Coming to Terms with #TBT

We exist 140 characters at a time. We post the same image to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and get mad when people don’t acknowledge them individually in each platform. Actual dialogue is replaced with emojis and improper grammar renders seemingly endearing sentiments inappropriate (e.g. #letitsnow).

And we love it. We love every trending topic and are more faithful to the daily hashtag than we ever were to our “days of the week” underwear. But as the innocent Man Crush Monday (#MCM) fades into #TransformationTuesday and eases into the tongue in cheek Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW), we all know what’s coming. And as Throwback Thursday (#TBT) approaches, it’s important to understand that while some people are comfortable with their early 90s hair or matching dresses their mother made them wear, there is always that dark period that needs to remain un-thrown.

If you or a loved one are going through a particularly difficult #TBT, here are the seven stages of grieving you must go through in order to reach acceptance and understanding.

Taking your morning scroll through Instagram, you <3 your friend’s picture of their baby in sunglasses and the inspirational quote that supports your dreams, and quickly flip by Kim Kardashian’s latest post (because you follow her, but ironically) and then you see it…the eyeliner, the bangs, the 20 extra pounds of “baby weight” (that you held onto for roughly 20 years) and the acronym that makes this form of public shaming socially acceptable: #tbt.

Shock or Disbelief – What?! How did they find that picture? Did they call my mom? WHY DID SHE GIVE IT TO THEM?! How can this photographic evidence exist when I have blocked out this time period completely?

Denial – That’s not even me…that must be my sister, or Pippi Longstocking’s chubby cousin. There’s no way. I’ve never made that face in my life, so this must be Photoshop. Or some kind of app that creates false images from the past.

Anger – How could they do this to me?? I have so many pictures I could post, but I don’t because I’m NOT A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING!! 

Bargaining – OK, how do I word this without sounding desperate…“Hey there! I saw the picture you posted…LOL! So funny. Anyways, can you please take it down immediately? I’ll totally post the picture from last night where you look cuter than me…I just really need you to delete that off your timeline. I’ll come over and clean your house even! LOL. JK. Not really. Please…”

Guilt – I mean, it’s my fault that I made that face and allowed it to be captured on camera. I should know better. Everyone said bangs were a bad idea…it’s my fault for only believing them 7 years later. (…but maybe I should try them again…)

Depression – I should just let myself get back to that point and make this #tbt a reality. That way the next time a picture like that comes up, it won’t be a throwback…it will just be my profile picture. I need some cake. Where are the scissors??

Acceptance and Hope – You know…this is a nice time to reflect on where I was and where I am now. You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it. And those are the lessons worth remembering…especially when it comes to bangs.

Once you make it through these seven stages, you will be in a better place and emotionally ready to <3 that picture and move on. And the best part is, the next #tbt is only a week away, and you just came across a picture that involves cargo jeans and a Brad Pitt “Legends of the Fall” poster.