Tan back with bow!photo © 2010 Valentina Monti | more info (via: Wylio)“Is that a real tan or a spray on tan?” asked the television host to the woman posing in the bathing suit. The woman replied, “Its real.” This exchange on morning television led me to thinking about authenticity. I’m not sure that having a “real tan” was the best thing for this young woman, given the obvious exposure to UV rays and possible long-term effects. However, the woman was proud that she was authentic in her tan.

Most of us are usually not questioned about our own authenticity, even though people may wonder. We do wonder. We look at someone’s physical appearance or some aspect of their appearance, and we wonder to ourselves real or fake. We wonder about tans as well as other things. We also wonder about the authenticity of a person’s character. Is she for real? Why is she being nice to me? What does he want? We realize that often we ourselves have ulterior motives. If we have ulterior motives, then certainly others do as well. We wonder who is authentic and who is trying to put something over on us.

We can do something to change this undercurrent of suspicion. We can be our real selves, allowing others to see who we are. This may seem scary at first, because we may be worried that others will not like us. After all, we have scares, foibles, and shortcomings. We work really hard to hide the parts of ourselves we find lacking, including too pale skin. Yet, if we want others to be authentic, we need to take the first step. We may think that others will not accept us if they really know us, but how will we know if we never give anyone a chance to find out. If we don’t like things about ourselves, such as attitudes or disposition, then maybe we need to work with God to make some changes. The first step to being the person we want to be is being authentic with ourselves and allowing others to know us.


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