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Don't be your 'selfie,' instead, look outward and upward
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No makeup or touch-ups! Bed head, tired eyes and dry skin. This is me. - photo by Carmen Rasmusen Herbert

Author and researcher Brené Brown said, "Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver."

I came across an ad on Instagram a little while ago that grabbed my attention.

“What if we told you that from now on, every single selfie you take will look amazing? With Facetune 2, that’s totally the case.”

Facetune is an app that lets you Photoshop your face to look “amazing” — and, let’s face it, fake. The app promises that it will “leave your friends and family and followers wondering how you look so good in every photo — and begging for your secret!”

I have to be 100 percent honest. I do not take selfies. I went through my Instagram account and counted a total of seven selfies I’ve taken in the last two years, and only two of those are of just me. I don’t like posting pictures of myself, by myself. I don’t want people to look at me and want to know my “secret.” That makes me uncomfortable.

I began scrolling through some celebrity accounts that had selfies galore, and pretty soon I was feeling awful about myself. I hated my hair, my skin, my body shape, my stomach, my feet, my nose, everything. I don’t know whether these celebrities I was looking at have used the Facetune app, but they certainly looked perfect. I did not feel brave or courageous looking at them. I felt awful. My husband walked in, took one look at me with the phone in my hand and said, “Stop looking at that,” without even asking what I was looking at. I started to think that maybe the reason I don’t take very many selfies is because I am actually not as confident with how I look.

The ironic thing was, some of these reality celebrity accounts were described as being “inspirational.”

When I think about what inspires me, and who I want to be like, truly and honestly, I don’t think about many celebrities. I think about women I know. Women who are leading with their light. I had the thought to look up women whom I truly admire. Women who are real. Women who focus outward rather than inward. These are the kinds of women I truly want to be like. They are different. They stand out.

I switched gears and began looking at pictures of these women. I didn’t see any posts or hashtags about what kind of makeup they were using or what clothes they were wearing or how much they worked out that day. Nothing was about how to look beautiful. Everything was about how to find your worth and see the beauty inside yourself, the soul — who you actually are.

Can I tell you a secret? Reality celebrities are not happier than you. I promise. They are not more at peace, no matter how perfect they look. I know. I’ve been one! Being in the spotlight and dressing up and looking glamorous doesn’t make you feel at peace or closer to the Savior. In fact, many times, it can take over your life and cloud your mind and heart from what really makes you feel beautiful, brave and confident.

I want to issue a challenge. This challenge is for myself, and I’m hoping you’ll join me. For one month, I am going to try not to use any negative self-talk. I am going to try not to compare. I am going to focus outward and upward. I am going to try to take time to find myself, love myself and be myself.

The next selfie I take, I’m keeping it real and raw. Will you do the same? Don’t Photoshop. Your face does not need “tuning.” Let’s let the world see us as we are, untouched. Why not?

Let’s stop trying to be beautiful. Let’s be brave.

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family. Her email is
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