Andrea wrote an excellent post about introducing yourself. As I was responding in her comments, a post idea was forming, so here we are. (Please visit her site if you haven't already, she's a great writer).
The internet is a funny thing in that I feel like I know the authors of the blogs I read and comment on, simply because I'm reading about their lives. I might even recognize some of them if I saw them on the street because of the photos they've posted. But do I really know them? Does anyone really know me?
When I was responding to Andrea's post, I originally started describing myself by my appearance. If I step outside and try to see me as an outsider might, I would see a reasonably well preserved 30-something woman with reddish brown hair, greenish hazel eyes and a semi-height/weight proportionate figure. Sounds like a personal ad.
But is that what defines me - my appearance? Is that how I define people? If I see someone on the street that's nicely dressed, I automatically assume they're a nice person. They could be an ax murderer for all I know. The reverse also applies - if you look like you can't be bothered to comb your hair, I probably won't be bothered with talking to you, and I might be passing up an opportunity to talk to a genius.
All those years of hearing "don't judge a book by the cover" apparently didn't stick. And in true parenting fashion of "do what I say and not what I do," I've told my kids to get to know someone before making a snap decision based on outward appearance. However, I fully admit I'm a hypocrite.
My friends and I used to do a version of this to describe people we saw when we were out at the clubs - bald-headed guy, ugly plaid jacket girl, Velveeta t-shirt guy, white tank top girl. Turning the tables, did they see us as big-boobed girl, tall girl, spiky haired girl, Miller Lite girl?
Does my appearance tell you anything about me? Maybe you can tell that I like shoes and wear a decent bra. Otherwise, does it really convey my sense of humor, my heartache, or my hopes and dreams? If you saw me with no makeup, bedhead and paint-splattered sweats, would you stop to get to know me?