Fillers, Filters and Family: Escaping the Comparison Trap

If we’re being honest, I’ve invested a lot of money {and a lot of years} into some excellent therapy. But there’s something I still can’t escape. It will trap me if I’m not careful.

It is quite sneaky.

It is haunting.

It is everywhere I turn.

It is subtle.

It is ugly.

It is humbling.

It is in every single one of us.

It shows up when I least expect it.

It is quiet.

It is damaging.

Have you guessed it?

It’s comparison.

This topic is tricky to write about because it covers topics that we all have opinions on. Maybe even strong opinions. We might even be vocal about these strong opinions. They might unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings. What happens if we CHANGE our said strong opinion?! *gasp*. See, like I said, it’s tricky. Do you know what else comparison is? It’s contradicting. It’s contradicting as hell. Here, let me show you…

Filters

unfiltered vs filtered close ups of woman's face

Truthfully, the dang filters on Instagram are what triggered me to land on this topic. I don’t know why we can’t just show up raw, with messy hair, without makeup, in unflattering angles, with mismatched pajamas, and with unappealing backdrops. I get it, its not as appealing to the “audience”. But I argue that what is LESS appealing is the fact that we filter so dang much.

The filters that get me the most are the ones that are so subtle that we believe the person looks that good. We believe the person {or product or home} in front of the camera is that much better than what we are working with. Heck, I’ve seen people show how tired their eyes are or how they have a blemish, but they also have a *subtle* filter over their face. So, of course, I start comparing my tired eyes and my blemishes to theirs.

Even when I KNOW it’s filtered, I compare.

But look, I’m guilty of it too! You won’t find a picture on my social media feed that isn’t edited. I appreciate the more vibrant colors that make the picture a little brighter. I balance it by never filtering anything on my stories. What you see is what you get. Let the people see the realness behind the camera. But wait…so contradictory. See what I mean?

Fillers

side by side comparison of women's hair- one not colored and one colored

With each passing month, it feels like the women around me are starting to look younger and more vibrant while I look more tired and have more wrinkles than those 10 years older than me. I understand that what these women are doing feels good to them. And, I respect it {you do you, boo}. Undeniably, fillers and diets and Botox and enhancement surgeries are very prevalent in society.

I understand that the way in which we, as women, view ourselves often matters a lot more to us than how others view us. I have found there seems to be some respect among the female culture about letting other women pursue ways in which they feel most beautiful. But, for every botoxed beauty queen there is a homesteader embracing her gray hair. And, while they might respect each other’s choices for beauty, there is silent comparison happening. *how can she put so many chemicals into her?* *how can she let herself go?* Confusing. Contradicting. And, most of all, heartbreaking.

I admit, my stance on all things physical appearance is ever-changing. Just because I haven’t had Botox yet doesn’t mean I won’t. I swore I would never bleach my hair, and I sit here with red in my hair that was only achieved by bleaching my hair.

And I don’t regret it.

Family

family of 3 playing together in backyardIt started once I had a newborn at the same time as my best friend. Why wasn’t my baby hitting the milestones her baby was? And so, it went. Do they really always look as good as they do in those family pictures?!

Then it seemed everyone suddenly needed a bigger and better house once they started raising destructive tiny humans. Better have the safest {but nicest} car to lug those kids around in. Make sure they go to a preschool that will prepare them for college, if not, will your kiddo ever keep up? While we’re at “keeping up”, is your house clean? It better be. Also, if you don’t outsource a house cleaner can we even be friends?! {side note I do NOT have a house cleaner—wait, did I just compare myself mid-sentence? *sigh*}.

Are you feeding your family “junk food” and silently comparing yourself to the “organic” family? Is your kid on a select sports team? Are they competing by the time they are 5? Better catch up or your kid will face comparison…THE AUDACITY!

Dang. I’m exhausted now, aren’t you?!

Through a lot of meaningful conversations I’ve had, a common theme I’ve noticed when talking about comparison is…money. Show me the dang money {no, please don’t, I might start sweating}. It’s the root of comparison. Money provides opportunity. And where there is opportunity {or lack of opportunity} there is self-doubt and comparison.

My joy starts fading the moment comparison shows its ugly face. It’s sometimes subtle, and it makes me doubt myself. Sometimes it’s obvious and stops me in my tracks. Through all my personal growth, I can say with confidence I no longer let comparison be a compass for my life decisions. But will I ever completely outrun it? Will I ever be immune to it? Only time will tell.


 

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Becca is a small-town {and likely barefoot} Louisiana girl who’s journey to Texas was unexpected to say the least. After getting her Masters in Social Work from LSU, she spent a few years working in mental health before she found her true social work love in hospice care. Not long after getting hitched to the best guy she knows, Becca and her husband welcomed their full of life red headed son {2018} and they now refer to themselves as “the big 3”! Fast forward to early 2021 when Becca was diagnosed with something that changed their lives forever and so, they picked up and headed west. What was supposed to be a short time in Houston for these small-town folks turned into a big city romance, a mortgage, some unexpected friendships, and a few opportunities to grow. Some might say Becca tends to err on the side of sarcasm and stubbornness. But those same people would also say that Becca is brave and compassionate. She’s a straight shooter, a little bit crunchy, and a lover of all things love. When she’s not building forts or playing pretend, you can find Becca roaming the isles at the grocery store, cooking for hours, or snuggled up with a good book. Follow her journey on Instagram at @thisblissfulpursuit.

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