Have you read the story about the family whose pictures were touched up so badly that they don’t look human anymore?

We all giggled with a tiny shriek of horror as we saw the cartoon-like faces. I mean, one can’t help but wonder what that photographer was thinking. And now, bless her heart, she is “famous” for all the wrong reasons.

In an age of Snapchat filters and free photo-editing apps, we can’t fathom how something so terrible could be offered as a finished product. But it got me thinking: isn’t that what we do? We try to “touch up” our profile pictures and social media posts so that we look our best to the world around us. We crop and filter and adjust the lighting until everything looks nothing like it really is. We rarely show the “real” us –the real messes, the real struggles, the real life.

I do it too sometimes.

But in the end, while we think we are making ourselves look better, aren’t we really just adding to the cartoon-effect of our lives? Aren’t we blurring out the lines and dark shadows until nothing real remains?

And what we get, after all is said and done, is fake–fake friends, fake news, fake lives. It’s our struggles that make us human. It’s our imperfections and bad days that help us relate to each other. Because if I can admit I’m struggling, maybe you can too: and maybe, just maybe, we can pray for each other and find real friendship, real connections, and real help in our tough times.

My friend Bekah wrote a book about this idea. It’s called Choosing Real and it’s such a refreshing take on our photo-filter society.

Let’s be the ones, Momma. Let’s be the ones who decide to be real with each other and quit photoshopping reality. Let’s be honest. Let’s help each other and not criticize another momma’s messes. Let’s lift each other up instead of tearing each other down. Let’s not be cartoon people; let’s be human…bad lighting and all.

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