Opinion: Comparisons

Do you find yourself comparing your life, your face, your figure to other people?  Looking at your own flaws and seeing yourself in an unfavourable light?

I do.  And although I know some of it is down to my ongoing mental health issues, I think that many of us may be prone to putting ourselves down.

I was reminded of this recently when a lovely lady I was chatting to on Facebook said she was nervous about having her photos online for others to see.  Which I understand – I really do.  What floored me was when she continued on to say that it was different for me because “you’re beautiful”.

Utterly.  Floored.

This lovely, cheerful lady was seeing a version of me that I certainly don’t see – and I suspect that in seeing her as an attractive, happy person, I was seeing a version of her that she didn’t see.  And it got me to wondering how many of us look at others and see theirs graces, where we see flaws in ourselves.

I follow and read a couple of other retro/pinup blogs, and I am utterly guilty of comparing myself and my little blog to theirs (looking at their professional photos, their expensive outfits, their custom-ordered accessories…) and feeling rubbish in comparison.

And so I’m working at reminding myself that it’s ok to have photos that are a little too dark (I’m new to having a real camera).  It’s ok to take photos in my hallway sometimes (I do all my photos myself using a timer, and I am sometimes too ill to go outside).  It’s ok to look a little rough around the edges (part of my charm?).  It’s ok to blog within my budget (many of us live on a budget that is smaller than we’d like!).  I’ll continue to try and do my best with what I have and whom I am.

How do you feel when you look at other people’s blogs or lives?  Are you able to see the positives in your own experiences and life?


About Vera Gin

A pinup/vintage/retro style fan from sunny Queensland, Australia.
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4 Responses to Opinion: Comparisons

  1. Polly says:

    Personally I tend to prefer reading blogs by ‘ordinary’ people – people who are passionate about something but who obviously have lives outside of whatever they blog about, with jobs and families and limited time and finances and the like. Some blogs make it seem like the blogger has endless time and resources to dedicate to their particular passion, and while that’s admirable in many ways it isn’t always particularly relateable. Like the way you were describing doing your hair in the last post: it was quick, easy, didn’t require a ton of equipment, was a good ‘every day’ look: that’s ordinary, relateable – replicable. Often I’ll be looking for quick hair and makeup tips and realise that I’d need half an hour and a ton of stuff to replicate the results… and when you work with children and start at 6:15am it isn’t just a question of not having the money, I also don’t have that much time or enthusiasm (at that time of day the thing I’m most enthusiastic about is usually coffee).

    The internet is a double-edged sword in terms of drawing comparisons, because on the one hand it’s created a space where people can be very raw and open and honest, and you can relax in the knowledge that you’re not the only one who doesn’t look perfect, eat perfectly, have endless money and a permanent smile etc., but on the other hand there are also a lot of people who use the internet as a place to create their perfect self and hide everything else away safely behind the computer screen. I remember an ad here in New Zealand (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was for) where one character was talking about his hot online girlfriend and another character pointed out that you can be anyone you want online: ‘she could be a Russian trawler captain.’

    For women especially there’s still a tremendous focus on outward appearances. In fact, I’d argue that far from decreasing with the advance of feminism, it’s become even worse in the last few decades with the rise in modern visual media in general and social media in particular. But this is far from a new phenomenon – in one of his epistles, St. Peter advises women ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’ (1 Peter 3:3-4, NIV). Of course, Peter hardly fits our modern feminist sensibilities (he goes on to encourage women to be submissive wives who call their husbands ‘master’ – make of that what you will), but nonetheless it’s easy to see that the tension between inward and outward beauty is hardly a modern preoccupation, or something which has only arisen out of the modern secular mindset.

    So then the question becomes ‘what is inner beauty?’ and ‘how do we cultivate it?’

    Sorry Michelle for a comment that’s almost as long as your original post!


  2. Polly says:

    Oh, heck, looking at it I think my comment may be LONGER than your post! Sorry!


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