Toxic Authenticity

Mar 04, 2024

Toxic masculinity

Toxic positivity

Toxic shock syndrome

Toxic waste


These are the top “toxic” searches in google today (in order).  I want to add one more to the bunch…  TOXIC AUTHENTICITY and I think they are all the same level of poison. 

(I would probably also add “toxic femininity” to the mix to be fair, but that is beside the point of this message today.  Swing the pendulum too far in any direction and it becomes toxic)


If you are a parent, or a person for that matter, trying to stand out and be noticed has probably been a struggle on a large or small stage at some point in your life and let me tell you something you probably already know… you children are facing it even more in these 24 hour digital times.


I was watching an ad a while back for some makeup line that interrupted my white noise while working.  It was big, loud colors and big, loud images of people doing big, loud things.  Standing on cars, on stages, skateboarding in ball gowns, tongues out, yelling  etc.  At the end of this commercial a guy came on the screen and said if this isn’t you, “Your basic.”.


Wow!  If THIS isn’t you, you are “basic”???


“Basic”, according to in slang means someone who is “unoriginal, unexceptional and mainstream” and mostly applied to young white females, but not always.  The negativity can reach everyone.  The example given is someone who drinks pumpkin spice lattes, wears UGG boots, North Face, and leggings, has manicured curls and takes selfies.  


I find this VERY interesting because all of these things they mentioned have been trends which means it went from nothing to something because someone or some entity somewhere marketed the heck out of it to get lots of people to buy and follow the trend.  Once they do, they are called basic because of it, which is exactly what they were trying not to be when they did, or bought, that special, out of the ordinary thing in the first place.  They didn’t want to be left behind. 


You follow the trends and then you are called basic because everyone is listening to them?

You don’t follow the trends and so you are not good enough as the people that are?


What our kids are hearing is that you are never going to be enough, but that doesn’t stop them from getting up the next day and trying again with the next thing and the next and the next to be seen and stand out.  (adolescent brain are not fully formed in that critical thinking frontal lobe yet, remember?)


This is how authenticity becomes anything but authentic!


Why is this?

What are they chasing?

Power? Control? Pride? Attractiveness and desires of the flesh?


Honestly?  Maybe…  the enemy uses all of these temptations, tactics and distractions relentlessly every moment of every day.


To be “Authentic” means to be of undisputed origin and genuine and the truth is that this is all of us.  Not a single one of us humans that has ever lived, lives now or will live is exactly like another. 


We don’t have to shout, put on masks, pretend to be something or appease. 

We CAN explore our unique gifts and talents.  Dive into the interests we have in this great big pregnant with opportunity world and head forth into our unique purpose and work. 

As us, our authentic self.


So, what are some ways that you can help your kid stay grounded in their real authenticity?

  1. Talk to her and often.  I know it sounds simple, and it is (or can be), but the results are everything.  Think about it!  Therapy, coaching and counseling is just talking too, but it has worked for centuries to help people.  It is asking the right questions and peeling back the layers to move forward in action and thought.  Talking is powerful!  Get to know HER and the Tuesday her may be different than the Wednesday her.  Life is on full blast right now.  If you know her, she won’t feel the need to shout, “HERE I AM!” so loudly and brutally. Download 20 conversations starters to give a good starting point!
  2. Keep your eyes open!  She needs to be seen and heard! (download the 5 Biggest needs here) Observe her behavior, reactions, body language, tone and respond with care, concern, and love… not sarcasm, frustration and a harsh tone that meets hers.  We lead, they follow!
  3. Pray over her and with her so she better understands her place in the world.  This will help her realize there is a bigger story she is a part of and there are people she can learn from that have come before her in the Bible.  You can help her build her worth, esteem and confidence from the inside out with 40 Scriptures & Conversations to have When Raising Daughters . It will help you realize it is not all on you even though you are her first earth side architect, you are not her master architect, that job was taken long before you knew her. Plus, talk about being authentic! Stepping out and forging your own path with Christ has been The Way since the beginning.   “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10  


We need to help our children realize their true authenticity and help them stop putting the world in the driver’s seat of what defines that.  They are already authentically created.


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