who is disinterested.

I don’t expect for my Instagram feed to become a barrage of bummer photos because we are all in “Full Disclosure Mode” – I just want everyone to realize that what you see when you scroll through your Instagram or Facebook news feed is not usually reality. It’s usually a 45 second glimpse into a staged and appropriately-timed scene we created for the benefit of telling people “look at us… pretty amazing, right? DOUBLE CLICK TO LIKE!”

In reality, though, sometimes stuff ain’t pretty… but full disclosure… we’re all in this together. And I think you’ll be surprised by how many more people can relate to your honesty than to your vanity.

The rules:

1) Keep it real. No staging.

2) Keep it G-rated. Duh.

3) Open yourself up to vulnerability.

4) Don’t be fake. If you aren’t genuine, people will be able to smell it from a mile away. Save it for #throwbackthursday.

5) Example of a bad #fulldisclosurefriday: Photo of a stack of bills in your hand. BUT YOUR DIAMOND RING LOOKS STRATEGICALLY SUPER-SHINY! No ulterior motives here… you want to post about a stack of bills, post about a stack of bills. Don’t slip in some “look and be jealous” implication.

6) Example of a good #fulldisclosurefriday: You’ll figure it out. I don’t want to give you any ideas because I think you will know when the moment presents itself. And at the end of the day, if you post a content photo that says “Today was actually unexpectedly relaxing and peaceful” then THAT TOTALLY ROCKS! #fulldisclosurefriday isn’t a downer-fest, I merely want people to get real. Sometimes real is great, and that’s a victory. You post that happy photo.

So, even if you only ever do one #fulldisclosurefriday post, it might be fun to just exhale for once instead of watching for the next attack from the enemy that lives inside your head.

Feel free to share this post to get others involved in tomorrow’s hashtag fest too! The more the merrier. We are waging a war on hashtags – if tons of people participate, can you imagine what the power of prayer can do in one day? Can you imagine the personal emails or phone calls that could result from one person empathizing with another? Can you imagine the potential for real relationship? Let’s give it a go.

You can follow me on instagram @courtneybockdesigns if you want to join and/or see my post tomorrow.


One Response to “#fulldisclosurefriday”

  1. Phyllis Dygert February 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Courtney. You have such a flair for expressing yourself in writing! I urge you to continue to do so. I would love to read your “column”, in a magazine/newspaper or even on FB, on a regular basis, on any topic!! thanks for sharing. Phyllis Dygert

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