By Nicole Merritt of jthreeNMe
I can already imagine the negative comments this article is going to receive.
“Hypocrite.” “Fake.” “What a dumb b#tch.”
Yep, I am quite sure that these are just a few of the ways I will be described; maybe not by you, but surely by quite a few members of the general public.
The judgmental ones.
The ones with a tendency toward being an a**hole.
The tagline for my site is “imperfectly authentic,” as it quite perfectly describes myself and my life.
IN. MY. OPINION.
And, if you ask anybody who knows me, I think they would agree that 95% of what I write and most of the images that I share are a pretty darn accurate depiction of me, my spouse, my generally happy children, and our crazy, messy, tantrum-filled lives.
My pictures and my words are raw and honest, and they are delivered to my readers in the same way I would have a conversation. My tone, my sentiments, my attempts at humor; they are the same things you will hear from me in conversation at morning drop-off, afternoon-pickup, or at girl’s night.
One thing I will freely admit…
I FILTER MY PICTURES. Well, most of them anyway.
From “monotone” to “street” and “dramatic warm” to “dramatic cool” — I FILTER THE CRAP OUT OF MY PICTURES.
And, I am absolutely not ashamed. And, you shouldn’t be either.
Nope, not in the least, because guess what?
Filtering our images — with standard filters, of course; we are not talking Photoshop here — does not make us inauthentic or any less real, and here’s why:
- You cannot filter emotion into or out of a picture. Nope, my child’s smile and that look in their eye is 100% genuine and mom or situation-induced.
- You cannot filter an honest connection into or out of a photo. If the connection between subjects is forced and too staged, it will look as such no matter what filter you coat the image in.
- Using a filter is a quick way to give yourself a confidence boost. And you freakin’ deserve one and so do I, so take it!
- Using a filter is a convenient way to make the messiness of life with children look slightly less disheveled. It’s so easy for us mothers and parents to get discouraged when life gets messy and crazy, so why not simply adjust the filter on your images as a way to look at life through a more light-hearted lense, so to say.
- Using a filter is a way to enhance the inherently beautiful. If the image lacks beauty on its own within its subjects or the surroundings, there is no way to filter beauty into a less-than-appealing image.
- Filters let you recall your life via a highlight reel and who the heck doesn’t love to share their “best of”?
- Curiosity is authentic and real and often exciting and filters, well, they help keep others curious about you and your life; how fun is that — for you and for them? “Is she born with it or is it her IG filter??”
- Using filters regularly really makes any photo you hashtag with #nofilter that much more appealing. It’s just the truth.
Listen, although the mark of being a parent is that you are the authority figure and “the one in control,” the fact is that so much of parenting is out of your control.
Your kid’s mid-shopping grocery store meltdown — outside of your control.
Your child’s desire to wear the same pink tutu everyday for a week without a wash — outside of your control.
The poop, the vomit, the snot — it is all outside of your control.
The inevitable exhaustion — once again, out of your control.
What is not out of your control is your use of filters on your photos. You have complete control in that department, and my suggestion to you is to harness the crap out of your right to overlay whatever damn filter you want over the images you choose to share with the world. And don’t, not for one second, be ashamed of doing so.
Rachel Wolchin is quoted as saying that “we can’t control the filters others use when they look at us.” That’s correct, Rachel, and because of that I proudly control which filters I use when I choose to share myself with the world.
About the Author
Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole’s work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Sammiches & Pysch Meds, FamilyShare, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe.com and as @jthreenme on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram & Twitter!