Monday, October 03, 2011

perfect is only a facade

I've talked about jealousy before on here, but I've continued to think about it so I thought I'd follow it up and expound a little. Specifically, I want to talk about the perfection perpetuated by blogging, how it makes me feel, and what can help get rid of it.

Some blogs are emotional dumping grounds, which is fine, but most of the ones I follow are filled with stunning photography and/or well-formulated words about life. That's a lot of what I like to read and what inspires me, so that's just fine. But sometimes, when reading a blog, I just have to shake my head. It's too perfect. When every sentence has some variation of the word "happy" or "love". When there are dozens of comments proclaiming how talented said blogger is. And when I'm hard pressed to find anything I can identify with. 

All those posts about how wonderful your day was make me smile at first, but then I sigh. I spent my day doing homework and watching TV. A post about that would be positively boring compared to yours. Everything I do is boring compared to you. I am happy, I suppose, but I'm not interesting. And so the doubts about myself begin again. I'm not a good writer, I'm not a good photographer, I'll never get any more followers. I don't have that many friends or do that many fun things or take that many pictures. It's a spiral, and when taken too far, jealousy can lead to hatred. I definitely don't hate anyone -- I don't believe in wasting energy that way. But this is a feeling we've probably all had, and it's not a fun one.

This is something I've realized only as I'm writing this. I used to only want to read happy, pretty photography blogs, so sweet they were saccharine. But now, I find myself searching for the real. For the raw, the truthful, the beautiful. I want to read something I can relate to. If that's about being stressed by school or just loving cats, so be it. Just write the truth, not an embellished version of it. If you're feeling happy, write about that. If you're feeling upset, let it out. I know no one's life is perfect. Write about what's on your mind, not what you think people want to read. It's okay if it's not perfect -- perfect's only a facade, really. Write about your thoughts, really, honestly, and in your own way, and it will be more interesting than any cookie-cutter blog about how much someone loves vintage. Guarantee.

It's hard. I know it's hard. It's so much easier just to take a few pictures of a flower and call it a day. I've done that before and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it every once and a while. It's your blog, after all. But I'd much rather read, or see through pictures, your thoughts and experiences. We probably have a lot in common, and if we'd both stop trying to cover it up with glossy and edited versions of the truth, we could be friends. Whaddaya say?

The internet has created entirely new ways for people to become jealous. With so many bloggers only showing what they think is their very best, the notion that "everyone is better than me" and the subsequent inadequate feeling is further propelled. But it doesn't need to be like that. If people were more honest and open and let go of their insecurities, we'd probably all be happier.

That's my two cents. What do you think?



  1. thank you for this. it's basically just what i needed.

  2. That's what I'VE been thinking ever since I started readuing some blogs! They're just TOO happy all the time, and people tend to not appreciate the happy things when there's nothing to compare it to. You need the sad times in life to make the happy thoughts seem EXTRA happy.


  3. Great thoughts here. As a writer I struggle with finding the balance between depressing my readers and being over "sweet". You gave me something good to think here. Thanks. :)

  4. thank you so much Kendall!! sometimes I read beautiful posts, and just think "really"? I mean, what about the pain, the testing, the trials? Aren't those important too? Sharing those alongside the joys balance a blog and a life out so well.
    You've inspired me! I think I'm going to write about that soon! haha! :)

  5. this is amazing. I whole-heartily agree!

  6. I totally agree with you...
    and I see alot of other people agreeing with you too. But what bothers me is that we all agree with you, yet we 100% fail to stop pretending, to stop being so darn fake, and to support each other... our NORMAL neighbors and friends.
    It's frustrating Kendall... so frustrating. And I just don't know what to do anymore.

  7. I think what you said is true. Many people's blog only portray the happy, fuzzy things in life without touching the difficult reality of many things. I enjoy blogs filled with both the beautiful and the nitty-gritty. It's life, after all.

  8. you totally just jumpstarted my excitment for blogging again. and I'm not kidding. I read this post then took a shower and because the shower is the best place for thinking about deep stuffs, I couldn't stop thinking about this post and how much I agree with you. I've seen so many other posts about how their blog isn't "real" enough or blahblahblahblahblah. this post was different to me. so, thank you, kendall, for making me realize what this is about. I am so so so SICK of saccharine (PERFECT WORD for them btw) blogs. I'm sick of the perfection, the utter fake-ness. I'm just done with it.


    Done with my long comment. :)

    Thank you Kendall! :)

  9. I totally agree with this post!

  10. Kendall Cat - I am not a big blog reader. I like to read yours and of course Maura's, so I cannot really comment but I understand what you are saying. After reading this post, I wanted to tell you about a friend of mine who just started a blog to "keep herself from curling up into a ball and watching Jerry Springer all day". She just recently decided to send her son to military school because of the destructive decisions he was making. He is your age and not so perfect. My friend's first post was September 23rd. I would suggest reading it from the beginning. The blog is She is one blogger who does not pretend her life is perfect.
    Aunt Nancy

  11. i totally agree. first of all you are a talented photograhper and writer, way more so than us. i mean almost every blog me and my sister read has over a hundred followers, sometimes two. we only have like 30 so i do feel a little jealous at times, especially when i think they only get followers because their life seems perfect and fun to read about. we literally blog about what we watched on tv or pictures taken with a bad camera, i'm not saying we're not guily of trying to be more intresting on our blog but we don't have that perfect life, no one does. i really liked this post. you've got a new follower out of me.

  12. This post is so well written , I love your blog!

  13. i could not agree with you more.

    this power is amazing, this power of being real. i do my best to not be full of "fluff." i am starting to really dislike "fluffy stuff."

    give me raw. give me passion. give me Jesus. that's all i want.

  14. Oh my goodness. You just put into words what I've been feeling lately. Wow!

  15. I agree with what you are saying. I my self haven't felt jealous about other people blogs or follower numbers, but I do know what you're saying about those "perfect" bloggers. There is one out there in particular that seriously annoys me, because that person obviously thinks a lot about his/herself (I'm not going to name even the gender, so you'll just have to go with one gender and run with it). That person has the "perfect blog" with the "perfect followers" and "perfect photos" and so on. Still everyone raves about this blog, everyone raves about this person and everyone follows them and wishes they were them. I just wish everyone - including this person - would just be real.. just plain real!

  16. Kendall,
    If you talk as nonconforming as this you can sit down with me and we can chat anytime. I like people who aren't afraid to admit their emotions. better to spill the truth than to always be talking about hot fudge sundaes and the precious "little, simple moments" in life. What about overcoming difficulties? Is life really all about swooning over forever 21, drinking starbucks, and making crafts?

  17. you are so right.
    you know, my second post *ever* on my blog was exactly like what you just described, and it was wasn't really ME.
    but in my third post, after reading some other bloggers' opinions on this issue, i find that you're so right, and decided to just be REAL.
    thank you for that. :)


  18. Okay, wonderful wonderful post. I like your two cents. Why can't we all be as wise? :)

  19. Thank you for saying this. I have struggled so much with trying to be as "interesting" as my friends. I'm glad that I read this post. Maybe it didn't brighten my day, but it's the truth. The raw truth. I know I've covered up my horrible days before.

    And Sheean- you are absolutely right. Sure, you've got to treasure the little moments, but you get the real message of life as well.

    I think all of the other comments were just as spot on.

    Thank you.

  20. I completely agree with you! I like blogs much better when you can relate to them. They seem more like real people. :)


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