“Do you follow her on Snapchat? Did you see her kids running and playing outside in the snow? She has two of the cutest dogs, but her cat video put me over! It was on her story. Her husband travels. Did you see how thrilled she was to pick him up at the airport? She cooks, too, and her food is amazing. Go add her.”
“Do you follow her on Facebook? She posts the funniest memes all day long. I laugh out loud sometimes when her stuff comes up in my feed. Did you see her newest creation? The woman is an artist, I swear. Did you see the pictures she posted of her latest piece? Unreal. It must take hours and hours to make one from start to finish. And she just got back from a trip to Mexico. My word! The woman is amazing.”
“Do you follow her on Instagram? I don’t know how she keeps such an immaculate house! Her Christmas decorations were breathtaking. What a beautiful piano in her sitting room. And white furniture? I don’t know how she does it. Her daughter is off to college absolutely thriving, and my, what a handsome guy her son is growing up to be! She has a family I admire. I wish I had it like that.”
She’s struggling. She likely has more money in her car’s center console than in her bank account at the moment. It’s time to buy groceries, and band uniform money is due this week.
She doesn’t feel good. She had yet another migraine this morning, because her insurance carrier stopped paying for her maintenance meds two months ago.
She is beside herself. Her dad has COVID. They found that at his cancer appointment. His heart is too weak for any treatment plan.
She is broken. She and her husband…well, they’re working through it.
She doesn’t have all the answers. Her youngest daughter has been crying about snide comments kids made at school. Her oldest got caught with a vape.
She is petrified. Her son is down, and despite ongoing therapy, he says things like, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” and “I know I’m a burden to you.” She doesn’t feel like she can leave him alone, ever.
Y’all, she doesn’t post the dirt, the tears, the drama. She doesn’t capture the arguments on video. She isn’t going to share the diagnosis report. She wouldn’t have taken pics when she was on the bathroom floor, tearful. Her vomiting, him shouting, the dog poop, the weed…none of that would be featured in her reels.
See beyond it. Look beyond the social media persona you’ve come to know and love, and realize that she is just like you. Don’t you put your best face forward? Don’t you find just the right filter to minimize your wrinkles? Don’t you live a life the rest of us knows little about?
She would never say it out loud, but she needs you to know that she is not any better than you or anyone else. She needs you to be clear that comparison is not only the thief of joy, it’s foolish and fruitless as you truly would NEVER want her life. She needs you to be compassionate, offer her a kind word of encouragement, and be on the level with her. She doesn’t need the “it must be nice” and “whatever will you come up with next” and “teach me your ways” comments. She needs to know you see her for who she is, beyond social media, and recognize that the two of you are really not that different. She needs you to be her real friend, not a fangirl follower or subscriber.
We need each other in REAL ways, not just in the self-care-blah-blah-reach-out-to-other-women mundane ways that online propaganda would have you believe. We need each other deeply, genuinely, and solemnly. The kinship between women should be so ingrained, so strong, so inherent that we support and build one another up instinctively.
See her on social media for who she is. Stop comparing. Stop glamorizing. She is us, and we are her. Let’s start that kinship right now, me and you.