After two and a bit years of blogging, I finally decided to change my blog Facebook profile picture to one which showed you my whole face.
Embarrassingly, it’s taken me this long to pluck up the courage to do this. One of my gorgeous friends and mentors, Tara Bliss, advised me that I needed to do this at the beginning of my blogging journey, as people wanted to know who they were hearing from and communicating with. Excellent advice, and completely logical. Most people (although, this is probably my social media-influenced take on things) seem to have the ability to put photos of themselves all over their blog- laughing, walking in nature, meditating, representing, but for some reason, I couldn’t seem to get on board with this.
The Story of a Facebook Profile Picture
Taken on the beach at Byron Bay, I cropped this photo to within an inch of its life before putting it out there. I obviously really wanted to hide behind my hair and sunglasses, and I kept this profile picture for as long as possible. It’s also a little big blurry and you wouldn’t know me from Adam if you bumped into me. As long as people couldn’t really see it was me, I felt safe and protected.
This photo was taken about a year later and I desperately wanted to pull my scarf over my face when my husband took this picture. My shoulders were hunched, I wasn’t wearing much make-up (it was early in the morning) and I was extremely uncomfortable about the whole thing. I also forced him to airbrush the photo to infinity before reluctantly putting it up on my profile page.
I was a little happier with this one, but I’m still hiding. I thought I was going for the funky, Instagram-style shot, but unconsciously, I’m still desperate not to be seen. This was taken just before heading out for our work’s Christmas night out in December 2014, and I was feeling pretty good(!), but I’m still tentatively hoping that you won’t see or notice me. Can I just run away and hide now…please?
My husband snapped this of me in Kyoto, Japan, when I wasn’t looking (he always does that, the cheeky monkey!). I was pretty tired, just wearing a flash of mascara and my skin is blotchy and blemished from the change to frosty weather. I’m wearing a battered jumper that I love, but have had since the dawn of time. I have astigmatism, which is why my eyes look a little ‘off’. This is the furthest I could possibly get from a ‘look, I’m having the time of my life!’ profile picture.
I’m completely out there- vulnerable, warts and all. This is me. But a funny thing happened after my husband previewed the photos.
He immediately changed the background on his phone to this photo. Not the one of me dolled up to the nines looking hot to trot- this one. He said it was just ‘me’, and I couldn’t really argue with that.
Profile Picture Lessons
In these few short weeks, I’ve come to realise that very gradually over the years, I’ve been returning back to my authentic self. This doesn’t mean I’ve always welcomed it, but it feels…well…peaceful. To be honest, it’s more to pretend than it is to be real. This is why I created the Take Care Project, because I really wanted to dive into this feeling a little more and keep it going. It feels as though I don’t have anything to prove anymore, and from there, authenticity can only grow. But when my husband changed his phone background, my ego immediately jumped in- what if his colleagues thought he had a scruffy wife? Couldn’t we go in for one more shot so I could brush my hair again?
The truth is, I suddenly realised that if his colleagues did see his background (because obviously, they’ve got nothing else better to do), I think they’ll be able to tell from this picture that what you see if what you get. I’m not perfect, and I tend to lie around in floppy jumpers and jeans. I do like a flash of red lippy, but I’m a no-fuss kind of person, and even if we took this same photo 100 times over, I still wouldn’t be happy with it.
I can’t promise that you’ll see me meditating by the beach looking radiant any time soon, or leaping into the air with excitement for a blog feature. I still struggle with putting myself ‘out there’. I can’t even promise that I won’t try and hide again in a future profile picture. But I can promise however that this is me- truly, all-in, raw.
What does your Facebook profile picture say about you?
Love, Katie xxx