I am...McKenna

So this is the third week of the I am... Series on The Under Eye Report and I'm quite stoked to feature the awesome words of McKenna from The Bright Blush. If you don't know about her blog already, I would highly check it out with the link below. Her vast knowledge of makeup and hair stylists, as well as pop culture, just amazes me. It would be a lie if I didn't say I didn't respect her writing and opinions. Also, the girl is a killer with that makeup know-how. 

I asked McKenna to write on this series because I knew she'd have an incredible way of bringing her perspective with her words. So...I give you...McKenna Rishmawy...

Name: McKenna Rishmawy
Age: 29 (but 30 next week!)
Occupation: Director of Connections for Grace Presbyterian Church of the North Shore
Blog: The Bright Blush
Blog Type: Beauty and red carpet fashion

How would you describe yourself to other people?

This is hard!  I guess when I meet others, I tend to go by the whole Myers Briggs thing to make it easy.  I'm an ISFJ- Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging.  Any other people pleasers out there?  But seriously, I do love to discuss personalities and feelings.  Personalities and their ability to jive together (or not) fascinates me, especially in the workplace.  I don't know.  I love to tell stories, and make others laugh.  I've been likened to a cat before, too!  I'd like to think I'm like a little black cat.

How would you describe yourself personally?

I'd describe myself as very nostalgic and introspective.  I'm always thinking about things I feel, and why I feel that way.  However, this can lead to much overthinking and I'm guilty of that alot.  I love the arts, and architecture, and all things midcentury modern.  I'm a cinephile, a lover of pop culture, fashion magazines, and United States history.  My feelings are unfortunately very easy to detect because they're usually right there on my face, and I can probably be a bit of an oversharer.  I'd also describe myself as an extroverted introvert.  I enjoy people, but I reenergize by spending time alone.

What do you identify as?

My identity rests in Jesus Christ.  The purpose of myself and my life is to enjoy and glorify God forever.  Included in that are the roles of a wife, daughter, and friend.

What is your philosophy with vulnerability on social media?

It's interesting that you ask this question.  I've personally been struggling with words like "vulnerable" and "real" lately in regards to social media.  The idea of vulnerability and talking about the imperfections of our lives on platforms like Instagram and Facebook has developed into this sort of odd trend.  It's felt like a kind of tactic used to convey "realness" and authenticity, when the bottom line is we're still hoping for more followers, more likes, and more clicks, because we're humans and that's just how social media works.

When I see these beautiful, seemingly perfect images of you, your home, your clothes, your kids, or your vacations, but you then caption them with descriptions of how tough things are - how "real" or "messy" your life is - it creates a dissonance that's confusing.  Pairing vulnerable words with perfect images isn't true vulnerability.  It's a half-truth.  I think what's happening is that we're aching to share our real feelings, hurts, and struggles, but we can't seem to let people in on what that actually looks like on a daily, regular basis.  Because what it actually looks like is boring, awkward, embarrassing, average, and even ugly.  It's the stuff that gets zero likes and certainly doesn't gain any significant followers.  I think we desperately want to be seen and heard and understood for what we really are and we might talk about it, but we just don't want to get rid of that dang filter.

Vulnerability and authenticity are things that can't be commodified; they cannot be made "cool".  They are things that cost you.  Baring your whole being is complicated and painful, and I have decided for myself that deep vulnerability - when I share my deepest hopes and deepest hurts - is something that maybe deserves the safety of my friends and family instead of a social media platform.

So ultimately, my philosophy is this- Be honest about and willing to reevaluate why you post what you post.  If you've got a beautiful image you want to share, post it for the fact that it's a beautiful image and be honest about that.  What if you've taken a selfie because you really like your hair and makeup?  Then tell it like it is- share that you like your hair and makeup, and maybe a bit about the products you used.  And if you and your kids are having a rough day at Disneyland?  Then no need to pose them as perfect little tots with Mickey- just take the best pic you can and call it a day.  We need to simply be honest with ourselves.

How do you feel social media impacts your blog?

As far as influence, a lot of the content that I write about on my blog is taken from what I see on social media.  Tracking trends, red carpet arrivals, and the latest new launches is easy to do on social media, and it's always changing and of interest to the reader.

I've also used social media to try and drive traffic to my blog, but lately I've liked to just talk about unique but similar content across all platforms.  I'm not trying to focus so much on driving the blog as just sharing my love for makeup and skincare consistently now, whether on Instagram, Twitter, or wherever.  When I post on my blog, which is maybe just twice a month, I'll post a picture to promote it or share the link a few times, but that's really it.  I guess I'm now focused on sharing my fuller personality and interests.

How do you feel social media impacts you?

Like most things, social media in itself is neutral- it can be used for both good and bad.  I love that we can use it to connect with friends and family, share unique and funny stories, and engage in a creative outlet.  However, it can also cause unnecessary anxiety, breed comparison, cause addiction, and develop a lack of wisdom in what we say and post. 

I personally have loved the creative outlet that Instagram has given me and how it's developed my eye for objects and photography, but it's definitely created a downward spiraling hole sometimes that I get trapped in.  I think the bottom line for myself is that social media can't be the first thing I look to in the day, or the last.  It can't be what I turn to first when I'm sad or even glad.  I've got to turn first to the Lord and his word.  I need to be caught up in him first and foremost, and I want to enjoy everything within the frame of his grace.

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Hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I did.

Until next time.
Deuces