I honestly didn’t give it much thought.
I snapped a picture of myself with Abby and Ellie and stuck it up on Instagram. It was a sweet picture, but it got more attention than most of my other photos, and I knew it was because I had made a point of being make-up free in the shot. At the end of the caption I had written, “I think keeping promises is the new pretty.”
It got me thinking.
What if we really made the effort to let people into our reality instead of just giving them the best of us? Let’s face it-social media has provided us with unparalleled opportunities to filter ourselves and call it the norm.
Let’s take last night, for example.
I decided I was going to make a chicken pot pie from scratch. I did, and I Instagrammed this photo.
Not that’s there’s anything wrong with showing people what you’re eating for dinner, but there was more to the story.
Here’s what my hand looked like the next day.
Is it because I’m clumsy? Sure it is. But it’s also because I hardly ever cook, so when I went to grab my magnificent pot pie, I burned myself. I might have even said a bad word, but I’m not 100% on that one.
So, yes, I made a great dinner. And in other news, I had to remind myself how to preheat the oven.
The truth is, I would rather you see the pot pie than the blister.
I asked myself what my insecurities were, and while the list went on and on, here are a few of my top choices.
1. I care too much what people think about me.
2. I don’t feel like a good mom most of the time.
3. I wish I was more domestic.
4. I often care too much what people think of me.
5. I’m failing more than I’m not.
6. On occasion (and I may have mentioned this) I care too much what people think of me.
So, I’m starting my own Twitter/Instagram revolution, and I would love for you to join me. The next time you’re about to publish something that casts you in a perfect light, remember that the new pretty is found elsewhere. Instead, choose the version that tells more of the story…people are hungry to know they aren’t the only ones.
What do you struggle with as far as how you “present” yourself to others? Start there.
We could all use a reminder that life is filter-free and doesn’t always come out of the oven perfectly.
How about it, ladies? Are you up for the new pretty?
Make sure and use the hashtag #thenewpretty so we can all share a little more realistic corner of life….
By: Angie SmithLeave a Comment
Amy Hunt says
A revolution! 🙂
(I remember the other day when you mentioned on Twitter that you were thinking of making pot pie.)
Blessings friend, for living worship.
Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) says
Totally on board with this idea. Agree wholeheartedly.
Mary G says
Be prepared… others may treat you differently. That can be good, being real can really enhance relationships. But some people prefer to see the ‘old’ pretty because they don’t necessarily want to deal with your bumps, scars or other imperfections. Real definitely separates the wheat and the chaff ….
This is way too true! I’ve noticed major distance in one of my longest friendships because I chose to live more honestly.
But I’ve also been immensely blessed with amazing, honest friendships in return.
Southern Gal says
This sounds refreshing and scary at the same time. Being real takes courage, yes?
Robin Dance says
You wanna hear something funny, Angie? When I added a filter to a picture of me with some of my friends who are NOT online friends (both have FB accounts, but rarely say a word), they were INSULTED that I hadn’t uploaded it on Facebook as is. They both made comments to the effect “Did the original look THAT bad?”
The original was NOT great, the filter did maximize the “prettiness” of it, but they preferred au natural.
Since then, I’ve had a hard time using filters; if I do, it’s not to make it prettier, it’s to bring it more into the picture I thought I saw when I took the shot.
Thanks. Good message. Good point.
Marina Bromley says
Love it! I’m already a little TOO real in some areas of life, thanks to PTSD, but being a photo buff I usually put my best pic forward! Not anymore!!
Count me in!
This is the first time ever that I’ve met a real person who has PTSD. Its a really difficult place to be, here, inside of me with PTSD. Forever looking over my shoulder and checking 15 million times before I actually do anything. PTSD combined with Bi-Polar Disorder makes being a full-time mom one of the most difficult challenges of my life. We have four boys 16, 15, 13 and 12 who, fill my heart with joy, keep me laughing and loving and doing, daily! Separating them from the fear is, without a doubt the most difficult juggling acts ever and most days I fail miserably!
Thank you for being real! Thank you for being you!
I love this. If I instagram-ed, I’d totally join in. I might still tweet about it.
AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN!!! Bless you dearest!
Angie – So true and so timely. Thanks for posting this. We do each other no favors when we are less than authentic…and social media does complicate this for those of us (ahem…) who struggle with caring too much what others think of us. I’m with you 100%!
This is great. Being real is freeing!
I love it! And I remember the picture and thinking how pretty everyone was. I became a stay at home mom in July and stopped wearing make up everyday. I also readily avoid pictures on those days. But I have a child who loves to take phone pictures with me everyday. So if Angie can do it I guess I can too.
Oh Angie, just wonderful. Thank you for sharing!
My favorite quote is “I think keeping promises is the new pretty.” Could you talk more about this? You spoke about sharing more of yourself…about being more vulnerable…about letting out the full picture, but I’m curious to learn more about what you meant by “keeping promises”.
Such an interesting idea.
What comes to mind for me personally is a quote by Charlie Munger. (I’m paraphrasing) ‘The best way to get trust in this world is to deserve it.’
What if we replaced pretty and perfection with honesty and devotion?
Thanks for the inspirational post.
I agree, Angie…this has been on my heart recently. I think we are trying to sell ourselves the facade that we present because it is scary to admit that while we are juggling a million things…and may even be doing an ok job, THIS IS HARD. It feels wrong to admit that we feel frazzled or overwhelmed or incapable. I think if we shared “the new pretty” we could support each other and realize that we aren’t alone in those struggles!
Tonya Overstreet says
Love this idea!
I don’t wear makeup to drive my friends crazy! Most of them wear head to toe makeup! I do think sometimes I am the ugly duckling of the group. But I feel as if I am wearing a mask, trying to be someone I am not, in makeup. My hangup? My hair. People tell me I have beautiful hair. This year I just found God in a new way. To get “over” myself, I have completely cut it off. It is two inches long all the way around. Noone has said anything about my hair, usually that means they don’t like it. But God is showing me He thinks I am pretty.
Wow Kari! How very brave…you have definitely encouraged me with what you have shared. Way to go 🙂
Kari, take it from someone who has always had some type of hair issue (and my hair is just fine…I’m just never satisfied with it)—if you are at peace, that’s all that really matters. I’ve gone from shoulder length to about your current length (and no chemicals), and that is a big deal for an african-american woman. I’m now wearing it rather short cropped but full. When I see woman struggling with the effects of chemotherapy and loosing their hair, I am so ashamed of all my unnecessary hair drama.
1) I feel I am not a good mom the majority of the time.
2) I don’t think I am pretty
3) I find it difficult to carve out me time
4) I care too much about what others think of me
5) I have become patient because of how often others are patient with me, especially God.
6) I like this site because it reminds me other women feel like I do.
7) I’m not as good as I would like to be at setting good personal boundaries.
WOW! You took the words right out of my mouth. Every single one of them.
Annette, we may be soul sisters. 😉
Beth Williams says
You are a good mom, if your kids have food, clothing, shelter, love from you and hubby, and a good Christian background. None of us has to pretend to be Martha Stewart–Don’t care for her–I am who God created me to be!
You are pretty on the inside. Do you think of others and help out when you can? Do you treat others like you want to be treated–Then you are a beautiful reflection of God!
Don’t worry about what others think of you. You are who God created you to be–if they don’t like it tough!
May these thoughts bless you!
love it i just posted my first #thenewpretty pic on instagram!!!! #revolution
The new pretty? Not perfect, definitely not perfect at ANYTHING. But, I am always trying and that’s all I can do.
Becca Bailey says
THANK YOU. I struggle heavily with Social Media because it makes me so insecure. I want to post things sometimes, but then think my pictures or stories are not as fun/pretty/exciting/earthshattering/etc. as other peoples’ so I don’t.
I love this concept. I want to meet you someday and give you the biggest hug – you have blessed my heart so much – not just through this post, but through so much of your writing.
Danielle R says
I really like the idea of the “new pretty”. For many years I did not leave the house without any make-up. A couple of months ago I ended up having surgery on my neck. As a result I have a scar in the front of my neck for all to see. It is a constant reminder of the surgery I had. After the surgery, I was still having pain so I would just pull my hair up in a ponytail or a very loose bun. I could not be bothered with makeup. I even went out to the mall to meet my sister without any makeup and my hair pulled back. My sister said I looked good without any makeup. I was shocked! There are occasions when I put makeup on but most of the time I am au natural.
I struggle with:
– looking “washed out” with no makeup
– not being a good enough Mother/Wife
– wondering what people think when I am “real”
Beth Williams says
People will love you when you are real with them. I’m tired of people always looking and acting as if life were coming up roses. Everyone has troubles now and then. I just wish, especially at church, people would be open and honest and tell me how it’s going.
It’s refreshing to know that others are/have gone through what you’re experiencing and learning from their trials. I may also be able to offer advice from my experiences.
Please try to be open and honest about things!
I love this. I just read a friend’s post about the grace of God after she screamed at her kids. It’s just so relatable. Understanding God’s grace in the midst of our imperfection is really the only way He gets the glory. Thank you for sharing.
My top insecurities seem to match yours almost 100%. I am feeling overwhelmed and like a failure at home most days. Every day I find myself saying I should be a better mom and wife. Keep a cleaner house, care more about the way I appear to others, a better christian woman. The list goes on and on. Really need to get refocused on what really matters right now.
Thanks for the reminder Angie and I will be participating in the #newpretty for sure!
Love this so much!! Just instagrammed my first (of many, I am sure) pic into #thenewpretty – cant wait to see others joining in too. 🙂 i think this is just what social media needs!!
Thank you!! I completely agree. We aren’t doing others a favor by posting our “perfect” lives. We should also share our imperfections. Love this; I am totally on board.
What a cool idea! This could be pretty liberating.
I LOVE THIS! I have long struggled with insecurity, fear of what others thought, fear of being good enough, etc. Such a great idea to be real and true. Perhaps that is the new pretty!
I think being honest is much much better than not.
And you are honest. Thanks for your posts.
I’m not a tweet-er, but I certainly agree with your observation that social media creates way too many opportunities for us to “airbrush” our very identities. So true . . . . .
Thanks for the challenge to live authentically, both on the screen and in real-time.
Hi Angie! This blessed me. I like real. Sometimes I think I scare people with real. 🙂 My question is how do you balance real and privacy especially when serving in leadership positions? I just don’t want to get in his way either to be recognized for my supposed perfect life image or the truth of my imperfections. My goal is this… I will boast only in Jesus, his death and resurrection.
Nancy Roberts says
Thanks for the post Angie and sharing your heart. It’s so true that as women we struggle for identity. We often find women who try to compensate by covering up too much (always wearing make-up and careful about what they wear) or not doing anything (no make-up, etc). It seems both extremes are a way to deal with identity. At my ripe “old-age” of 47, I’m really trying to learn balance. For example, loving make up and fashion but also being real about myself and my age. I’m attractive, but not beautiful…that’s okay! Learning to appreciate beauty in myself and then being able to find it in others. Not just the outside, but in others creativity and uniqueness. I think we tend to vilify beauty because it can make us insecure. But to be honest, I love to look at beautiful people and things. It’s just learning to look at them and to NOT compare ourselves (and then thinking we aren’t valuable) is what is important. Then we can truly appreciate beauty and be able to find it in everyone and in daily life.
I will surprise and “shock” people with my imperfection, but I’m also growing and learning to better myself. Not for others, but because it feels good to grow. I think it may be learning to love our strengths and not “sweat” over our weaknesses. Oh, and when it comes to domestic stuff…I’m still learning not to associate my home or housekeeping with my identity. If that were the case, I would be in trouble. Our house is a small cottage and I have weeds in my driveway and stacks of books everywhere in the house. It’s all okay…!
Oh, and by the way, You are amazing!! Thanks for letting me ramble and have a super wonderful week! Blessings, Nancy
Beth Williams says
AMEN SISta! I’m 47 also and totally agree with what you said!
Fear of not measuring up certainly keeps me from voicing any opinion or thought on so many occasions! Thanks for the shot of encouragement!
Love this. Thanks for a gentle reminder that we are none perfect… and that’s ok.
wow. this hit so close to home and it was so refreshing to see “the new pretty”….honestly, it’s difficult for me to look at Facebook and see the”masks” we ALL wear….it “wears” on me. I love the NEW PRETTY!
Ginny B. says
Thank you so much for this post. As a stay-at-home mom to 2 preschoolers, being insecure at times and desperately seeking encouragement and camaraderie, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read someone’s push for others to be “real” and “authentic”. I find many women writing posts and running blogs, who aren’t perfect, but portray themselves as such and really don’t provide any encouragement to those of us who are painfully aware of our own shortfalls. I usually end up feeling worse after seeing a photo or reading yet another post about all their accomplishments. I applaud your honesty and your desire to not only be more honest about your portrayal of yourself, but encouraging others to do the same. Well done and very admirable.
shelly foster says
1. I struggle with my weight and feeling ugly because of weight
2. I worry people won’t like me
3. I tend to over help people and over accomdate people
4. I worry I am not a good enough mom – cooking, cleaning, doing stuff with my son. Meanwhile working full time outside the home and being single mom worry not doing good enough..
5. Worried about money always being tight and my son hearing me say “We can’t afford that right now” so much
6. Last one is worrying I will never find that good christian husband….
Reading everyone’s list has helped SOO much!!! Sometimes you feel like you are alone in your struggle….
And this is why u r loved cuz u r real and u challenge us to show real life.
Fabulous message. Thanks for your wise observations and insight. This is an area I think about a lot. I try to do my best to post pictures of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes a funny caption can also help. For instance- I made cookies last night and posted a picture but the ironic part is that my picky eater probably won’t touch them, and I said so. I think the light hearted caption helped remind others, and myself, that we don’t have it all together when it comes to raising our families. 🙂
Rachel Joyce says
Hey, Sister-friend. I used to care way too much about other’s opinions of me, of my looks, my domestic skills and of my parenting to the point I became very depressed. Reading a book called “WHEN PEOPLE ARE BIG AND GOD IS SMALL” changed my life. It helped me to remember that the only opinion that really counts is God’s. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with people pleasing. And please get someone to kiss your boo-boo for me. Blessings.
I am so with you! Social media often gives us the wrong idea about other people and we start comparing our mess to their photo-shopped, Sunday-best slice of life. It’s time for that to be over.
this actually makes me wish I HAD instagram!
liza lee grace says
For some reason, I don’t mind sharing baking fails. Maybe because there’s always a good back story to them. But other things I prefer to ignore myself, so I don’t want to share it with anyone else!
I took an instagram picture the other day of me lying on the couch looking miserable (I’ve been sick). I posted it to my account, but didn’t share it anywhere else. I might have to change that…
The thing I always remember about a picture that makes me cringe is that I really did look like that, in that moment. It’s real. It’s me. The picture is just a permanent reflection of that instant.
I definitely agree, I think we worry way too much more about what people think than we do about what Jesus thinks.
I can so relate, but for me it’s more about my house! It’s like I expect people to believe I live in a model home…not a thing out of place…ever! Totally unrealisitic I know, but that doesn’t stop me. Don’t know why I set myself up to always fall short.
I am going through what I guess is called peri-menopause. Hormones wreak havoc on me during certain days and so do other symptoms, including extreme tiredness. That, along, with having gone through a very difficult year and a half (some of the trials are still ongoing) puts me in a place where my “anything” for God, is just managing my chores, my church duties, and not succumbing to hormonal depression nor to comparing myself to anyone else, as I ride this emotional roller coaster, trying to hang on to God as tightly as I know He is hanging on to me. The new pretty!
Hi, I really agree with what you said today. Most of the time I really feel like a crap mom and the rest of the time I care about what people think of me too much! So I am really trying to stop caring about what people think and let them into my real life. I AM SO FOR LETTING PEOPLE SEE THE REAL ME AND NOT JUST THE TOTALLY SPOTLESS HOUSE I HAVE SPENT 2 DAYS GETTING READY FOR THEM TO SEE! Or the perfectly prepared meal or the totally perfect outfit. I am good just as I am and you know what, if they don’t like it then they are not worth it.
Beth Werner Lee says
I come from the other extreme (I went to high school in Dallas and rebelled when I got to college in Chicago; I can wear make up but usually don’t) but I’m cheering you on! Love the “keeping promises is the new pretty,” it so follows 1 Peter 3:3-4!
Jennifer O'Brien says
Beautifully put! 🙂
Love the new pretty!!! Right there w/ you!
Agree! And yes, there may be some who can’t deal with the “real” you, but you will be expending so much less energy trying to be “pretty”…energy that can be put other places.
Deena Burnham says
I guess I am in the dark ages…I only have a blog. I’m not sure how a “tweet” or an “instagram” would work. Probably would have something to do with having a smart phone and my phone and user aren’t that smart.
A month ago, I did not know how I would live to tell the story of today without a stack of shut-off notices. No shut-off notices and a list of people who will be in the acknowledgements in a book I may write someday.
I had $2 left from a gift and Starbucks in Safeway has a $2 special…so I am sitting in the window watching the rain wondering what God will do in the next 30 days. I am praying for a job and asking that I have learned all I needed to know about joblessness and sharing with the disadvantaged from the inside – out.
Dana Butler says
Awesome. Yay for the REALITY of living life together… good, bad, ugly… for Jesus’ glory. Beautiful!!
Michelle Rodgers says
I sorta started the same thing this week. I have stopped photoshopping my wrinkles 🙂 They make me who I am and I am proud of the ordinary me that lives here. The ordinary me is my new pretty!!
Labels … and Perfection. | All The Grace Between says
[…] I am afraid it will come across as passive-aggressive compliment fishing … but then I read this, about a new kind of pretty, and I wanted to tell you how I am really feeling. And how I am really […]
Alicia Simpson says
Gosh, I love this. Thanks Angie!
Oh! Thank you so much! I almost cried! I long for it to be ok that I’m not perfect. Even to let myself know I’m not perfect. And about “not caring what other people think”. How do you LIVE that?
This is FABULOUS! It’s so refreshing to see women being authentic!! Needless to say, that is beautiful within itself.
Beth Williams says
I used to fear getting up in front of people–for fear they would laugh at my speech. I have a speech impediment from 2 punctured eardrums early in life. As I got older and wise in God–I have learned to give way to fear a little. Now I’m able to get up in front of my church and do sign language to music.
I don’t worry much about what people think of me–I just try to be the best me I can. I also want to be real with people and let them know I’m hurting/having issues. They can pray for me and give me advice.
Amber C. says
Ahhhh, yes. This is so true. In fact, I got a facebook message this week from a friend I haven’t spoken with in close to a year. She closed with a statement about how she hopes my life is as good as it seems on facebook. I cringed, because, while trying (ironically) to be a very transparent writer, on fb, most things – esp. photos – are more upbeat and happy. I wrote back: “Nothing is ever as good as it seems on facebook.” I apparently need to stretch my authenticity to this form of social media.
Love this and just posted a tweet! I realized that I was being inauthentic about a year ago and changed the name of my website/twitter account to what it is now…previously being all about being thin and fit, I try so much harder now to focus on health. Although when I fall short of my high expectations for myself I still kick myself when I\’m down, I\’m working on it and, as a new pretty revolutionary, I recognize that being a work in progress is nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s start a movement, people!
Love this and just posted a tweet! I realized that I was being inauthentic about a year ago and changed the name of my website/twitter account to what it is now…previously being all about being thin and fit, I try so much harder now to focus on health. Although when I fall short of my high expectations for myself I still kick myself when I’m down, I’m working on it and, as a new pretty revolutionary, I recognize that being a work in progress is nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s start a movement, people!
I’m Sorry « Life Through My Eyes says
[…] in October, Angie Smith wrote this post about “The New Pretty.” She talked about starting a new revolution of showing pictures of our reality rather than […]