It’s Saturday evening. A quick scan of my Facebook feed reveals an interesting new music video by Colbie Callait. (Watch it below if you haven’t already.) The tune I can’t get out of my head chants:
You don’t have to try, try, try, try…You don’t have to try, try, try, try…You don’t have to try…Yooou don’t have to try
It’s Sunday morning. The one day a week when we always we leave the house and I can’t wear workout clothes. After feeding four bowls of instant oatmeal and cups of diluted juice, I down my own cream-laden mug of coffee. I swallow hard, busy the kids in an activity, and close my bathroom door. It’s my time to try.
I stare at the blank canvas of my face. Some major work will be required here this morning. Last night’s sugar binge, combined with the movie that wasn’t turned off until midnight, has written its mark all over my face.
First, I try to tweeze the rogue hairs that have appeared seemingly overnight, after a thorough cleansing reveals new growth between my eyebrows and under my jaw. Then, it’s time to try to cover all those imperfections on my skin: the chicken pox mark from when I was eight, the scars left by a few mean pimples that attacked during my late teens, and all of those spots that show I’ve spent way too much time in the sun.
Age-defying moisturizer, flawless-coverage primer, time-denying, wrinkle fill-in cream, and a few coats of skin-replenishing foundation later, I’m making progress. I’m trying to make progress at least.
Next it’s time to try to make my eyes look bigger, my lips look fuller, and my cheeks look like this not-even-close-to-twenty-year-old still has a youthful glow.
Now, to try to make my hair smooth, not frizzy; try to get my skirt to hang smooth over my hips and derriere by choosing just the right firming and suffocating undergarments. Try to find a matching top that doesn’t make others wonder if I’m pregnant again and then a coordinating necklace to draw attention away from all the work I’ve just done to try to make my body look better.
I try. And, try. And, try. And, then try some more.
I remember the song. I hum the infectious tune in my head. Maybe it’s time to stop trying so hard.
But, to simply “stop” trying. That’s foreign and awkward. It’s risky. We try because, in part, like the song reveals…We want to be liked. And, we think that the way we look plays a really important part in being accepted.
It’s true. I know, it’s true.
I want you to like me. In fact, I want you to do more than just like me. I want you to see me and think, “Wow. She’s pretty/cute/attractive/thin (insert your favorite adjective here).”
Not that these thoughts hold positions in the front of my mind. But, they are there, hidden in my subconscious and they motivate me…to try.
And, while the utter shallowness of this truth embarrasses me, it also reveals a secret of my heart: somewhere, deep down, I actually think my value comes from the way I look.
Today, many of the contributors of the Dallas Moms Blog will reinforce the message behind Try to show you what we really look like.
I’ll be honest. I’m a body image blogger, yet, the thought of you seeing (and sharing, yikes!) a photo of me sans make-up and without the benefit of the “remove blemish” feature on my photo editing program…
But, truth revealing.
I turn the big 4-0 in less than a week. I am thankful that I’ve been on a journey of growth in this arena for the past decade as I’ve blogged and even written a book about finding healing for my struggles. Personally, this has been an area where my Christian faith has offered me all the answers I needed and never found about where my real worth and acceptance is found.
Today on our Dallas Moms Blog Instagram feed, you’ll see images of Dallas moms, in the raw. My hope is that you’ll be inspired to ask your own heart some questions.
And, find the same answers that we have: Our value is not in how we look as compared to a photo-shopped, magazine-cover standard of beauty.
And, we can stop trying.
As you look at these photos of our contributor moms in our “trying” and “natural” states, I hope you’ll fight the urge to compare yourself to either version. Instead, dear Mom, I hope you’ll remember this one thing. You don’t need make-up, Botox, or even to lose that fifteen pounds. You don’t have to try to be enough.
You already are.
Want to show your real beauty? This Giveaway has closed!
Dallas Moms Blog wants to support the message behind “Try” by encouraging moms across Dallas-Fort Worth to not try so hard, and show your real beauty! Join us on Instagram by sharing your before and after make-up photos with us by tagging @DallasMomsBlog AND #DMBRealBeauty.
Between now and Friday (July 18) , when you use #DMBRealBeauty and tag @DallasMomsBlog on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll automatically be entered into our $100 Gift Card Giveaway.
If you don’t follow @DallasMomsBlog on Instagram, make sure you go ahead and follow or we won’t be able to see your tag!
It’s that simple! Good Luck!