You may have been privy to my social media experiment on Facebook recently, which ended up with me posing a profile pic as a pigeon to see if it would affect the number of friend requests I receive. Turns out it does. But friend requests aside, the experiment elicited many posts and private messages asking me a few repeated questions that I've decided to address in this new post.
Why don’t you open a separate business page on Facebook or Instagram for people to follow?
Good question. I used to have one. It didn’t get nearly as much traction or client leads as allowing followers to friend me. In this age of canned posts and being inundated with feel good quotes, I think people want to know that they are talking to a real, relatable human and get a glimpse into their lives if they’re going to seek support from that person or listen to what they have to share. This is why I allow friend requests, within reason...
Why don’t you post more body shots of yourself?
Are you too insecure to post sexy pics?
Do you judge those who do?
Do you allow other women to body shame you into not showcasing your body because they will judge?
(As these questions were along the same line of thought, I decided to package them together in the same response.)
No, it’s not that I’m too insecure to post bikini or body shots. I subtly responded to this recent question by posting a pic on Instagram of a bouquet of basil from my garden that I lovingly grew while my full body reflection in workout gear can be seen in the background. (pictured below..)
Overall, as a 47-year old mama, I’m content in my appearance and not posing sexy pics is also not because I'm insecure or judge those who do.
Like everyone else, of course I notice things drooping and lines forming and ‘dear god where did that random hair come from!!’ and that it takes a lot longer to get rid of the inevitable bloat that comes from a night of wine, nachos and chocolate mmm ;) and all of this can make us feel damn unsexy at times. But quite frankly, I’m all about indulging sometimes over the effort and/or deprivation it takes to maintain incredible abs. Though to be fair, I admire the discipline and perseverance of those who choose to do so if it makes them feel great! Maintaining a rock hard body is just not my personal main focus.
Here are 4 other reasons as to why I don’t focus on posting a bunch of bikini or sexy body shots:
1) I’m not a fitness or nutrition specific coach. If I was, then perhaps showcasing an example of my fit body might encourage or empower other women to do the same. I say might because at times it has the opposite effect and feels unattainable. Regardless, my coaching focuses on overall confidence, resiliency, boundaries, career/life balance, purpose etc.
2) I don’t think that confidence and empowerment is about posing selfies. This is a social media construct designed to get the user to seek external validation and a dopamine hit, kind'a like a junkie.
That said, I think selfies have their place. At times they help someone feel a bit better about themselves in the short term after going through a particularly rough time and as women we should support one another, not judge or criticize for choosing this.. (INCIDENTALLY AS WOMEN WE CAN ALL DO A MUCH BETTER JOB OF SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER and I intend to write more about this in weeks to come…)
Selfies are also a way to personalize social media posts in place of an in-person interaction and posts with pics are proven to get far greater traction than those without!
This aside, I’m of the opinion that we should feel great about who we are more than what we look like on the outside and that’s the example I want to give to my daughter. She knows what I do for a living and that some selfies are part of the job, but just as I encourage her to post images that showcase her interests and personality more than her physical appearance, I too want to set this example.
3) I’m not so sure that it’s that empowering for women in general who may be struggling with hormonal imbalances, anxiety & stress, time management, unhealthy relationships and weight gain to see endless shots of me or other women, particular slim or fit ones in bikinis or sexy poses. Tell me, does this make you feel more or less confident as a woman? Would seeing me showcase more of myself make you feel more powerful being comfortable in your own body? I'd seriously love to hear your thoughts on this ladies.
Lately I’ve noticed that larger audiences of women are attracted to posts of bigger women who are willing to pose in lingerie or bikinis or post baby bodies that feel relatable all in an attempt to undo the ridiculous expectations of women that have been imposed by decades by the fashion industry. (Like this confident mama pictured below who you can follow on Instagram: @thebirdspapaya.)
4) While I believe that we must take responsibility for our own feelings, as someone who makes a living of helping others maintain a healthy body image and self-esteem, I also don't want to contribute to feelings of inadequacy or distill my message by focusing the attention on my own appearance. Shallow comparisons are something that still happen far too often, even among friends. I say shallow because at the end of the day, being attractive isn't much of an achievement nor should it be the benchmark by which we compare ourselves. We're given the faces and bodies we're given and while we can maintain them best we can, there will always be someone more physically attractive out there.
What I do consider an achievement is being kind, considerate, empathic, honest and having integrity even when it's hard and people let us down. My hope is that my daughter will attract women who choose to focus more on these values than on physical comparisons and insecurities as she grows up.
But to be sure, I’ll throw in a few full body pics here and there so as not to give the opposite impression of insecurity. Trying to find the sweet spot of balance.
Have you seen the 'Social Dilemma' on Netflix and why don’t you get off of social media altogether?
I did watch it thanks for the referral. I had already seen a documentary awhile back on what goes into the manipulation and addiction of social media users as well as the effect on teens so this wasn’t new to me and we had made some changes as a family back then and continue to review. If you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend it.
This documentary goes on to say however that the ‘economic incentive has us trapped as there’s little other options available to garner as much attention’. In other words, for some of us, such as entrepreneurs, it remains the best platform at the moment to share our services in order to continue to provide for our families.
With this in mind, it’s important to me that I develop online content that is useful, motivational, supportive and relevant to you. I’m currently putting together a masterclass of the best of the talks and workshops I’ve given over the last decade and in order to make this truly transformational, I would love to hear your opinion.
So this begs the question: What do you want to read about most?
Below are 15 examples of questions that clients ask me for support with.
Let me know which ones interest you most or what sort of content would motivate, support, reassure or help you most?
1. How to create greater resiliency in the face of adversity or challenges?
2. How to increase self-esteem and feel more confident?
3. How to manage anxiety and stress more effectively?
4. How do I manage my time more effectively and avoid procrastination?
5. How can I manage my email more effectively?
6. How do I communicate more effectively and give honest, authentic feedback to my peers, staff, manager, spouse, friends or family while avoiding conflict?
7. How do I create more purpose and passion in my life?
8. How can I find a tribe of supportive people I can relate to and feel less alone?
9. How can I improve, find or leave my intimate relationship?
10. How I change / improve my career?
11. How do I change my life?
12. How can I parent more effectively so my child/teen will listen?
13. How can I lose weight and feel better about myself without feeling deprived and discouraged?
14. How can I improve my listening skills?
15. How do I achieve greater work/life balance?
I look forward to hearing from you!
PS. Next post will be on how to develop more resiliency during tough times…