When I started this blog last summer, I had several selfish motivations: 1) I wanted to keep a record of my experience after hormonal birth control; 2) I wanted to find a community of people who were experiencing similar things; and 3) I hoped I could start writing for fun again after abandoning this particular pastime for years and years while in various college degree programs. And, obviously, I wanted validation in the form of comments and likes, because status updates just weren’t cutting it for me anymore.
However, I was also inspired to start writing openly about all the gross things that happen to me physically and emotionally. At a time when literally billions of people post the daily happenings of their lives on social networking sites and we have all the data in the world available to us via Google in our back pockets, it stands to reason that this totally voyeuristic, borderline intrusive, 24-hour personal news cycle yields unavoidably honest information. In my experience, however, I think internet profiles and cell phone photo filters allow people an unprecedentedly enormous platform upon which to polish and improve their personal lives to the point of perfection. You used to have to wait ten years until your high school reunion to feel terrible about your accomplishments – now, all you have to do is log on to Facebook.
As a voyeur and a hypochondriac, with an insatiable curiosity about the normality of my experiences, all of these carefully manicured public profiles upset me. I feel like social networking is the (constantly streaming) digital version of a chipper, noncommittal, totally fake “Good!” in response the question, “How are you???” Guess what, everyone. I know you are not that good.
Also, at the most basic level, I am a gross person, and I’m tired of seeing other people only pretend to honest. Obviously, this does not just happen on social media. It happens everywhere. Exhibit A:
My commitment to being as shameless as possible here makes me uncomfortable with sharing this blog with very many people I know, which in turn makes me feel like a hypocrite. Slowly, I’m starting to lift the veil. More people who know me in real life can now peruse the months I wrote exclusively about peeing on sticks and picking at my skin and washing my hair with bar soap. And ultimately, I like to think I’ll share it with everyone. Surprisingly, I’m motivated to do this not only because I want more followers. I’m at a point in my life where I could not care less what unflattering things people think or say about me (I still care about the positive stuff, though, so keep that coming, okay?). As a girl who lived a full decade of my life in all-consuming fear of what those around me thought of how I looked, I figure there’s no better way to really prove that I’ve turned a corner than to publish to the universe close-up photos of my breakouts.