Look at the average person’s picture gallery in their phone, and tell me what you think you’ll find. We take 15 pictures at a time simply to choose one out of them all: part of the reason why, if asked to snap a photo of a friend, some of us feel obligated to press the shutter button multiple times. It takes some of us fourteen throwaways to land upon one solid choice, because we liked the angle of our face in this one or our our hair laid just right on that one. Imagine that! What’s even worse is that, at a glance, I’m sure each photo that failed to be the winning pick has little to no difference from the next one that didn’t make the cut. Why do we do that?

Why do we devote so much unnecessary time harping on the perfect song lyric captions to go with our selfie or wording our posts so precisely to show our competence on a subject. I get it, though. It’s natural to want to post the best pictures of ourselves. We’ll use bigger words, words we probably just Googled the meaning of, to make ourselves sound resplendent and grandiose in status and vocabulary. (See what I did there?)  Maybe it’s only me. Or maybe, out of fear of seeming vain, most of us are too afraid to admit that we are guilty of this, and that’s okay.

Naturally, when it comes to how we present ourselves to the world (or the worldwide web), we are always going to put our best foot forward, and that’s okay, too. At what point, though, does it become a deliberate attempt to cover up or stifle our true selves? At what point does it become pretentious (another one)? We want to feed people this illusion that we are living in a dream world with perfectly angled selfies and perfectly crafted outfits and posting about the art galleries we visit and forming clever statues to make ourselves seem interesting to the average social media consumer. I’ll admit, I had my moments, and you may have had yours, too.

I want to make a conscious choice to post the picture I eliminated first or type a caption that makes absolutely no sense when I post a selfie, because frankly, nonsensical weird crap is the first thought on my mind when I do most things, anyway. I’m a self-proclaimed Martian and I like taking pictures with awkward hand poses covering my face. Although I do love art and art galleries, a lot of the time, I think the typical artist-interpretation-of-red-square-on-a-canvas type of painting is so wack. On my worst days, my hair is dry and crunchy. My premenstrual breakouts suck, and my face is seemingly puffy in the morning, but that’s me. And this is me owning who I am, flaws and all.

Whatever you do, please don’t put me on a pedestal or create these preconceived notions about my life based on what I do, where I go, or where I live. No mater how much I present the real me, I too, put my make-up on one swipe at a time. I , too, am flat out broke sometimes, despite my passion for traveling. I, too, will pick the picture that I like best out of the bunch. No matter what, I am simply a young woman from Dallas, Texas, chosen by the Most High to do extraordinary things, carrying out my purpose, and creating the life of which I always dreamed.

-Nneka