Who Are You Presenting To The World?
Kanye West has become one of my favorite people in the spotlight over the years.
If you are looking for the back button ready to X out of this email, hear me out.
After a couple of minutes of watching TV, or things like Instagram, or TikTok, it becomes painfully clear that our society has a serious obsession with "perfection". Those with a certain "look", aesthetic, vernacular, etc. get the most engagement (likes and comments) and admiration by far. The life they live can look like nothing but blissful joy and perfection at every turn.
While this could be the case in some of their lives (especially that which they show on camera), a more likely scenario is, that once they put down the selfie stick and camera, and walk into the next room, their life is just as normal as the next. They may have a fight with their partner, scream at their kid, binge eat some ice cream, take off their Spanx, or perhaps say something hurtful to someone they love.
As most of you reading this surmise, seeing this facade of perfection continuously everywhere we turn - without the balance of the "real" behind-the-scenes life that is not in fact perfect, affects the rest of us. It has a trickle-down effect on the significant majority of us, directly or indirectly.
And it's not good.
Subconsciously, we start comparing ourselves to the people we see on our screens or in magazines. We start to attempt to "measure up" in some way. Whether it is the way we talk, how we laugh, what we eat, where we shop, filtering our thoughts, or even hiding our inner child; we all tend to change up in front of people we don't feel comfortable or safe with, hardly know, or are trying to impress as we attempt to "measure up". Instead of being ourselves, for fear of being judged for not measuring up, we present a representative of ourselves to others. An inauthentic version, that mimics the facade of "perfection" we are all inundated with, that takes us farther away from being real.
And not only are we not bringing an inauthentic representative to the table, but we are also creating uneasy inauthentic energy that many we are engaging with pick up on and can sense. Which, in turn doesn't foster an energy that let's THEM to bring their own authentic self to the table. So we are left with a very inauthentic, superficial human interaction that leaves this world less connected on a human level.
It's a thing for real. When you are comfortable in your own skin and act as such, it is felt. That comfort-ability in your own skin puts others at ease to be comfortable too. And if we were all made uniquely and differently, and we are all flawed humans, and make mistakes, why can't we embrace it all and JUST - BE - REAL?
We all deserve to be operating from a place of authenticity and true essence, not perfection and facades. It's tiring to be something or someone we aren't. We were all made uniquely and have inherent gifts to give to the world. But, how can we give those gifts to the world if we aren't being real and showing up authentically? If we're too busy trying to be perfect and measure up, we grow farther away from our authentic essence. And we become distracted from reaching our highest authentic potential!
With that said, let's take a moment to talk about Kanye.
In my opinion, Kanye is as real as it gets. Kanye is not seeking approval. And you can love him or hate him, but he just is who he is. He is an example of living authentically. Not necessarily intentionally, lol... but authentically.
He's a normal guy, passionate about creating art, and is fumbling through life in front and behind the cameras. I'm not here to defend his actions at times, and I'm not here to judge either. But, he's an example of not living for anyone's approval. He isn't afraid of being judged or ridiculed. He is flawed just like you, just like me, just like all of us. At times a hot mess or a slow train wreck. We are him and he is us. Even when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech on live TV years ago; which was not clandestine, and he hurt someone, he was unfiltered and authentic. He was actually standing up for Beyonce, he just didn't think it all the way through.
And if WE'RE being REAL, and we gave it a second and thought about it, we could all probably recollect an embarrassing moment we aren't too proud of where we were led by ego, reactive, and stuck our own foot in our mouths. It just wasn't on display for the whole world to see.
But he's living in that truth in front of us all. He's not trying to "measure up" or be someone he's not to impress. Some of his lyrics are "don't trade your authenticity for approval". He embodies that and I appreciate it. It's almost as if (and not that he is intentionally doing this) his authenticity gives the rest of us permission to show up and just BE. Be true to who we are and hope we are surrounded by others who will respect that and also give grace when need be.
I appreciate the way he lives his life, versus the fake, inauthentic facade many put on. I think part of the reason someone like Kanye has the following that he does, is that when Kanye fumbles, crashes, and burns, it's all on display for the world to see. And guess what? Most of the world can relate more to THAT than the facade of perfection so many others are presenting. We can see ourselves in him. We can relate to being toxic at some point. We can relate to embarrassing ourselves and our families at one time or another. We can relate to being selfish, etc.
And THAT creates a more human connection. Which is what the world needs... in my humble opinion.
So, as you leave from your computer or phone and think about the version of YOU you would like to present to the world, think of ways you can be real and show up more authentically. Are you tired of filtering your thoughts, shifting your talk. or hiding that inner child? Realize that being real and showing up authentically benefits you and your ability to step further into your highest potential, and own your uniqueness, but it allows others you engage with to do the same, and that is what creates REAL connection.
And that's win/win for everyone.