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”
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?