Authenticity versus Realness


by Taneica of Shatterproofglassdolls
“Ugh, that dress looks horrendous on you! Your thighs are much too big to pull off a column, maxi dress. What else do you have in your closet?”
I turn and shoot the overtly opinionated, word assailant a look of a thousand deaths, at which she responds-
“What? I’m just being real, girl. You know I can’t let you leave out of here in that, thinking you look good, right?”

Okay, now… I can’t be the only one who’s witnessed someone spew a bad choice of words or engage in mortifying, public spectacles all in the name of said person being “real”. I wonder though, why is it that most (not all, but most) things that seem to be a result of “realness” are so negative?

When I think of all of the instances/situations, that I have been involved in, that the word real has been thrown into, I have noticed that it gets tacked on to the beginning of a confidence bruising statement like, “Can I be real with you for a second? Your hair could really use a comb.” It can also be on the back end of a defense. “I don’t know you, but I don’t like you. I’d rather just be real, than act fake.” There are also those instances where I find myself digging in my purse for cash in case I have to bail one of my “real” girlfriends out of jail for smacking some unsuspecting patron who spoke out of turn or something... lol! That has never happened, but I hope you catch my drift.

The point I’m trying to make here is, I think we should give “realness” a break for a while and pick up some authenticity. Now, I realize that they both mean, just about the same thing, but in my opinion, it takes a little more class, and maturity to pull off authenticity than it does realness. Anyone can be “real” if the moment presents itself, but it takes someone who truly knows who they are to be authentic. Maybe I’m na├»ve, but I think we all have more positivity in us than we are willing to admit sometimes. Though it may be easier to play the role of “Negative Nancy” or “Bad Mouth Betty” at times, there’s a reason why it feels just as good to speak a kind words as it does to hear them. We all prefer feeling good, hence the reason why we inherently prefer positivity. Positive reinforcements from co-workers and bosses make ones job less stressful. Positive affirmations before you start your day can help you have a better outlook on whatever you may face throughout the day. See? Positivity is damn near addicting, once you get the hang of it!

When you arm yourself with more positive thoughts and surround yourself with more positive people, it allows you take a little bit of “edge” off of what you may say and do. Now, I understand that there will be times when you have to share your opinions honestly, but that’s not to say that you can’t do it in a way that is less hurtful to the person receiving the criticism. Now, I don’t hold myself faultless. There are times that I find myself giving a side eye to some of the monstrosities I see on the red carpet and sometimes in my local grocery store. However, I do my best to remember that they wouldn’t have left their homes in those outfits if they didn’t think they looked good.

Life is about loving, sharing, laughing, crying, giving and taking. Life isn’t about tearing down, and beating up in the name of being real. Love yourself, love each other, and treat each other with respect and dignity. Be the person you were truly created to be, be Authentic.

14 Weigh in!:
Ings said...

Well said, dear. This is why I read your blog, because you just take out easy and love to laugh. Very nice piece.

Ings said...

Oops, take it not take out.

Anonymous said...

love this post! I agree that people use that being "real" crap a little too often to cover up being rude! As if by useing the word "real" takes away someones hurt feelings. I just went through a similar incident this weekend. Started to go in on the ignoramous but opted to be Authentic instead!

Lorian said...

I absolutely agree...I also hate when people follow up a statement by saying "it's just who I am" or something to that effect...usually follows a crass, rude, or offensive statement/behavior. Thank you so much for explaing the difference and encouraging a more positive state of being.

Anonymous said...

DITTO.......now that is keeping it real. Love, love, love this post. Thanks for sharing and the insight of "keeping it real."

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Post. We're waiting for your book:-)
--MrsDjRass

Anonymous said...

Great post!

I think it is alot more difficult to be encouraging or say something encouraging to others. Doing so, forces you to check your own 'isht at the door and put somebody else's feelings/thoughts first.

I wish most people were 'there' but sadly, most people are walking around with their own crap and take the easy route by dumping a little out as they pass by.

Penni Brown

Jeannette said...

Yes, I think that people mistake being mean and cruel as "real." I'm one for people's honesty but I can't stand when someone tries to shove their "realness" down your throat. Like if they don't like your hair or outfit, it's fine to be honest about what they think but if you turn around and say that you like it, then they need to drop it and leave it alone. I think that many people realize that they can't control others and their opinions should be at a minimum so they start to become very mean with their so called "realness." And usually it's the people that have their own issues that they haven't addressed. When I see posts like this I think of the songs, "King of Everything" and "Mr. Know it All." :)

Anonymous said...

I only give advice when someone ask for my "honest opinion" just because of this sort of thing. I'm always truthful but gracious and discret. Nowadays, I guess it's a trend that there are some women that really could use a honest and real opinion about their styling choices (i.e., wearing styles that don't work with their body types: rolls, huge hips/butts, etc) but if they rather walk around with ill-fitted and cheap looking clothing, then by all means do your thang and don't be surprise when folks are staring and/or snickering. Sherry

Nichole said...

Great post! Although I think we're allowed to be "fashion police" to celebs - they're one big ad for merchandisers who often pay them to wear their stuff.

toyboxplayground said...

Very well said. I absolutely agree with this post. My family does and says a lot "keeping it real" but they lack tact. I have grown to find it extremely tiring to hear. Plus the bad girl attitude needs to die when you're twenty, not continue well into mothering and granparenting years. I am an honest person and do my best to season my words with salt, but it's a lot harder to do when I have little to no respect for the recipient of what I'm saying. So yes, it needs to be a conscious and active thought. But, it's definitely worth the effort.

monniej said...

i'm so happy to hear somebody else agrees that "keeping it real" is pretty played out. if you keeping it real means i end up attacked and bloody please keep it to yourself!

CurlyInTheA said...

I give the sideye to people whenever they say "keeping it real" or they are "brutally honest." That's usually a codeword for: MEAN! And Twitter, FB, YT and blogs don't help, because so many folks hide behind their blog comments and would NEVA tell you that ish to your face.

I'm usually direct, but you can tell someone something they need to hear without being mean about it. And they are case-by-case situations: A question about an abusive/harmful relationship is going to get a real response from me because that will have lifelong effects.

An outfit? Unless you are looking straight tore up or you got tissue hanging from your butt when you leave the bathroom or going to an interview, then NO.

Who hasn't worn an outfit that just wasn't working? *Raises hand!* And if so, you can say it in a way to a friend that doesn't make the person feel like ish. People are grown and this is not a reality TV fashion makeover show. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Intent is EVERYTHING!

http://www.HairNista.blogspot.com

Nicole said...

"When keep it real goes wrong"

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