I Call ‘Bullsh*t’…

Rarely do I delve DEEP into the ‘big issues’ on this blog or social media in general. Whether it’s politics, personal matters, relationships, family, etc. Mainly for fear of ‘stirring the pot’, judgement, and all the other crap that I have come to realize… just. doesn’t. MATTER.

AND, to keep from talking about the big issues that plague us everyday (if you’re not one of them, you’re full of crap), would take away from the importance of transparency and authenticity that I have preached over and over and the fact that despite the misconceptions and perfection that we so often see on social media… it’s not real life. It’s a string of moments that simply made the cut. The ones we share with the world to simply say ‘look how happy and perfectly put together my life is’, which not only affects our sense of success and magnifies our shortcomings, but also furnishes our children with an unprecedented brand of expectations, and BOOM – *cue the anxiety*.

Motherhood. Style. Beauty ‘tips and tricks’. Vacations. Happy times. Smiling faces. Don’t get me wrong – I not only enjoy, but LOVE sharing, engaging with, and reading about all of the above. I truly do.

But, something inside of me recently has had enough of this illusion of unattainable perfection. We’ve ultimately let social media determine our self-worth and value. We get caught up in this cycle of looking to others for validation and reassurance rather than seeking that from ourselves. We have come to believe that there is more value in on how you “package yourself” than there is in the “real” you.

Basically, I call bullshit on it all.

Let’s start talking about the real shit. The shit we deal with on a daily basis. The everyday struggles that are not worthy of hanging in an 8×10 or displaying on our beautifully and strategically thought out instagram feeds.

Did you know that according to a new survey from the American Psychiatric Association, more than a third of American adults view social media as harmful to their mental health. Just 5% view social media as being positive for their mental health? 45% agree on positive and negative effects.

That’s probably where you’ll find me.

Social media is not a bad thing. I’ve found GREAT joy, an amazing community, entertainment, support, and love from complete strangers on the internet that I’ve connected with via all social media outlets. I’ve also seen A LOT of highlight reels. Am I guilty? Yes. Do I blame those for only sharing the happy times? Hell no. Do I think this phenomena has created a sense of isolation, social anxiety, envy, and harmful effects on one’s mental health? You betcha.

We need to start talking about THAT. The pictures that didn’t make the cut. The relationships, the struggles, the drama, the dysfunctional family dynamics, the sadness, guilt, regrets, hurt… we’ve let social media replace real life and real connections.

SO, allow me to take the first step: Let’s get messy.

FAMILY.

Social media will present you with a lot of ‘Leave it to Beaver’, fresh ouuta page 29 of a Land’s End catalog kind of families. Rarely do we see the reality behind the matching seersucker get ups… and I can guarantee you wouldn’t see that reality in any catalog.

Dysfunctional family? Yup, I got one. They’re batshit crazy. Ya love ‘em and stick with ‘em despite it all. Because they’re ‘family’.

Well, again… I call bullshit.

First of all, to anyone out there who is battling internally with sacrificing love for respect or vice versa (whether it’s family, a friend, or significant other), neither is worth sacrificing. I started to deeply reflect on that sentiment the other day when I asked my husband the famous question: ‘would you rather be loved or respected?’. I came to the conclusion that the two come hand in hand. Don’t allow either one to be compromised. I am, of course, still battling this myself – therefore far from an expert.

However, it did light a fire within me. Made me dig deep, rethink, and reevaluate all the relationships we simply tolerate or worse – fight for. Whether it’s walking on egg shells, seeking approval, love, respect, kindness, honesty, etc. IF you’re constantly seeking it…

Walk away.

And know the thing you should be focusing on is the fact you have that love to give. If you have that love and respect inside you to give to the wrong people… imagine what you have to give to the RIGHT ones. The ones who deserve it and have earned it. It’s not always blood. It’s not always family. And that’s OKAY.

For the folks in the cheap seats, let me repeat myself – THAT’S OKAY.

I have expelled much energy and time seeking explanations, closure, answers from all the wrong people. I think sometimes we get too busy and caught up focusing on all the ways people abuse that kindness and trust, that we neglect to acknowledge the fact that we have that inside of us to GIVE! AND that’s what makes us who we are.

Don’t compromise that for anyone. Don’t let all the explanations and answers that have gone unsaid leave you bitter and ultimately consume your mind and thoughts. If you’ve done your part, you’ve done your part. That’s all we are responsible for.

It’s OKAY for us to talk about these real life, messy, and complicated topics.

Perhaps, I got a little side tracked – but main case & point being… we don’t see any of that when scrolling through our feeds, do we? Leaving most to think to themselves – ‘oh, dear god… look at this magical unicorn of a family, meanwhile, my kid just yelled proudly from the other room “Mama, I pee peed on the couch!” and your husband has been in the bathroom for an hour playing candy crush.

See where I’m going with this?

I know I am not the only one who refrains from talking real life on these platforms for fear of being judged, not receiving the validation we’re seeking, airing our dirty laundry where we could just post a photo of our avocado toast and call it a day.

AND, then comes…

MOTHERHOOD & SOCIAL MEDIA:

As if we didn’t need another outlet to highlight our incompetence and shortcomings… Maybe it’s time we bring back the ‘community over competition’ notion.

That Pinterest worthy casserole? Maybe she perfected the one recipe she knows how not to screw up and THAT deserves an ‘atta boy’. (hi! 👋🏼)

The perfectly dressed Von Trapp children who are smiling while eating vegetables and asking for more? Maybe ya didn’t catch the total meltdown mama dealt with for an hour prior to that photo…

The immaculate kitchen? *Not pictured* the clutter and the mess that was making her so anxious, she finally said ‘enough’ and slaved all day to make it look that way (and taking breaks to keep the kids entertained!) It’s an accomplishment… and one she should be proud of and broadcast to the world!

The beautiful bouquet of flowers that adorn her dining room table? Maybe those came from an apologetic spouse and what you didn’t see was the huge fight that they’d had the night before and the tears, anger, and frustration. You just see the flowers.

It’s easy to judge someone’s life based on the photos we see while mindlessly scrolling. Ultimately, we are all sharing the WINS. So, to the exhausted mom who’s hanging on for dear life while scrolling and thinking to herself- how? Why? What? You are not alone. You are enough. AND if you EVEN find yourself questioning if you are – you are.

IF it sounds like I’m being a tad contradictory.. you’re probably right. Calling bullshit on the facade, but cheering on the individual creating it? This is simply a mere reminder that we can admire someone else’s green grass without hopping on the self-loathing roller coaster. We don’t have to completely disconnect from all social media to counteract this epidemic – we just have to change the way we approach it. It’s important to remind ourselves that behind these beautifully curated feeds are human beings. I think that’s what we’ve lost on social media – reality. The reality that no one has ALL their shit together ALL the time. The reality that we all have our own struggles. The reality that social media ISN’T reality. I think if we don’t lose sight of that fact, we can start to enjoy social media again and put to rest the stress and anxiety that comes with the slippery slope of comparison.

At the end of the day, I suppose this is nothing but a rant to encourage more of us to celebrating progress instead of perfection. We’re all just wingin’ it.

Try this…

When you see that photo of a perfect & spotless living room and look up to see your mess of a house, dishes piling up, and what appears to be a Leap Frog crack den – I want you to see that mess is magic. A messy, magical life playing, creating, having fun, and just being kids. A home that’s lived in and loved in.

These are signs of life, not failure. Remind yourself that what you see everyday behind your screen are brief moments in time, and not someone’s whole story. If all we see is each other’s perfection, we are very likely to miss each other’s pain.

Today, a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders with that realization. Repeat after me: TODAY, I WILL NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET. I will not place my value and happiness in the hands of my social media following.

Today, I will break the cycle.

What the hell is ‘toner’?

Life happens.

No one will ever blame you for putting your career, kids, parents, happy hours, whatever before your skin-care regimen.

Before immersing myself in the world of skin care, let me paint ya a little picture…

At the age of 15, I started a job at a tanning salon *gasp*. Of course, now those two words make me cringe – however, at the time my eyes and brain didn’t see or think too much past Friday night. I looked sun kissed year round, made people wonder just which island I had been to that weekend, and c’mon… we can’t forget those little heart stickers we would put on to create that oh so beautiful, flirty, and natural tan line. *cue the cringe again*. Really, though… WHY? Whyyyy?!

BUT hey, business was a-boomin’. People young and old would pass through all day long – each one more leathery than the last. A big misconception at the time was that only young, irresponsible, and uniformed teens were the only ones ignorant enough to purchase a membership (yes, you heard me right… membership) to burn their sweet skin alive… Nope. It was mostly soccer moms, grandfathers, children who were BARELY legal to even use such a method of achieving that ‘sun kissed glow’, and well… me. 🙋🏼‍♀️

I’m sure many of these regulars were under the impression they were ‘turning back the clock’ in some warped and twisted line of thinking that a nice ‘fresh from spring break in Panama City’ tan would give people the illusion they took care of themselves and staying ‘young’. Gym: ✔️ George Hamilton Tan: ✔️, dental veneers so white you can’t look directly at them without those special solar eclipse glasses: ✔️

Did I mention these memberships were NOT cheap by a long shot? Many didn’t think twice about it… signing up for yearly and often a 24 month commitment. Although the establishment is no longer there (along with many others alike), I can’t help but think (and know – because at one time I was one of ’em!) a decade later, are STILL paying for it!

Luckily, I got some sense kicked into me long before I was one of those tennis moms dragging my bag, racket, and goggles to room #9.

THANK THE SWEET LAWD ABOVE 🙌🏼

However, many are living with the consequences. I’m sure the majority just accept their past mistakes and chalk it up to aging and ‘that’s just how my skin looks now at sixty’. Many (including yours truly) have used EVERY drugstore product known to man, have gone to dermatologists in a desperate attempt, and gone through countless prescriptions for topical creams that don’t deliver and even paid the ungodly cost (and risk – I’m sure they’ve pulled it from the market by now…) for Accutane.

Spoiler Alert: That was me. All of the above. 👆🏼

And I’m sure a select few (not the teenagers still ripping open grandma’s birthday card) have given into that $500 cream (which luckily I refrained from – mainly because the risk of overdrawing my already dwindling bank account) with the promise that they’ll wake up looking like Jane Fonda on the cover of Vogue.

For starters, we ALL know how ridiculously photoshopped & doctored those photos are. Second of all, can we all agree that Jane Fonda is a FREAK OF NATURE? She’s EIGHTY and is still a complete smoke show! EIGHTY. Not to mention the magical unicorn that is Christie Brinkley at SIXTY FOUR.

I am no expert, and will never claim to be, except if Milana asks – then I know everything, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a rather safe assumption that both of these majestic creatures started taking care of and investing in their skin in their… *drumroll* twenties & thirties!

OR perhaps, most within the 20-30 range don’t want to shell out much money when it comes to ‘investing’ in their skin. Me, again.

Disclaimer: I promise when I started these meandering ramblings on this topic, I really didn’t mean to make it about me. But, hey… shit happens, kind of like the fore mentioned human microwave known as the “tanning bed”. *cringe… again.*

Fast forward through many failed make up trends, skincare flops, bad haircuts, regretted tattoos, and a couple of lousy ex boyfriends later (that’s a story for another day)…

I’M TWENTY SIX. I GET IT!

I’m still reeling over the fact I no longer get a $5 bill in my birthday cards because apparently I am now a ‘grown up’ or whatever… like c’mon distant great aunt Hilda, my Hulu subscription isn’t going to pay itself.

I would be lying if I told you that skin care was on the top of my list in my early 20’s. A career, my husband, my parents, um… happy hour, and a closet full of clothes with the tags still on them took precedence over.. well, pretty much everything – and most definitely pricey skincare. No matter how many unbelievable results I saw – ‘That’s photoshopped’, ‘that’s a gimmick to try and take my happy hour & impulsive Target run fund right from under me’, ‘that girl was born with it’, blah, blah, blah…

Can you tell I’m an overall skeptic who enjoys vodka and retail? Sue me.

My early twenties came and went. A few happy hours, one husband, and a sweet baby girl later… it hit me. HOLY SHIZA MINELLI! LIFE CAN TAKE A TOLL ON THE FACE. Stress, motherhood, lack of sleep, quality of sleep (what a sweet memory that is), sun worshipping (guilty!), lifestyle, etc.

…And then the factors we can’t control come into play.

Time. Gravity. Genetics.

*those bitches*

Want to hear the good news?

I read something the other day and it clicked. While genetics do play a large role in how quickly you will age, recent research (what up 2018?!) has started to show that the habits you develop and choices you make throughout life might be even more telling than when and where mom and dad got their first wrinkles. Several factors, like the risk of discoloration, stretch marks, varicose veins and the level of skin sagging are all related to our genetic makeup. Just like your family risk for a medical condition, your skin also has a genetic predisposition. But the same way healthy lifestyle choices will reduce your risk for things like heart disease and diabetes, you also have control over how your skin ages. In fact, research has found that up to 40 percent of factors that age us are non-genetic. 40 percent!

We call the shots on FORTY PERCENT of how our skin ages!

I thought that was pretty damn awesome. So, it got me thinking, (and that’s a rarity these days) about how much mula I was willing to shell over for makeup, or all of the half ass drugstore products piled up underneath my sink, and the fact that – at best or if at all, it’s masking the problem underneath temporarily.

Makeup is only as good as the skin underneath.

Maybe that’s why we’re willing to fork over the money at Sephora. There’s nothing wrong with that. Lord knows I’m guilty.

BUT, what if we didn’t feel the need to mask our imperfections or conceal the fine lines, blemishes, and crows feet?

ENTER… RODAN + FIELDS!

I take care of my body, my nails, my hair. Crap… I had forgotten my skin. I thought, I’m twenty six, I’ll start a good eye cream & moisturizer when I need it, right?

Wrong.

Don’t we take preventive measures to lower our risk of heart disease, diabetes, or even worse – split ends and breakage?? Shouldn’t we think about protecting and preventing our skin from deteriorating? You can have the heart of a 20 year old, but if your dehydrated and dull skin are giving your age away, no ones going to ask to see your medical charts.

So, I started to love on my skin. Nourish it. Protect in. In ONE month of using a premium skincare routine that is scientifically customized for MY skin – in ONE month of taking a few extra minutes in the am and before bed, my skin has changed dramatically. I actually feel my skin’s youth and hydration returning – youth and hydration that I didn’t even realize I had lost in the first place.

Though I’ve always had combination skin, it’s more so on the oily side, so naturally I thought this meant I didn’t need to moisturize like someone would who had dry and flaky skin and could forego the hydration. Wrong again. HUGE misconception.

I have learned that hydration is KEY to anti aging! For ALL skin! Just check out the results from ONE week. UNO!

The regimens that Rodan & Fields have designed are specifically for your skin. Weather your concerns are acne, blemishes, sensitivity, sun damage, age spots, discoloration, etc. I didn’t have any of those specific concerns necessarily…

But, we’re all aging right?

I started using the Redefine regimen, along with the Active Hydration Serum, EYE CREAM (🙌🏼), and of course the added bonus that is Lash Boost. I feel awake again! I feel a healthy glow that I didn’t even know I was missing. Chasing after a nearly two-year old, that’s so HUGE.

I get the hype now. I didn’t want to (I enjoy being a skeptic asshole, what can I say?), but I get it. And thankfully was hit with that realization in my twenties when it’s most imperative.

I’m as much of a makeup junkie as the next girl, but recently I’ve discovered how DAMN GOOD it feels to have fun and play with my makeup! Not having to worry about masking every pore and hiding behind my foundation. Instead, I’ve been waking up with this GLOW! Not the sweaty, first trimester, head in the toilet kinda glow, but a healthy glow! I look forward to my makeup routine now – the products I use now are just there to enhance my features, not hide them.

I encourage you fellow ladies of all ages, but especially those in your twenties and thirties (and even those ladies heading off to college soon), to consider investing in your skin NOW. Summer is right around the corner and guess who won’t be sporting makeup to the beach? This mama!

Take this free skincare consultation that just takes just a couple of minutes to find the perfect regimen for you and your skin. It’s much cheaper than Botox & fillers later.

I promise you that, ladies.

Now – get G L O W I N G, my loves!

XO Jaclyn