The ability of this generation to make themselves look model-worthy in a photo is astounding. Of course, that only means that we have learned to hide our flaws better, which doesn’t always work in our favor. It’s one thing to be at your best, and another to create a false persona.
It reminds me of a story by John Fischer, Dark Horse. This short allegory paints a picture of a horse farm where black and white horses are trained to pose to hide their black spots. Some of them learn to cramp their muscles into ridiculous poses to appear completely white.
Think of a Facebook profile picture or post as a billboard. What are we selling? All of us are selling something. Maybe it’s one of these “products” below:
- I love to party.
- I love my family.
- I am sexy and more desirable than you.
- I am a professional business person.
- I don’t give a rip about what you think.
- I like gardening (or some other hobby).
- I have cool stuff.
A number of these pictures are posted to compete as we try to be prettier, be the most together, display the best-dressed kids, show off the coolest stuff or the most skin. We are reaching out to fill the hole of our worth and value with other people’s comments and likes.
In Dark Horse, a wild black horse shows up outside the stable one day and calls to the other horses to follow him if they want to be free. Some jump the fence and find that the freedom this horse speaks of is more than being out of the corral. The freedom they gain is from any posing they learned to do. They become free to be honestly themselves.
We need the same freedom.
Let’s look at a few profile pictures today and see if we can guess what each person is selling. We will find some hidden messages if we look closely. Messages like this:
- I need attention.
- I’m so lonely.
- I don’t know what to do with this anger.
- My body is my only worth.
- Without my stuff I feel empty.
- I need God.
- I like gardening.
Yes, some messages are just what they seem. But they’re just a single frame of a life. Never judge someone by their selfie. And never believe that your selfie is all you are. We all harbor beautiful brokenness; we just have to jump out of the online corral to find ourselves free.