What the Influence-ah..!

People say that Instagram, Instagrammers and influencers in general have created this picture perfect world which deteriorates the real and glamorizes the pretense. I kind of disagree. That kind of pretentious behavior had always been a part of our society. Instagram merely provided an outlet.

The same way a politician cannot expand anyone’s hateful ideas unless the seed of hatred was already sown in their hearts. Food for thought?

While I personally do not follow any celebrities (do not like the celeb culture at all), my feed does show me glimpses of overtly glamorized lives. Yes, I do understand its their job and I can’t, in all possibility, tell them how to do it. Yet I can’t help but sometime wonder the effect it has on younger minds. I can’t help but recall my own experience as a young girl who saw pictures of actresses on magazine covers, skin as smooth and as glowing as the morning sun, and then walking up to the mirror to compare. It took me a long time to realize that there are things like editing and makeup. And far more than I had the knowledge of.

Recently I was struck by a certain comment under a video of a certain influencer whose house is always spick, span, white, shiny. Who always has everything in place and usually a beautiful plate of freshly baked cookies or cupcakes sitting on top of her pristine white kitchen counter. Whose art corner is so clean I could lounge there. There was this one comment which caught my eye (Yes…I scroll down the comment section! I don’t get involved in drama. Does not mean I can’t witness it! Duh!) from a lady who actually asked the influencer to post some of her BTS videos/pics which show the reality because this influencer’s life does not look relatable at all. Immediately two different arguments sprung up in my mind.

  1. Why does this lady think that the influencer is putting out her pics/videos to appear relatable? If anything, its a careful marketing strategy of depicting someone who has had her own share of struggles with insecurities and has built a life despite it. They have the right to depict it as they please.

And

2. What is the actual need to pretend to be perfect? Which insecure part of us does it fulfill?

Now personally, I cannot answer either of these questions. To be absolutely honest, these questions are for you, the reader, to think and contemplate. It would be a blatant lie if I say pages as these do not appeal to our sense of perfection. They do. The otherworldly look presents a calm and serenity we didn’t know could be real. Like a fantasy. In fact, it is a fantasy wrapped up in a veiled layer of reality. What don’t these pages show are the careful choreography, the multiple media setups, the touchups that go in the final product.

See that throw which looks like it has been carelessly thrown on the couch yet looks almost imperfectly perfect? Yeah…it WAS carefully placed.

Those baking shots which carefully glide over practiced hands gently mixing and lovingly pouring the batter into an already parchment lined baking tin? Hmmm…the mess which almost always accompanies any type of baking/cooking must have been cleaned up or edited. I know because I do both. Edit the pics of food to appeal to aesthetics. And make a mess in the kitchen.

In all honesty, it does remain a high possibility that I am messier than most people when it comes to baking/cooking. But you tell me that not a single drop of oil spilled on the white counter, not a dusting of cocoa powder coated the kitchen floor…nope. Try again.

If I weren’t so weird about posting personal pics, I would have actually shown what my kitchen looked like before, during and after my recent cooking adventure. The cake that got many likes and comment did carry out a literal smear campaign in my kitchen before it was reigned in and beautified. And that is one of the reasons I love baking. Or cooking new dishes in general . Because its not supposed to be clean and perfect. I am supposed to make a mess to learn. My clothes get smeared, my apron looks like I have made flour-angels while wearing it, and my hair looks as if I have chosen this one day to slather it with a handful of gel and flatten it to look my unflattering best, but man does this clumsy attempt pay off when I eat.

Yes I enjoy my own cooking. Often more than I do any one else’s.

The point I am trying to make is that things will not be perfect. Those who promote it are glorified personalities with huge issues. The ones who celebrate such pretense are unglorified personalities with even larger issues.

Look, go ahead and lead your life the way you please. You are entitled to that. The good, the bad, the glory and the ugly are all yours to own. But please do not promote something as natural while its clearly not. In the race of appearing perfect, we are demeaning the normal. But but but….this should not be taken as an encouragement or endorsement to water down your talents and accomplishments. Not at all. No sir!

OWN YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Without pretense. And without portraying it as if you are the only one who could have done it.

Spoiler alert: You are not.

Choices are difficult. Everyone works hard to make it through. Some days we are motivated enough to workout no matter what. Some days, like today, kids tire you out so much through the day that by the end, you have no energy to put your already tired mind and body through another round of rigorousness. All you want to do is crawl into the bed and die until morning. But that doesn’t happen because you have mouths to feed, and people to put in bed, and another human whose play time has just started. So these days, we choose. To work further? Workout? Or simply let the routine overtake our senses steadily? The choices vary on different days and moods.

Yes I know I CHOSE to have kids!!! Doesn’t make it any easier.

Did your choice of comment make your life any easier? No, right! Bingo!

Anyway, as I write this, my kitchen is a mess, I look like I haven’t been cared for since 1937, my 7 year old is swinging between finishing her lunch and chatting to her sister, her 5 year old sister before me is swishing around a sheet of paper she drew dinosaur on and singing gibberish which despite me struggling to not pay attention to, has been interrupting with my writing process. Additionally, there’s the child monster staring at me from the sofa, I have thrice removed the plastic wand from around me, and the singing still continues like this:

“I am not rude…I am not ruuuudeee…I am not ruuuudddeee…He was trapped in moon forever…then his family said….he should come back…hmmm…hmmm…hmmm…”

There’s more but I am not going to write it all down. Its officially too complicated for me to follow.

Before I conclude, I’ll attempt to fill in the plot holes.

I do not know what happened to that comment under that influencer’s post. It wasn’t answered by the said personality when I was scrolling last before I got sucked into another tweet. (Some guy posted about how much his friend was distraught because his mom lied to him that his dad didn’t want him as a child and now he has discovered that the father had no idea he had a son. The Plot Thickens! But I am not going to follow that one either.) In my defense, I don’t go looking for these online events. They pop up. I scroll. Read. Then move on to another one. *grin*

Let’s keep it real here. No one is a saint. Especially the ones who say they are.

And as for the picture used above, it was taken on our very first trip to Mahabaleshwar as a couple. It was amazing. Not perfect. Amazing.

And Amazing is what Imperfect makes.

Tatas and Bye-byes.

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