I have a Tumblr account that is a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

I follow bands, art museums, scientists, authors, and a large group of teenagers who hate themselves but always share life-affirming quotes. I follow men who like bunnies and women who are always on diets. And I drop in on a ton of fitness accounts with women who do insane yoga poses.

Lately, I have been stalking a group of women who want to lose weight but don’t want to look at the scale. I totally support this movement, by the way, because weight is often a pointless metric. But I do wonder: how do you know if you’ve lost weight or not without standing on a scale?

The answer is selfies.

During the month of May, many women are taking photos of themselves in the mirror instead of stepping onto a scale. It’s 30 days of photos on Tumblr to track progress, y’all.

And I’m like, okay, that’s cool. I like seeing women feel better about their bodies. But between 100 days of happiness and the no make-up selfies, I am inspired-the-hell-out.

I am also sick of bad storytelling.

We live in an age of lazy and unreliable narrators who use storytelling hacks to enhance their personal brands. People all over the world jump on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter and try to convince their audiences — and maybe themselves — that they have their shit together. Writers in all shapes and sizes expect me to believe that happiness and personal growth are possible because it says so, right there, in my browser.

And I just have my doubts, man.

I want to know:

– What the hell happened to you? How did you get to the point where you decided to change your behaviors?

– Why are you exhibiting your body on Tumblr and Instagram? How do you make a choice like that and think, yeah, that’s healthy?

– How do you plan on surviving for the rest of your god damn life?

Please don’t skip the messy parts of your story in a quest for Oprah-like truth. I am not interested in your truth, anyway. I am interested in the ugly, dirty, complicated details of life because it’s those ugly, dirty, and complicated details of your life that will show me that your story is real.

I want to believe your truth. My one wish is that you stop showing me and start telling me your story.