Five days a week, I spend an obscene amount of time on social media. It’s part of my job, and most days it’s quite exhausting. If I had to guess, half of the content I see on social media (news, product promotions, personal posts and carefully curated Instagram feeds) is mostly fabricated and embellished. I, as a researcher, can weed through the fakery, and therefore, I am not affected by it. However, I stand behind the studies that have been done which prove that these platforms increase depression and loneliness. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when people are posting their best life, or at least that’s what they want you to believe.
We’re a culture chasing all that’s fake, just to get away from what’s real. I get it, we’re living in some pretty wild times, sometimes we to have to escape the crazy to regain consciousness. But my fear is, we get so used to faking it, that we lose touch with what’s actually real and important.
I was out to dinner with some friends a month ago. We started to converse about all the things we’re done faking as we’re growing older:
“I’m done faking small-talk, it exhausts me.”
“I’m done with filters. Everyone knows they’re fake.”
“I’m done pretending to be SO fu%king happy. I’m not, but you would never know it by my social feed. I fake feed.”
“I’m done faking aging…seriously, the amount of fillers I get is the opposite of what it means to age gracefully.”
“I’m done with Spanx, ladies. They crush my organs and my spirit. At 50, I have fully embraced my rolls and back fat.”
“I’m done faking orgasms!”
That’s when the conversation exploded into claps, hands banging on the table, the raising of glasses, and a one-word melody of YAAAAS.
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US (eight in total), admitted to faking orgasms more than once. The majority of us admitted to faking it in every single relationship we ever had. Some even expressed faking it with their now husbands. Jaws-dropped. We all looked at each other, embarrassed, heartbroken and regretful. But like most sobering moments, it encouraged us all to stop the fake moans once and for all. And at the table that night, eight women sat in a circle, pinkies intertwined, and committed to NEVER, EVER faking IT (whatever IT was) again.
Later that night, I started googling to see if this “faking-thing” was just something my friends and I got carried away with or is it really what all women do? And with a click of the mouse, my question was answered:
80% of women fake an orgasm in their lifetime. EIGHTY PERCENT!
That stat gave me a big freaking case of the sads. These studies show that the main reason women fake it is to boost their boo’s ego. I get it because I did it – but I didn’t think there were THAT many women who followed suit. What in the actual fu%k, ladies?! Why do we diminish our own pleasure to enhance there’s? We are preventing them from figuring out what to do to truly pleasure us. We have created a population of men who are completely clueless as to what is required in order to please a woman. Every time we fake it, we are basically handing out the sexual equivalent of a gold medal to a dude who only earned himself a participation ribbon. So please, for the love of God – let’s stop performing our best Meg Ryan, and start pointing our partners in the right direction.
Ok, now that I got that out of way, there’s more to this blog than just faking orgasms. There are all the things my friend’s mentioned above and more. When do we stop “faking it til we make it”? I always hated that philosophy, to be honest, as it just perpetuates this faux existence. It’s an outdated cliché that needs to go away. Think about it, the greatest among their craft, never had to fake it, they practiced until they reached a satisfying level of success. Steph Curry doesn’t fake shoot three-pointers, he practices. Tiger Woods doesn’t fake his short game, he practices. You don’t ever have to fake it if you take the time to do the work to achieve whatever IT is. Faking is a waste of energy, and our energy is one of our most valuable assets. Let’s spend it wisely
So, this got to me to thinking, what are the most common things we as humans “fake”? We already know orgasms made the list, but after surveying some people and doing desk research, other things emerged:
Faking normal… which is interesting, because none of us are. It’s time to let our freak flags fly and embrace our weird.
Faking you’re ok… we all do it, and it’s actually NOT ok. We’re ignoring our mental health and finding ourselves burnt out, depressed and anxiety-ridden. It’s OK to not be okay, just make sure you get real with it and ask for help.
Faking the aging process… let me be clear, I never judge someone who wants to get a tuck here or lift there. Shit, I went under the knife to fix this nose of mine. I was blessed with my Dad’s schnoz – and well, between my breathing issues and loathing the fact that my nose was what people met first (LOL!), I got it taken care of. Second best decision I ever made. So yeah, I am not against doing whatever to look and feel good, but the fact is, we’re aging. It’s just that many people don’t want to face it, so they go to great means to fake it. The challenge comes when we believe that the facelift, nose job, boob job, whatever job, is going to make us happy. But, it is only a placebo. And like most placebos, it doesn’t last long – despite how long you’d like it to. I personally have learned to love my laugh lines, they are proof happy memories were made. I now embrace my belly pouch, it’s evidence that life once grew there. Real beauty is to be true to oneself.
Faking the happy relationship…This was one of the most common factors of faking it, mentioned by the people I spoke to and the articles I read. We all know that one couple who posts a happy, love-filled union together, meanwhile behind closed doors, they’re both miserable. I was in one of those “happy relationships”, posting as such. I remember having a conversation one time with my brother on this exact topic, and he said something that has become gospel to me: “the healthiest relationships are those you don’t have to post about.”
Faking perfection… So much can go into this category (kids, career, relationships, etc.) but I am just going to generalize it and say faking a perfect life, without any snags, hard days, trials, etc., is not only toxic to your overall wellbeing, but you’re fooling no one. We all have shit. We all have hard days. We all have failures. Let’s accept all that which makes us human, by getting real with it. It doesn’t make you a lesser person, in fact it makes you more authentic. Share your FLAWSOMENESS!
Faking Friendships… who has the time, really? I mean, maybe when we were younger, we had friends we kept around just because we needed someone to hang out with, but as we grow older, it’s all about quality over quantity. If you have “friends” in your life who don’t nourish your overall being, who doesn’t show up when you need them most, who you can’t call at 3 am in the morning, who can’t sit with you in silence, who have never seen your ugly cry, then I believe you have to question if that friendship is the real deal.
So yeah, let’s stop faking IT…all of IT. Let’s stop putting up a sheath that hides who we really are. Let’s stop pretending we’re something we’re not. Let’s stop agreeing to what we despise. Let’s stop faking pleasure. Let’s stop fighting age. Just say no to fake friends and relationships. Life is so much easier when we can be honest with ourselves and find other weirdos who ride the same crazy train that we do!
Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels. She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways. Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living. Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 7-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.