June 25, 2019

For my fellow Big, Messy, Instagram Girls on a Mission.


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I struggle with social media—mostly, because I border on the size extra large. In physical body, in personality.

I’d love to be an influencer—micro or macro—that travels the world in eco-friendly and mindful ways, and makes it look so cool that everyone decides to do it.

But there’re a few problems.

1. I’m not a hot girl.

I can’t do yoga porn, and I’ll never understand how women have perfectly coiffed ringlets and flowy dresses when photographed on some of the most gorgeous (albeit difficult to reach?) viewpoints.

Like, really? Do they carry battery-operated curling irons to use after a solar-charged blow-dry of their sweaty scalps? Or maybe it’s just like, they summit and—poof!—salty wind-blown beach waves!

Hashtag: woke up like this.

I mean, don’t mind me, I’m just envious. I know hot outdoor chicks, and I love them.

But with me, pretty much any sponsor would have to be frikkin confident in its products. Like, “Yeah. Our hiking boots made out of upcycled leather, recycled rubber, and repurposed fishing line can totally make her look like a size two in the Insta box. At her ankles.”

Or, “Our natural deodorant is so powerful, its magical scent can float up from her pits and fix her hair.”

Ya feel? And then there’s number two.

2. I’m not a cool girl.

I have about two followers on Instagram. Okay, 362 on a good day when all the follow bots don’t unfriend me.

I’m the last to leave the party! But, like, just because I’m awkward.

I once went a month without showering, to conserve water during California’s severe drought. (It’s not as gross as it sounds—I swear).

I love Celine Dion.

See? Not cool! And you know what else isn’t cool? Eco.

3. Eco isn’t cool.

It’s not. Here’s proof:

>> Eco means poorly sewing holes in your shirts. And socks. And buying the stuff at the Goodwill that other people decided isn’t en vogue anymore.
>> Eco means having greasy, freshly washed hair because the natural shampoo bar doesn’t do well with your body chemistry, but you’re hell-bent on not being wasteful.
>> Eco means sleeping in sheets with holes that your psychopathic cat sliced in them with his razor claws.
>> It means being the annoying person at the restaurant asking for no straw, inquiring about the material of the takeout container, and standing too long at the multiple recycling bins to make sure you’re not preventing an entire bag of materials from experiencing the joy of reincarnation.

But, maybe there’s something to learn from we who are neither hot, nor cool. Maybe I can be some sort of influence. And maybe you can, too.

Sure, my photo up there may be about as glorious as it gets. I’ll probably end up with a photo like this on my wedding day, when I’m supposed to be at my most gorgeous. My hair’ll be windblown and possibly stuck to my lip gloss. My cruelty-free natural makeup will be greasy on my face. And, I’ll probably have the croaking frog chin I get when I’m laughing too hard.

And you know what? That would be okay. And you know why?

Because it would be me. Messy, beautiful, strongsoft me. On a big ol’ important, lame mission.

A mission of self-acceptance, and ever-strengthening self-deprecating humor. A mission of exploring this beautiful planet while also respecting it. A mission of expanding folks’ awareness of themselves, their discomforts, their habits.

A mission of letting go of the ego, and going eco.

And maybe folks don’t get it yet—your mission; mine. But we have to keep trying. We’ve just got to keep trying.

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