The Problem with the Call to be Authentic

the problem with the call to be authentic

the problem with the call to be authentic

There is an issue with the very-popular, ever-growing call on blogs and social media to “be authentic.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in authenticity and genuineness, but I have a problem when people write blog posts indirectly chastising others for posting about their seemingly “perfect” lives and calling those people out as being disingenuous.

Boasting is wrong, this I understand, but so is blaming our discontentment on others. If someone’s blog, or instagram, or facebook, or google+ page is making you jealous or unhappy with your own life, then maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t in the fact that they aren’t being “authentic” but rather, the sin is in our own hearts instead.

Guess what. My life isn’t perfect. But I am happy with it. My body isn’t flawless. But I am confident in it. Sometimes my schedule is hectic. But I still make time to have special moments and make memories. My world isn’t always beautiful. But I make a conscious effort to find beauty and loveliness in the little things. Yes, sometimes life is mundane and monotonous and ordinary, but I have decided to choose joy and be thankful and write about that. I have good days and bad days just like everybody else and I write about the good ones because life is too short to dwell on negativity. Does that make me inauthentic?

I won’t apologize for being happy.

I won’t hide my joy in order to make others feel comfortable. I am passionately in love with this crazy, wonderful, amazing, beautiful life that God has given me and I will thank Him for the blessings that I don’t deserve rather than coveting what someone else has or what someone else has the chance to experience. I believe in positivity, smiles, laughing, loving, and being thankful for every blessing and for every trial because my Heavenly Father knows what I need better than I do.

Next time you want to write someone off because their life looks too perfect online for them to be telling the truth, consider that maybe perspective has something to do with it. Because, to some people, an imperfect life really does seem rather close to perfect because they chose to focus on being thankful for their blessings instead of allowing discontentment to live in their hearts and minds. Instead of thinking that they must be hiding something, rejoice with them. Happiness is contagious; I promise.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice […] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
-Philippians 4:4, 8-9

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  • this was beautiful & amazing & all of the yes.

  • Love this. You should never apologize for being happy!

  • Yes to all of this! Sometimes authenticity means shouting out how happy we are!!!! The people who cry out for authenticity often mean that they just want to see the not as good and that’s just as unauthentic.

  • This is so perfectly said! My life is far from perfect and aesthetically pleasing, but I’m happy with it. I hate feeling that I can set up a picture and people automatically assume its not real. I love sharing tons of things and that’s okay.

  • YES! One of the things I find most problematic about calls for “authenticity” is that when someone posts something beautiful or positive, we assume they aren’t already being authentic.

  • I love this so much! I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Striving for “authenticity” often feels, in itself, inauthentic. Maybe I just like posting pictures of pretty things! LOL

  • LOVE THIS. Preach, girl! I love how you point back to our hearts – that’s really where the issues can be.

  • Love this! Be yourself and don’t apologize for being happy! Great post!

  • Yes yes yes!!! I 100% agree with this! It’s not inauthentic to post happy things! Like you, I share the hurt and the pain and the not so good stuff with people that know my heart and will protect it. Why would I post that in a forum that is known to be especially harsh and critical? Instead, I share the happy, albeit real, parts of my life to try and inspire others to find joy and contentment. Great post!

    Karin |

  • I love this so much! There is so much to celebrate and be joyful about, and sharing those moments on blogs or via social media is a great way to share that joy with other people. I love that you call us to look at our own hearts and see where the roots of the discontentment and comparison come from. Beautifully written!

  • “I won’t apologize for being happy” Amen! I have absolutely felt like this, that any complaint is seen as being real and authentic while joy is dismissed as being faked for the purposes of social media. I’m a naturally happy, positive person, thankful for the awesome life God gave me, and I’m real too! 🙂

  • Absolutely love this. There is nothing wrong with choosing to focus on the positive aspects of our lives.

  • Live your life, don’t worry about what anyone says!

  • I really like your perspective!! Jealousy can have a HUGE impact on all of us, and instead of recognizing it as jealousy – we blame the other person and assume they are being inauthentic! Love this post!

  • Couldn’t agree more! I am guilty of hiding my joy, but not anymore. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Be blessed!

  • Love this amazing post, very inspiring, thanks for sharing!!!


  • Oh my gosh, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I relate to this post, my thoughts exactly and I couldn’t have said it any better. ‘I won’t apologize for being happy’, people often forget its the perspective and the attitude towards any problem rather than the problem itself!
    Again, LOVE this post so much!! I might be quoting you on it someday 🙂
    xx, Kusum |

  • I haven’t read any blog posts where someone calls out “be authentic” as a way of shaming or scolding, but I probably don’t read the same blogs as you do. When I read the phrase “be authentic” I think it as meant as “be yourself!” I consider sharing beautiful things that make you happy as being authentic. There is nothing wrong with concentrating on what is good in the world and your life. I’m also all for sharing the positives and the things that make me happy.

  • Yes! I agree 100%! I also share the positive and happy things in my life, and it gives me such an appreciation for this life I have. Whenever I scroll through my IG feed, I realise just how lucky and abundant I am in spite of my life not being perfect.

  • Completely agree!!! surround yourself with what makes you constantly shine and don’t ever apologize for it! You deserve happiness!

  • I like how you point out that the movement to be more “authentic” can be clouded by people criticizing others. Sometimes I catch myself scrolling through social media with a really skewed perspective. Thank you for sharing!

  • And honestly I believe there are different levels of authenticity. Some people are more willing than others to put themselves out there for the world to see, in real life, and certainly on the internet. All we can do is live our best lives, no matter what parts of it we share online.

  • What a great post and I completely agree with you. I don’t think people that call out others on only sharing the positives stop to think that maybe those people are truly happy with their lives or simply enjoy sharing the good parts of it. Nothing wrong with spreading positivity!

  • this are some really good thoughts, cassie! perspective is so important… it’s one of the many ways in which social media does not do justice to personal interaction. you can’t necessarily get an accurate picture of someone’s life OR personality necessarily from what they choose to share online.

    and philippians is probably my favorite book of the Bible. =)

    your blog set-up is completely lovely, but i was wondering if i could make a little suggestion about it? sometimes when i enjoyed a post but don’t necessarily have time to comment, i “like” it to let the author know that i was blessed. even though i realize that comments are more special, i still appreciate when people “like” posts on my blog. i’ve looked for a like button on your blog when i don’t have time to comment, but haven’t found one… so i just thought i’d let you know why one might be helpful. =)

  • Um, AMAZING. I love this so much. I love the celebration of the little things, and I think sharing that is even better. Thank you for this – so true.

  • I am so in love with this post – yes yes yes so much yes here! Beautifully written truth, something I truly believe. I have been toying with an idea for a blog post that I’ve been wanting to write for some time now. What’s holding me back? The fear of other bloggers thinking I’m not being “authentic.” I feel like you were writing TO ME! Thanks for the encouragement to be my own authentic, even if others don’t see it that way. Your new fan, Lindsay : )

  • Thank you Cassandra, a thousand times thank you.
    Modern society is so judgemental, instead of loving each other we loathe each other behind our backs, and are nice as pie to our faces. If we could embrace each other as we are, the world would certainly be a better place <3

  • Well done. I love this post. Never, ever apologize for being happy or doing the things you love.

  • you can never please everyone but if you are happy then you have no control over how that makes other people feel. i have had problems though with people thinking things look too perfect but i do make sire that i never look to perfect. i don’t photoshop pics of myself or put on too much makeup. i have no one to impress buy myself

  • I think its just the popular thing to do is rant or to complain about this or that. Not something that I am too keen on doing either. I have my ups and downs, but I don’t like to exacerbate the moments by complaining about it. May be silly to me, but I like to remind myself through my posts of all the things I’m grateful for and hopefully ignite some love in it for someone else. Happiness is contagious – so hold up the torch proudly!

  • Yes, for sure! I see both sides, which is why I have a problem with extremism (in any sense honestly) and being either too one way or too the other. Like, post what you want to post-nothing is original anymore, but show me who you are at the root of it too.

  • This is a really beautiful, inspiring, and candid post. Thank you for sharing! I really love your unique perspective, and I am thrilled to have discovered your blog. Cheers!

  • Love this. Sometimes you just have to stop worrying about what people think and rock the hell out of your happiness. These people are too worried about others that they hold themselves back because of how others will feel. It’s stupid haha.

  • Love this! I think that the influence of social media and blogging and such has created this need to constantly re-evaluate who we are and what our lives are like. I, for one, love to just be myself: people can take it or leave it! 😀 I love what you say about not apologizing for being happy–so, so true!

  • This post is, EVERYTHING! Love love love it. Every one is happy in their own way, so there’s no reason for others to bash each other for it!

    XO, Rachel

  • Emily

    Bam! You go, girl!