Facebook rolls out its long-awaited timeline feature today, a function that I implemented a few weeks ago just to get things over with. I don’t have time to love or hate it, but the new layout requires you to choose a huge banner-like picture to display as part of your profile page. In what was practically a reflex, I chose a close up picture of my eyes — they’re my eyes, part of my face, it’s my profile, so what, right? A few days later I got a message from an acquaintance (notice I did not use the word “friend”), who attempted to break the long-frozen ice between us with the opener “Hey Thembi! I can see you’re as much into the new Facebook profile as you are into yourself! Nice ‘look at my face’ billboard lol”

Girl, please.

First of all, this is my Facebook profile we’re talking about here. It’s supposed to have my face on it. Not only that, but I was actually pretty apprehensive about letting folks see a close-up of my eye region because my sun exposure has been high and my eye cream usage low — they are definitely the eyes of a grown woman, if you catch my drift. The nerve of that chick!

I’ve since ignored her silly message and taken the time to comb through her photos (not impressed) so I feel fine dismissing her lame attempt at re-entering my life as a frenemy as sheer hateration. I have my highs and lows like anyone, but I’ve earned every drop of my self-esteem and no one is taking it away with some silly Facebook message accusations.

But the incident made me wonder: how comfortable with ourselves do we have to seem before people take us as vain? How much effort should we put into “dumbing down” our confidence so that people don’t see us that way? And how often do we decide that people (especially other women, sadly) are stuck on themselves when they are really just trying to make do with what they’ve got?

What do you think? Share your experiences in the comments!

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  • BrooklynZoe

    When I was a Facebook user, I would see a lot of materialistic, self absorbed crap like posting pics of a closet full of shoes talking about “Look at my shoe game” or ” I got it made.” And I also noticed how Facebook became a tool to live a fake life. People I knew who were broke was posting about $500 dresses and Jimmy Choos

  • I’ve often wondered the same thing. I live in a particularly depressed city in the midwest where a most people (women, black AND white) do not put any effort into their appearance whatsoever. They dress as though they’ve just given up on life altogether. In this kind of environment it can be so easy to dumb down your efforts and just join the fray. I refuse to blend in. I get dressed every single day, just to drop my kids off at school. I refuse to let the way other women see themselves dictate how I see myself. And just as an FYI about 90% of my wardrobe comes from the thrift store. I’ve become quite a savvy thrifter, and I find really awesome things, so it’s not like I’m spending my husband’s paycheck on clothes.

    Of course my self-esteem comes from just how I dress, but I feel that it is reflected in the time and care I take to groom myself.

    • OOps , I meant to say that my self-esteem DOESNT just come from clothes.
      Editing is fundamental :)