FakeBook and the Truth Behind Our “Happiest” Moments

NaBloPoMo Day 10. I skipped yesterday. Sorry. Guess I have to write two today…Okay, whatever.

A couple weeks ago, I read a thought provoking piece on BLUNTmoms.com from the perspective of a mom posting pics on Facebook of her family’s kite-flying outing. Anyone who saw the photos would’ve thought “oh what a great mom with her happy husband and children, spending quality time together, making wonderful memories on a Sunday, while I sit here paying bills in my bathrobe, while my husband is on the golf course again and my children are zombies, watching hour four of Dog with a Blog. I bet ‘kite-flying-mom’ never loses her cool. And every moment is special. blah, blah, blah. Where’s my wine?”

Except ‘Kite Mom’ wrote a real, behind-the-smiling-photos account of her afternoon at the park…complete with screaming kids and arguing parents.

Bravo! Honest Writer Kite Flying Mom, whoever you are.* I wish everyone was comfortable enough in their own skin to reveal their authentic selves: their gray roots, mismatched socks, Spanx body shapers, bed-wetting kids, Tuna Helper dinners and all the feelings of not being enough that plague us on an hourly basis. Exposing our vulnerabilities makes us real and relatable to others. I doubt I’m the only one who’s turned off by superficial “perfect people.”

Following Kite Mom’s lead, I decided to look back at some of my own Facebook photos, complete with the story behind the picture. (WARNING: This might send you and me both into a spiraling depression. But I’m being transparent. And that’s good. Right?)

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My BFF Shawn, me and our kids at the Washington Zoo. It was hot. My nerves were completely frazzled because we’d almost been obliterated by DC traffic. The boys were fighting, whining and hungry every five minutes. Only one out of 20 shots had everyone looking in the same direction and smiling…sort of. Plus, the shorts I was wearing were two sizes too small. I’ll always remember it as the zoo trip where I got an inner-thigh rash.

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This was one of Andrew’s last baseball tournaments with our FTB family before we moved to Virginia. My sweet friend Mi (white top, because she doesn’t wear colors, lol) gathered everyone to pose for this pic with me. I was so self conscious the whole time, thinking “what if they don’t want to be in a pic with me. I think a couple of them don’t even like me. Please let me just sit back down and hide behind my score book.” In spite of my neurosis, I loved the way this photo turned out.

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Last Labor Day weekend. My friend Amy and I waited for like seven years to get a table at some bar/restaurant in Hilton Head. Our  husbands conveniently wandered off (to another bar) leaving us in a super loud, crowded place, trying to keep up with our kids and have some semi-grown up fun. Just as we were being seated, James and Clay mysteriously reappeared.

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“Woo Hoo, we’re in Puerto Vallarta and it’s raining. Again!”

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“Great. I’m the only brunette and I’m the fattest one in this photo. Suck it in, Angela. Hold your shoulders up. Try not to look so homely. And hope this never makes it on Facebook.”

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This was when the Niners played the Falcons in the semi finals. “Not only am I rooting for the wrong team in a hostile environment. But I’m also sporting exposed, pasty-skin muffin top. Just shoot me.”

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My friend Jennifer’s 40th birthday party and the first time I ever tried to wear Spanx. Several pics were taken of us all sitting down. Those damn Spanx showed up in almost every photo. (There should be a huge warning on the package that says DON’T FORGET YOU’RE WEARING SPANX WHEN YOU’RE SITTING DOWN!”)

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I was so proud of my viking costume that I decided to get really drunk and do flips over the back of my friend’s couch. There’s a good reason why more vikings aren’t gymnasts.

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We look like best friends, but I’d just met this gal. Laura? Kelly? Pretty sure there was alcohol involved. I do remember that I was wearing my silver sandals that the dog had chewed on the heels. I kept wondering if anyone noticed the teeth marks in my shoes.

Alright, this is enough transparency and ego abuse for one night. Now I want to hear some of the insecurities behind your happiest pics.

AFTERTHOUGHTS:

In writing this post, I realized that being super self-conscious about my weight is a running theme in my life. That being the case, you’d think I’d work a little harder to stay away from sweets.

* I was going to link to the article, but now I can’t find the stupid thing. Maybe it wasn’t BLUNTMoms. Maybe it was In the Powder Room.

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19 Responses to FakeBook and the Truth Behind Our “Happiest” Moments

  1. Sarah Mac says:

    I read that post too (but I can’t remember where – might have been in The Powder Room or on a linky …).

    The last photo I posted on FB of me was in Clovelly. I was half way up a rock next to a waterfall wearing jeans that made me look fat and, because I’d forgotten to pack any sensible shoes, Surfer Dudes old trainers. My hair was scrapped up in a ponytail because the shower at the guest house was either boiling or freezing and I was stuck because I’m crap at rock climbing. The photo shows a huge arse and a terrified face with lank, windswept hair. It was pointless trying to ‘pretty it up’ with a caption so I just said:

    ‘Someone seems to struggle with distinguishing ‘best’ from ‘back’ when I say chose a side!’

    Like

  2. angelaweight says:

    LOL! Thanks for the laugh, Sarah. It’s always good to blame the photographer when you can. And I appreciate your honesty. Don’t you wish everyone was that open?

    Like

  3. Cathy says:

    I was going to mention the weight thing because YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I wish you saw yourself as I see you. These are beautiful photos of you despite the back stories!

    Anyway, I get your point and you are so right. Good for you.

    Like

  4. angelaweight says:

    Thanks, Cathy. Its funny how no matter how others see us, our imperfections are so glaring and unacceptable. Im trying to get better.

    Like

  5. CaptCruncher says:

    Sometimes brutally honest behind the scenes, like above, is hysterical! I have the happiest looking photos from the Bahamas during a hurricane with people who did not, even before the hurricane, want to be there. We looked so perfectly pleased!!! Well I was and was laughing at the rest of the crowd!

    Like

  6. Ellen Dolgen says:

    I look at these pix and see how much fun you are having! I don’t see muffin tops or even think about what crazy relationship issues are going on. Maybe that is what is great about pictures…we will smile even if we are standing by our sister who is a monster. As for Spanx…….I usually rip off my spanx after the second cocktail!

    Like

  7. loisaltermark says:

    I’ve finally reached an age where I no longer worry about what I look like in pictures – as you can tell if you’ve seen my FB page or blog lately! The behind-the-scenes true stories are always the best, and if people realized that others will relate way more to the mistakes and the silliness than perfection, it would take so much pressure off everyone!

    Like

  8. angelaweight says:

    I totally agree, Lois. BTW, your elephant trunk selfie is my favorite. Its hard to look glamorous being mauled by a pachyderm, but somehow you pull it off.

    Like

  9. elinwaldal says:

    Yes. Yes and yes. I personally want to attract authentic people into my life, people who share their real stories, good and bad. To me that’s why we are here, to connect, to share. As an aside I am with Cathy. You are gorgeous. 🙂

    Like

  10. angelaweight says:

    Oh youre so sweet, Ellin. I wasnt fishing for compliments, but i wont turn them awat.

    Like

  11. I see only shiny, happy people. Who are beautiful and muffin topless.
    I read that same post and wondered about my FB posts. Though most are of my grandkids, and we all know what hell it is behind the scenes with kids, right?

    Like

  12. angelaweight says:

    Lol, Lisa! FB shines everybody up.

    Like

  13. The truth makes for MUCH better reading!

    Like

  14. javaj240 says:

    Okay…. I loved, loved, loved this post.

    I love that you have “weight issues”, so do I. But, let me just say this: you look great in all of these pics (yes, even the muffin-top one) — you look like you’re having fun. Honestly.

    My blog is so filled with honesty that my husband and daughter refer to it as “Mom’s TMI blog”, LOL. My husband is of the opinion that our friends and neighbors do NOT need to know that we have mice living in our kitchen. I say, “Who cares. They’re making great copy.” (Although eradicating them is the end game. I swear!)

    When I have a moment I am going to read your blog in its entirety. You are my type of person. 🙂

    Like

  15. angelaweight says:

    Aw, thanks so much!!!! I just thoroughly enjoyed your Mets post. Im looking forward to getting to know you and your mice better. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I know the darn harsh self-examining in photos. Weight is bad and at my stage in life — I hate to admit, I self-edit those photos where I look “old.” For I’m trying to get better about that. Your title says it all FAKEbook. Awesome. Hit that one right on the head.

    Like

  17. Love the back story on all the photos! I’m equally hard on myself in photos too. I don’t think anyone looks at us as harshly as we do ourselves.

    Like

  18. Follower says:

    Love your blog! Always put a smile on my face even on the worst of days! And I love the Vikings costume!! How was your families Halloween this year? Did you all dress up??

    Like

  19. angelaweight says:

    Aw, thanks so much, “Follower.” Halloween was good. No costumes for thw grownups. No flipping off couches.

    Like

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