PrettyPorn: Living The Instagram Life

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Did you know that Instagram is now touted to be the new Facebook?

(!)

I found a most provocative piece in the NY Times (of all places), written by financial planner Carl Richards.

Now I must confess, my news reading habits do not generally fall to the financial page, but he caught me with this one:  Living the Instagram Life.

In it, he confesses and admits to shadowy things.

Competitiveness, for example:  “It’s very difficult to compete without feeling envy.  A wise friend once told me that every time you try to compete, you’ll always lose.  Because even if you’re the best this year, someone will be better than you next year.”

(I hear echoes of Marion Woodman on Addiction to Perfection in this)

Money:   “And nowhere does envy raise its ugly head more often than with money.  Earlier this year, a former hedge fund trader wrote an op-ed…that opened with this line:

‘In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million–and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough.’

(!!!)

Richards continues… “Something good happened to this guy, but in his mind, it wasn’t good enough because he knew there were other people who received more. Who receives $3.6 mil and gets angry about it?

People who want to live what I call an Instagram life versus a real life.”

He goes on…

“If we’re living a real life, we’ve gained the understanding that getting more doesn’t always lead to feeling happier.  In an Instagram life, we’re instead focused on making it look like we have a better life than everyone else.  But even as we take our own pictures and apply filters to our world, we’re flipping through other people’s photo streams and feeling envious about what we see.”

(Hm!)

… i.e., “they’re only stories…by making these stories our focus, we’ll never be satisfied.  There will always be something else we don’t have that someone else does,

and our envy becomes a trigger for all the bad behavior we’re supposedly trying to avoid.”

E. A. Hanks, a writer and blogger posted about this in the Huffpost 2011.

(yes.  the Huffpost)

She called it PrettyPorn.

“I have a problem:  I can’t stop looking at porn.  I can look at it for hours and I’m not satisfied.  Worse, I think it’s giving me unrealistic expectations..I don’t even really remember how it got started…

If I’m honest, it started when I was looking for new curtains, which then lead to rug possibilities.   Suddenly I needed to pick out a new paint color for my bedroom, and pretty soon I was waking up in the middle of the night feeling as though that I simply had to see more soft-lit pictures of people kissing in swathes of wildflowers…

Goth Fiesta
Goth Fiesta

Here are some of the things that figure largely with PrettyPorn:

Scanned polaroids of cozy-looking disheveled beds; charmingly messy dinner tables post-dinner; high quality jpegs of romantic braided hair; skinny women’s pale backs; cats; cups of tea/wine; fields of wildflowers.    Lots of French things.”

(I would specify Parisian)

Slim Paley
Slim Paley

“PrettyPorn consists of the seemingly endless chain of blogs where dreamy young things post photos and notes (and poems!) about the things they think are beautiful.  It’s an ongoing love affair with an aesthetic based on fragility, beauty, and romance.  “

pinzelladablava
pinzelladablava

(I would add sentimentality, and we know what Jung had to say about that)

So Hanks admits her addiction to it, and alluded to the thesis Richards posits,

which, in essence  means if we’re busy consuming others’ images and measuring ourselves by them, then we are not living our own life.

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So here is a confession from yours truly.

In all honesty,

I can fall into PrettyPorn too.

I fall, get up, take a shower, and remember my life.

I am truly and more sincerely interested in authenticity.

Authentic Beauty.

I’ll be writing more about this…

And I ask you dear readers, bear with me!!!

And please do let me know your thoughts on this.

(It can get a little lonely out here in the muck and the mire)

Warrior Dash Arkansas Outside.com
Warrior Dash
Arkansas Outside.com

Vox Anima, SDM

muck and mire cemetery blog
muck and mire cemetery blog

About Face I

John William Waterhouse
John William Waterhouse

In a prior post, I promised to return to the subject of aging and vanity.

Fasten your seat belt–here we go!

Mark Shaw Vanity Fair
Mark Shaw
Vanity Fair

 

Mark Shaw Vanity Fair
Mark Shaw
Vanity Fair

 

For about 10 days, or so, I have been under the weather, with a ROTTEN cold.

Bored, I read everything in sight, including  “Empty Mansions:  The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune”.  Won’t spoil it for you, but talk about the Introvert’s Introvert!

Huguette Clark
Huguette Clark

I started Hillary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall”  but found the bloody 1500’s a little too much for my state of being.  Ever notice how when you are sick, things (even benign) take on a malevolent tinge?

Boredom led to the Online News.

“50 and Fabulous!” the headline crowed.  Over 999 sources and articles were listed.  Oh my.  My little shadow sister, whom I will name Envy, had a field day.

Exhausted, and mildly ashamed, I turned to lighter reading.  Real Simple’s January edition on THE BALANCED LIFE.

Immediately, that little monkey, Envy, found an article on SOLVE YOUR SKIN PROBLEMS.  

  Q:  Acne and wrinkles at the same time? A:  Try a Retinoid. Daily.

Now wait, We thought:  Isn’t there some Retinol in the medicine cabinet from our beloved’s brush with skin cancer? Hmmmm.  Isn’t that the same stuff in these fancy shmancy potions?  Hmmmmmm…

Vanity

After 10 days of never ending mucous, hacking, and dehydration and the lovely wardrobe to bring comfort (old stained thermals in the shade of tootsie roll brown), it seemed like a good idea!  Why not multi-task?  If Flotus can be 50 and fab, open to Botox and Refreshers, We can at least be “60 and Scintillating!”

I began the Retinol.

Day 1.  Ok!  A little dryness, tightness.  Isn’t that what it is supposed to do?

Day 2.  Hm.  Ok…

Day 3.   The Sahara Desert appeared to be on my face and in the mirror.

Alarmed,  I thought:  “It’s that wicked cold!  Has me so dehydrated!!”.

But wait,  I had plenty of water, tea, made 4 different kinds of soup (from scratch).

Day 4.  Did I get overexposed to the Sun in the dead of winter? Nope. CR@P.

All is Vanity

Dammit Envy! Dammit Vanity!

Every day since has been a vain attempt at reviving my poor face.

You know that old cliche about being comfortable in your own skin?

I’ll add that to my Bamboo List (see Going Bamboo).

Vox Anima, SDM

elizabethmacdonald blogspot
elizabethmacdonald
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