First Real Girls Giveaway Winner: Facebook Rant

Hi Everyone!  We have completed our first drawing and are featuring our first Giveaway Winner!  I’m excited to share her submission that describes a part of who she is – ironically, it goes quite well with the new rant series!  I don’t edit the submissions because, of course, I want to keep it real, so here is this amazing and thought-provoking Rant that I just love from one of our own.  Please read to the end for some extra thoughts and comments!
“Get real, girls!  Facebook (and insert your favorite social media cocaine here) is so damn fake.  It’s people pretending their relationships are lollipops and gumdrops.  And in reality, people are in depression, people are getting beaten and abused, people are barely dragging themselves out of bed in the morning, some people in relationships hate each other. It’s so fake it makes me want to vomit.  F*** kissy face pictures.  F*** angelic child photos.  F*** puppy dog snuggling pictures.  If you don’t talk to someone in real life, you shouldn’t live with a satisfaction that you have a real friendship with them just because you know what they instagrammed for dinner last night.  It’s like the preacher cueing up “ok, everyone, do your best to make it look like your life is perfect!”  But really, admit you’re just connected to so-in-so-mere-acquaintance-at-best in high school 15 years ago because you’re waiting to see if she ever gets fat.  And admit you’re just connected to so-in-so because you get a little smug satisfaction at watching his relationships serially crumble.  And admit you’re just connected to so-in-so to feel like you’re part of an in crowd that doesn’t exist.  And admit you’re addicted to slupring up your news feed because you get a little high when you show people you’re so in-the-know about the latest gossip and news.

How about we pick up the phone and call someone?  Catch up over coffee on a sunny weekend.  Make a yoga class date.  Schedule an adventure with someone, go for a walk, a hike, a morning of shopping.  Text, email, directly message.  Anything that isn’t generic, isn’t copy & paste, anything that is real, anything that is to the heart.

I dare you to delete 3/4 of your friends and maybe even some family (gasp!) on Facebook. And then see if you miss them.  Bet you won’t.  Bet you’ll feel less stress trying to keep up on things you never really cared about. Bet you’ll like cutting out the negative people in your life and you’ll feel more positively influenced on a daily basis.  Bet you’ll stop comparing yourself to others’ fake perfect fairy tales and wishing you were more xyz.  Bet you’ll be more real.

Then I dare you to begin photographing things for the sole reason of because you want to capture that beautiful moment in time to never forget a single detail of it.  Bet you’ll stop missing so much peripherally in your life because of looking through your phone’s camera. Bet you’ll start living life more. Bet you’ll stop puckering your lips like a duck to lose 10 lbs.  Bet you’ll be grateful and laugh in 10 years that you photographed your crying baby with day-old Cheerios plastered in his hair.  Bet you’ll see more, feel more, remember the smell of things more, remember the taste of things more, remember the feeling of things more.

Do what you want to do for the sheer fulfilling adventure of it, not because you think it would look cool to be published on a news feed.  Be free. Be you. Be a real girl.
Sincerely,
The now-flying-free-girl-next-door-divorcee-who-used-to-be-Queen-of-Life-is-Perfect-shiz-on-Facebook-but-was-really-getting-her-ass-beat-at-home-and-nobody-including-herself-was-real”
I really love this rant for three reasons:
1) I think it’s SO important to recognize that Facebook is not the “real” world.  In the real world, you might walk in on a friend fighting with her boyfriend, or be having lunch when she finds out her daughter is failing a class, or catch your best friend sneaking a cigarette or yelling at her mother.  Facebook (and social media in general) provides a veil over the reality of people’s lives so we only see others through rose-colored glasses.  There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s so so important to recognize because Real Girls know that there are days and weeks and years that are insanely difficult and it can be frustrating to look at Facebook and see how “perfectly” everyone’s life seems to be going.  It’s not.  We’re all struggling right with you.  In fact, take up a challenge this week: post something real for your status; something difficult, heart wrenching, something that no one knows about you.  The ones who respond and comment are likely your true friends who care about you (and likely see you regularly anyways!).  There’s no need to pretend every day is the epitome of perfection; let that imperfection and glorious daily crap out!
2) I find myself VERY concerned lately with how much time we (read: I) spend on social media and in front of our electronics.  I feel our world is suffering from a lack of human connection – of human touch, or even just fulfillment of looking another person in the eyes.  We all need that.  Regularly.  Everyone’s lives are so busy, but please find some time to spend in-person with the people you love.  It will build a stronger, “realer” relationship and improve your mental and physical health as well.  Call and say “Happy Birthday” in person instead of posting it on your sister’s wall! (guilty).  Reach out.  It’s important.
3) I think self-reflection is so very important.  I love the call to examine ourselves and our reasons for doing the things we do.  Of course, be sure to always examine with kindness and love – learn to stop yourself when you begin to criticize and judge yourself – but take a look at your own motivations.  Why do you do certain things?  I’ve lately found myself actually thinking in Facebook statuses.  Something happens and I automatically imagine how I would word it in a Facebook status.  There’s got to be more time spent just enjoying the moment and the connection with our loved ones and letting some – or many – of those moment be JUST FOR US.  No one else gets to take part.  It builds intimacy in our relationships to have some things that are only shared between two people.  So take some time to kindly and supportively look at your reasons for engaging with social media, posting certain statuses, responding to certain things you read, and build a healthier outlook.  There is SO much to be gained from pulling ourselves away from our motivations to “look good” or build a certain image, and simply do things because it’s who we are.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t post anything at all because let’s face it, face booking is fun, but stick to the stuff that benefits you or has a genuine purpose.  The rest will just make you feel like a slave to people who have no business judging (or in some cases even knowing) who you are.
So thank you now-flying-free-girl-next-door-divorcee-who-used-to-be-Queen-of-Life-is-Perfect-shiz-on-Facebook-but-was-really-getting-her-ass-beat-at-home-and-nobody-including-herself-was-real for your awesome submission!  She gets this adorable hanger
Image
with the words:
“Be daring, be different, be original, be you!”
and
“Create the life you imagine”
Thanks for showing us all how to be more real.  Please continue sending in your poetry, life stories, rants, random musings, artwork, pictures, videos, accomplishments (anything that tells us about you and what makes you unique!) to BeaRealGirl@gmail.com so we can begin sharing your beauty with everyone!
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What It Means to be a Woman

It bothers me that this post even needs writing.  But I recall all too well those years of high school on into young adulthood when my identity seemed so skewed and so hard to grasp.  Most teenagers of any gender probably deal with this, and there are certainly social expectations for both girls AND boys, but I believe it’s particularly difficult for you young women because of all the mixed messages that are received from social experiences, pop culture, religion, parental teachings, school, etc:

Girls are told by the media that because their bodies are beautiful they deserve to be ogled at, and they are there to fulfill the desires of men.  They are told that sexy is ideal, prude is bad, they must be pretty, they must be happy because that’s how they will gain male admiration.

Girls are told in the religious sphere that their bodies ought to be covered up as a means to preserve the sanctity of male thoughts.  They are told that sexy is bad, prude is good, they must be pure, they must be calm because that’s how they will attract the right kind of men.

Girls are told in social situations that being bold and assertive is overbearing, and that being smart is being a know-it-all.  They are told that sexy is trashy, prude is boring, they should be understanding but not a doormat, they should be independent but not “wear the pants”, they should achieve but not become too powerful.

It feels a little bit like this

Attractive Woman with Her Books

How is a girl to find herself when she is constantly surrounded by people and institutions not only attempting to tell her who she “should” be, but giving her impossible standards to live up to?  And how is a young woman to begin to understand how to value herself as an independent being when all the messages she is receiving are centered around securing a relationship?

This is the big chore for young women and those who support young women.  And I want to attempt to break down some of the confusion by helping you girls understand what the requirements are to be considered fully and completely a ‘woman’.

First, let’s look at the definition of ‘woman’ by dictionary.com:

Woman: “the female human being.”

…….

Um….that’s it.

Seriously.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s not “all” – there is so much more to being a woman.  That’s simply the end of the restrictions, requirements, and limitations to being a woman.  You simply have to be female.

You get to decide the rest.

YOU get to decide what characteristics you develop, what personality you have, what road you take, what kind of person you want to be, what career you pursue.  And all of the options can make you an incredible woman.

So, girls, let’s change the conversation.  Let’s forget the conversation everyone else is trying to have with us and start a new conversation.  A better conversation.  Instead of discussing all the qualities and attributes that women should have, or that are common to women, or that make women appealing, let’s discuss the myriad of amazing, unique, inspiring, and either orthodox or unorthodox ways there are to BE A WOMAN!

The sky is truly the limit!  There is no “right” way to be a woman, there is no special formula to follow.

You can be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and be 100% woman

You can be a truck driver and be 100% woman

You can be a sexy cowgirl and be 100% woman

You can be a robe-donning religious leader and be 100% woman

You can be a stay-at-home mom with 10 kids and be 100% woman

You can live in a shack in Harlem and tutor inner-city kids and be 100% woman

You can be a police officer and be 100% woman

You can be a wife, mother, and entreprenuer and be 100% woman

You can be a hermit, lesbian, doctor, sailor, Christian, Atheist, Jew, American, Greek, or Russian and be 100% woman

You can be an Alaskan underwater basket weaver who enjoys Croquet and playing the kazoo and be 100% woman

Do you see the the great power you have?

Ever changing teenager

I’ve done a fair amount of world travel in my lifetime (actually, by today’s standards it may not be considered “a lot”, but it was for my generation!), and I have met amazing women from all walks of life that were kind, endearing, bold, courageous, assertive, practical, sweet, skillful, artful, giving, demanding, merciful, just…. And any other adjective you can think of!  All of these qualities are good and all of these qualities are accessible to you.  Simply find the ones that come most naturally and build on them.

You’re allowed to do that.  You’re allowed to be the person your heart tells you to be.  You’re allowed to follow your own path.  You’re allowed decide to be a person that others don’t like, or agree with, or support, or that others love, cherish, admire, and envy.  Because if you simply work to become more YOU every day – the REAL YOU – you will always feel connected to the world around you, and you will always feel fulfilled in the path you choose to take.

Others will tell you who they think you are supposed to be.  Believe you me, people love to control the world around them and construct organized containers to fit people into because it helps them feel more in control of their lives.  You don’t need to function within that paradigm.  The world isn’t meant to be controlled or even fully understood.  Have faith in yourself and take the steps forward that feel right, moral, and most beneficial to you, and you will end up on the right road.

You wonderful girls are so loved.  You are so appreciated.  You are so NECESSARY.  We need you.  The real you.  We know you are strong.  We know you are wise.  You will find your way.

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