Today’s #BeReal guest is Accidentally Reflective.
So far we have had images of people to go along with each post but today our guest will remain anonymous. This does not make her any less real. Perhaps it allows her to be even more real.
Hasty Words asked this question recently as part of her inspiring #BeReal campaign, along with asking me to write a little more about myself to give an idea of who I am and what I experience offline when it comes to people viewing me or a photo image of me…
I choose to remain anonymous and have no personal image of myself on social media. I made this decision for a reason. I didn’t want anyone to make any assumptions or to judge me based on what I look like. I wanted to instead have people connect with me for who I am.
To read what I have to say literally and not read between the lines based on my image.
I don’t know what people imagine I look like or what they think my background is.
In ‘real’ life, I am a confident woman of petite build with some obligatory mummy bulges. I like to dress in a classic way. I don’t buy fashionable or ‘in season’ things; mostly a plain palette that is classic and timeless that can be dressed down or up for years ahead. I do have funky taste though, so will use these timeless clothes and wear something ‘different’ with an outfit so that it always looks original.
I cannot stand to look like anyone else. If I see someone I know wearing the same clothes as me, I will never wear them again. I just can’t.
Being original and different is important to me. I don’t ever want to follow the crowd. Ever.
At college all the girls wore black, had long, silky, straightened hair and wore tons of makeup. I chose to cut my hair very short, wear dungarees with trainers (sneakers) and wear no makeup.
The thought of being stereotyped or grouped with a bunch of people I didn’t relate to was unthinkable. I wanted people to see that I had a personality and that I was different, with something new to say.
I have never worn a lot of make up, because I would be embarrassed if I were seen without it, especially when everyone is used to seeing an enhanced, distorted version of me. I do wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick (on dress up days), but nothing else. When it comes to ‘beautifying ‘myself, I don’t think I could ever ‘contour’ my face, maybe because I am scared I may like that version more and then not like myself as much. And I want to continue to be happy with who I am. I may not be perfect, but I am grateful for what I have.
I have never worn a push up bra, again because I firmly believe in ‘what you see is what you get’.
No surprises. Just me. Real.
That way, there are no issues. Everyone knows what to expect and I am always happy with what I have, not the ‘improved’ version of myself.
Being natural and myself is important to me, though this doesn’t mean I don’t wash or scrub up!
I take pride in my appearance; I look after myself but never to the extent that if someone were to see me first thing in the morning they would be shocked and not know where to look (!)
I believe in being grateful for what you have and embracing it. Making the most of your existing assets and not trying to be someone you’re not and never will be.
Accepting yourself and allowing people to accept you is hugely important to me.
When you are comfortable in your own skin and with they way you look, people are less likely to comment and upset you.
Life should not revolve around the way you look. There is so much more to it. So much more depth.
Girls are raised to view their bodies as an thing-to-be-looked-at that they have to constantly work on and perfect for the adoration of others, while boys are raised to think of their bodies as tools to use to master their surroundings. We need to flip the script and enjoy our bodies as the physical marvels they are. We should be thinking of our bodies, as bodies! As a vehicle that moves us through the world; as a site of physical power; as the physical extension of our being in the world. We should be climbing things, leaping over things, pushing and pulling things, shaking things, dancing frantically, even if people are looking. Daily rituals of spontaneous physical activity and thanks for movement are the surest way to bring about a personal paradigm shift from viewing our bodies as objects to viewing our bodies as tools to enact our subjectivity.
– Caroline Heldman PHD
When people meet me, they notice a different, slightly quirky individual, who isn’t afraid to speak up and be herself. Some people have mentioned it is ‘refreshing’.
If someone were to see an image of me, I’m not sure they would see my personality and what I have to give. They may not see that we could have similar tastes, values and ideas. I think in this day and age and going by the stereotypes we read about, they probably would judge me. They might assume that the choices I make may not be my own.
When I started writing and came on to social media, I wanted to force people to look deeper. Make a connection with the real me, rather than take one look at me and not take what I have to say as seriously.
I wanted them to know nothing about my exterior and more about my interior.
And it has worked. I have made connections, met people I get on with and can laugh with. I’m not sure what they really think about me. I do feel guilty at times, because I know so much about them and can at least vision them. I have the whole picture and they don’t. But for now, I’d like to keep it this way.
My image is a small percentage of what makes me who I am. I don’t need the validation or the judgment. Plus I don’t take compliments too well and I hate when a situation arises and it may ‘look’ like I am asking for them (another reason not to upload photos of myself).
My behavior, my character and integrity are what matter. These are what make connections and lasting friendships. These are necessary for any relationship in life. Does what I look like matter if we understand each other and get on?
I’d like to quote poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe here when he once said:
Behaviour is the mirror in which everyone shows their image. ~Johann Wolfang von Goethe
I hope that my image is a reflection of my behaviour. I hope that I never care for it to be the other way around.
So I’m going to stick to my decision and not reveal too much. I want to continue to build relationships and make connections based on my personality alone. I want to remain honest and real without having my ‘image’ take any position in my ‘online’ life. I am taking control.
Maybe one day I will reveal myself. Until then I’ll go by philosopher Emile M. Cioran’s rule:
A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself. ~Emile M. Cioran
Copyright 2015 © All rights reserved.
AD is a mother of three children, a school Governor, a writer, blogger, health and justice champion and passionate philanthropist. She firmly believes in giving back to society.
She writes about all sorts of topics; the weird and the wonderful. The harsh and the pleasant. For life is like that don’t you think?
Follow her on twitter https://twitter.com/a_reflective
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You can read more from her at http://www.accidentallyreflective.com
Further links for reading on relevant subjects: