In 2019, we are living in the age of personal branding. Who are we, what our ethical views are and how do we want the world to see us? The way in which we present ourselves online can make or break everything from our careers to how we interact with people in real life. A strong personal brand can bring many opportunities and one way that many people are achieving this is by using their humble portrait as a starting point. If this is the case, where do I fit in if I never want to show my face online?
The lifestyle blogger’s niche is based around faces. A look at top players such as Liv Purvis, Lily Pebbles and Hannah Gale all have one thing in common – their portraits define their work and have helped in part to propel them to higher influence. I’d like to make it clear that I’m not disparaging people who use their image and I’m very aware that my tone could come across as jealous and/or judgemental. I hope I can show that this is not the case. The way influencers work is by creating content that draws people to them and those that are successful establish a rapport with their followers and make themselves easily recognisable. Readers identify more with people they are able to visualise.
And so herein lies the problem. There’s only so many ways I can creatively cut out my face without looking like I get confused with the purpose of the crop tool!
Why exactly do I have an aversion to posting my face online? There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, I have been cursed with what I’ve seen dubbed as “Chronic Baby Face”. Despite being a significant twenty-three years of age, I have the facial features of a fourteen-year-old. I often get reactions of shock and disbelief when I have to clarify my age, which is often followed by annoying “wow you look [insert tween or teenage year here]”. In the age of flawless selfies, a very youthful face doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in a lifestyle blog! This is probably the facial equivalent of “small man syndrome”, but I feel like broadcasting my face won’t have the effects I want.
Secondly, taking photos of my face is an endeavour that often leaves me frustrated. Photos never comes out the way I’d like, and an overwhelming feeling of frustration often takes the fun out of creating out of something. It’s always “my eyes look wonky” or “my mouth looks lopsided”. I’m either too pale or to ruddy-faced. I look awkward or I look creepy. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the knowledge that I’m going to have my photo taken often fills me with dread. I hate changing my Facebook profile and have not since 2015. The odd selfie is fine but putting my face online is a whole other ballgame I’m not ready to contend with.
I’m aware that there are plenty of blogs that have little to no photos of the owners and are doing swimmingly without. Their blogs are defined by beautiful photography and graphics that display everything other than the human skull. Can I be one of those people?
I’m aware that a lot of this comes from a lack of confidence and slightly narcissistic view that people have to see me looking my best if they’re going to be interested in me. It is highly likely that this is all in my head and I’m already going down the route of self-sabotage before I’ve even begun. But it all comes down to the idea that a “facial presence” is needed to get anywhere.
I don’t have any answers and this post may feel a bit redundant, but I now know that this is something I need to work on. Let me know if you agree with me or any other thoughts you have!