Usually when people use the #nofilterneeded it’s because the picture is perfect without any enhancement.

These days, when hairdressers, beauticians, fresh air and a good night’s sleep are hard to come by, most of us are badly in need of a soft focus or even a no focus at all lens. It’s funny (or not) how at a time when social distance is a mercy we then sit in front of a camera to see everyone else. As time goes on and hair gets greyer, fewer people are happy to be seen.

I have always gladly embraced ways of hiding the toughest sides of myself. Swimming used to be a great way to become like everyone else. Until I struggled out. Sitting on a bench is a fairly good way too, if my poles aren’t visible. I used to try and hide them out of view for photographs. I’ve got over that now.

Is there anything about yourself you’re afraid people will see? What do you think will happen if they do? Over this past year I’ve realised two things; first that people notice very little and second, they are more likely to be kind than not.

I’m a long way off from embracing my grey hair- I mean, if I already walk with a stick then that’s enough old lady for me right now! But, beyond learning how to not care what people think is the wonder that people actually do care. A wee girl (she’s Emily and she’s six) approached me in the park recently, pointed to my poles and asked me what they were. I gave her the short explanation but she followed it up with many questions. She wanted the real story. I hope that when she’s sixty she’ll still be like that- not afraid of the unfiltered person in front of her, wanting to know the truth.

Is there someone hiding themselves from you right now? Are you strong enough to pursue their real story? Do you care enough? Can you be like Emily (with a touch more sensitivity perhaps)? The visual filters have been unexpectedly lifted away. Are you ready to look beyond the human ones too?

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