Today I was tagged in a Facebook post to share a photo of myself and tag other women I thought would play along. The purpose? According to the post, doing this is supposed to be something positive, a way of building up other women, encourage them instead of criticizing.
Let that marinate in your mind for a moment…
Here is what was posted on my wall.
“Challenge accepted. I have been tagged by [Name Removed]. So here it goes! If I didn’t tag you, please don’t be offended here. I tried to pick people who I think would play along! All too often.. we women, find it easier to criticize each other instead of building each other up. With all the negativity going around let’s do something positive!! Upload 1 picture of yourself.. ONLY you. Then tag 40 or more gorgeous women to do the same!”
Now, I have to ask, how does this encourage and build up the self-esteem of any female? Is posting a picture of yourself on social media, to a page followed by your friends, really going to boost your confidence? Probably not. Sure, it might give you a temporary feeling of happiness when you start getting likes and comments about how pretty you are, but the feeling won’t last, because you know these are the expected reactions. No one is going to say your muffin top is showing, or that your hair looked better last week, or that you should see a doctor about that spot on your face. These are your friends, remember?
Back to my original question: how will this post that is circulating accomplish anything more than clogging up news feeds with pictures expectantly awaiting praise from a selected group of friends? I am going to go out on a limb here and say it won’t. Challenging women to post a picture of themselves in order to help with self-esteem is like trying to end world hunger by taking a picture of a seed packet and posting it online.
I may have a better idea, but only if you really have a heart to lift women up, to encourage and make them feel better about themselves. Now, you have to be ready for this because it involves immersion into the real world, you know that place that exists outside of a screen? There will be no Photoshop, no filters, no way to alter your appearance, it will be the real you stepping out the door. Ready?
Now, here comes the hard part, because it’s not about you, it’s about encouraging others. Find someone—really anyone. Now, go up to her and give her a compliment. I know, I know, I forgot to mention you’d actually have to communicate with another human. She’s probably going to look confused at first, I mean, eye contact is practically a thing of the past, but to speak to and be kind to a complete stranger—unheard of! Let her process what just happened, but while you do, watch her eyes, watch them light up at your encouraging words. Now, look at her mouth, it’s probably smiling, and oh- my-gosh, she’s about to say something, I bet it’s…”thank you”. Well done, you just made someone happy.
Will doing this change the world and cause women to walk around with a renewed sense of purpose, a new happiness bubbling inside of them? I doubt it. But, what it will do is light up one person’s day, probably causing them to do the same for someone else—what a cool chain reaction that would be.
Now, if you still want me to post a photo of myself, here ya go… I like to keep things real, and this is what happens when you drop your phone on camera mode. 😵