Just look at this picture. Well, how can you not? It's stunning isn't it!? I look like a chubby, upside down baby hanging from the ceiling in a red diaper. My eyes are open, but they look like squinty slits. It appears every inch of fat has succumbed to a resting position on my face.
When I saw this picture, I was horrified. It was the least attractive I have ever seen myself look. And then, I started laughing. I sent it to random friends and they laughed. I posted it on social media and everyone laughed because this photo is damn hilarious, and I realized my unattractive image was able to cause mountains of joy.
What gave me the guts to do this saucy move in the first place? I'm not really sure, because I'm terrified of being suspended in mid air and not excited about being upside down. I've also seen Pitch Perfect 2, and before attempting this move I carefully inspected the crotch of my pants twice just to make sure there were no tiny holes awaiting an opportunity to expose more of me than I was ready for. But I did it and I was proud. Thankfully, my friend Charles captured the moment. I'll admit, it also may have been because I was on an outing with my favorite client company, and I wanted to impress them by not chickening out on something else after I skipped the trapeze lesson.
I couldn't keep this astonishing image to myself. I had to share it with the world, and I have a pretty sizeable following on social media. But I paused before posting it. Why? Because on social media, my goal most often is to look hot or attractive. I'll admit I like looking good, and I hold the camera a little higher so people don't catch a glimpse of my double chin. I avoid pictures on bad hair days which usually fall on the 4th day after I've washed my hair. It's as if I believe the world is stupid enough to think that I always look that damn good. I don't and I refuse to pretend that I do.
I'd like you to see me tired or sick or disheveled, so that when you see me looking great, you can say "Dang, Eve, looking good today." I'd like you to see the real me who mostly wears t-shirts and tennis shoes, the person who considers mascara and lipstick a fancy day. I'd also like you to have realistic views of real life from real people.
I'm not asking you to forgo pride in yourself, or to leave fashion behind. I want to see that. But I want to see all of it - the days when you are sad or confused or lost. Because I have those days too.
We whine so much about media controlling our views of life by manipulating imperfections with photoshop, but aren't we doing the same thing in a way? Don't we post the very best versions of our life on social media hoping people will buy that we (unlike them) are perpetually on vacation and in love? In reality sometimes we are at home working sick and getting divorced. So cut the bullshit.
This year I posted pictures of my beautiful vacation in Provence. I also posted pictures at the salon getting my greys highlighted, and my daughter and I miserable with strep throat. My life is wonderfully imperfect, and I'm completely grateful for it. If I'm going to share it online to build relationships, then I'm going to share all of it. I want you to do this as well. We are all wonderfully imperfect.
So here is your challenge: Hashtag your worst picture with #WonderfullyImperfect and tweet me @LinkedInQueen
I want to see you in all your imperfect glory. I won't judge you. Wait, that isn't true. I'll be damn impressed!
(This piece originally appeared on The Huffington Post)