let's be real

7:45 AM

I shared a post recently about how I put a filter on an already beautiful sunset. When I got home from CVS and was hanging up my photos, I just kinda sat back, thinking. Why had I done that? The camera had captured the sunset that was already beautiful--why did I feel a need to put on an filter? Why did I still feel it was inadequate to share, simply as it was, raw and beautiful and natural. 

In the morning I have a habit. I look in the mirror to see how much acne had 'grown' on my face overnight, if any scars from previous acne has faded. Before I go out of the house, I make sure I cover them. I don't want anyone to see. I don't want them to see that a twenty year old has as many black heads and growssness as she did when she was ten. I don't want them to see the scars. I look more beautiful without them there.

But isn't that what we all think...no matter where the scars are, don't we all find them better hidden? Is it more than just the acne...does it go deeper? How we become hiding not just the physical scars but the emotional ones too? Have we become a people that no longer wishes to be human? Because that's what our scars make us. 

Yesterday I found myself seeing how many friends have liked my IG and socials....whether or not people have commented on certain photos, what their thoughts were, how many followers I have. Great. I've just got sucked into social media like I never wanted. My goal was to spread light...not count followers. 

This past summer while swimming with a friend, I commented about her freckles and how I've never noticed them before. "They're beautiful," I told her.
She looked at me like I was crazy. "I hate them -- that and my hair."

She's beautiful and she doesn't even know it. 

Some people would kill for her looks. She's not perfect, no, but none of us are. Her wildly curly is envied and those freckles -- they're adorable.
Why do we hide features other people love? Why this endless cycle of wishing away what other people want? Why are we never satisfied? We crave what other people hate, and the cycle goes on. Why this endless wanting to be 'beautiful' when we're already there? Why must their be stipulations for a certain type of beauty? Why can't we as a world just stand up and say, "we're all beautiful because that's how we're created"?

But the world has become about filters, likes and dislikes, covering up the scars, and looking better then we really are. Even makeup commercials tell you you need longer lashes, a bigger smile...cover more of those zits. They tell you that you shouldn't be happy with you are you right now, that you're not perfect enough, good enough.

This morning, sitting in bed, the morning sun just rising over the browned grass of fall, I thought..."If you had no one else to compare yourself to, if you didn't have your laptop and phone, if it was just you at this moment without every expectation commercials and people throw at you...would you be happy with you? If filters and make-up and deodorant and CGI and photoshop, didn't exist...would you be happy with you?"

And honestly?
I probably would be.

Guess what? These photos I took have no filter. Just realness. 

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10 of your thoughts

  1. ugh! Pimples are horrible! I wear glasses and the glasses tend to get . dirty and spread acne where the frame was on my head, and I run a lot, so ya. Acne is miserable. Especially acne on the spinal cord!!

    1. The ear is a pretty bad place for pimples too!! I have one right now, and boy does it hurt!!!- June

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Kara.
    That last paragraph was convicting.... I can imagine that Eve, the first woman in existence, probably felt pretty free before the fall. She had no expectations set on her, nothing to compare herself to. We can live in freedom too. We don’t have to be fake, put up masks... yet I think we often forget that we don’t have to hide. I think we often don’t realize we do.
    Great post. <3

    1. That is very true -- I never thought about Eve before in that way. She was free without the expectations of the world. But now we have so many voices telling us how to live, it's so easy to accept lies. <3

  3. I totally get this. Comparison is something I struggle with for sure, and you hit the nail on the head - societal expectations and ads and social media only make the problem greater. It's a shame that we often can't see our own beauty. This is something I'm trying to work on, and I think praying and getting closer to the Lord helps. I love the photos without filters. :) They are wonderful!

    1. Aw thanks Erin!!! It really is a shame, and breaks my heart every time I see a girl calling herself fat and ugly and unacceptable because of what peers or media is telling her.
      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Great post, Kara. It's so true that we have a tendency to put filters on everything and on ourselves. Thanks for sharing! <3

    Lilian - greenteawithbooks.wordpress.com

  5. BUT: at the same time we should make sure we don’t look nasty ( as in a sense where you are physically nasty , not as in the way your body is.) I know this should be a obvious thing. But sometimes it should be a must do that is not done. In running you get sweaty and if you don’t take the time to shower quickly afterwords , acne amount in your body will increase and that is on you. Same for other scenarios . So we should not be ashamed for the way you look , but at the same time , make sure our bodies are clean . ( Kara, I hope this post is ok. I think it is but I wanted to toss it out that sometimes hygiene when it isn’t thinker about can cause issues.) Many people say they aren’t pretty and hide their real self with filters. If that photo of you is a unfiltered or whatever one , I think you should know ( PLEASE don’t take this the wrong way, some people do take compliments about how people look as weird .) You are a very pretty young woman . I really like your blog also. So NEVER think you ain’t good enough . I hope some day there will be some spouse for me that has some of the same characteristics as you . Along with many other characteristics.


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