Perfecting the Imposter

I love watching videos on social media. The problem is that when I watch them I always say I’m going to only watch one and then I end up getting pulled into another one. The next thing I know 30 minutes have elapsed and I have watched not one — but 10 videos!

One of the things that I love about watching videos is that people will do so many random things. I’ve seen it all from people bungy jumping through a forest to skateboarding across a fleet of cars to bike racing barely clothed.

But as freeing as some people may be, I have yet to master the art of feeling free in front of a camera. I am one of those women who have not yet elevated herself to the “make-up free” zone. Nor have I moved up to the Beyonce version of “I woke up like this” and been confident that MY “wake-up” look is something that I want to share on video (or that the rest of the world is interested in) .

Nope, I’m not there yet. I’m still that person who wants to portray the image that I’m most comfortable with. So, if it’s a bad hair day, a puffy eye day or a day where I’m just not feeling or looking like my best self, I stay away from being in front of the camera.

I know there are women who really have a problem with my thought process. They say that society has made women feel that they have to have the perfect body and the perfect skin in order to project the perfect image. Do I think I might be a victim who has fallen prey to the societal pressures that have been placed on women? I suppose it could be possible that some of that pressure has trickled down to me over the years. However, the trickle I’ve experienced has not impacted me to the point where I totally obsess over my physical appearance in an unhealthy or self-indulgent way. That would be very scary .

As women become older our skin changes along with our bodies. Wrinkles seem to creep up unexpectedly. Some of us experience weight gain in places we never thought were possible 20 years ago. But, here we are living life with all of the challenges, changes, complications and new beginnings that it brings.

Am I completely comfortable with ALL of the new changes that have come with aging? I’d be lying if I said yes. I’ve been told that I should feel comfortable in my own skin. And I do (for the most part). However, there’s a part of me that still wishes that I could eat at midnight and not worry about the excess weight gain. I also wish that my body could remember how it used to allow me to function on less sleep. Now, 6.5 hours is my minimum — any less than that and I’m a complete zombie who needs a nap by 10:00 a.m. And when it comes to alcohol, let’s just say that I’m one-glass-gal. Any more than one glass of wine and it’s nighty night, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Here’s what else I know. I don’t feel comfortable in trying to be someone who I’m not. Admiring other women’s looks, style and personality is one thing but, copying their brand is an entirely different path that I have no desire to travel down. I like looking and feeling my best. I like the expectations that I have set for myself. Yes, sometimes my expectations are a little lofty but I’ve always aimed high even when goals were inconceivable to others. Some may have called me conceited. Others may have another name that I won’t write in this blog. But, I call it MY standard. I call it MY truth. And I’m proud of who I am (even on a bad hair day).

I think that’s important for us as women to choose our own definition of authenticity — and not others definition. My authentic self is being comfortable with what makes me, ME. I’m comfortable without wearing make-up ( I really do leave the house without it on many occasions). I’m even comfortable with having a bad hair day ( I will have a cap on though). There are also days when I’m okay that I’m not looking like my best self. It’s all good. Really. But, my mind will not be changed by peer pressure. I will still stay in my own comfort zone and still keep away from being in front of the camera!