I have proudly changed my social media profile pics to feature a far less manicured (however way more REAL) depiction of me. I’ve done this to help create a better future for young women who aspire to have a career and a family but may see few ‘out and proud’ real examples of what it looks like behind-the-scenes as a working mum.
Despite what the carefully curated social media posts may have you think, there are piles of washing untouched, Weetbix like cement on the table, beds un-made and outfits that resemble ‘garbage-chic’. And shock-horror, even though I’m passionate about health and nutrition at times there will be 2 min noodles and toast for dinner. This is not a #mumfail post. This is the normal reality of mum life (career mum or not).
“The Whole Picture” is an initiative by my talented friend Sarah McGregor for Friday 8th March on this International Women’s Day 2019. Like many women in the workplace (myself included), at times she has felt the need to minimise awareness of her mum-status and sometimes completely hide it altogether.
As part of the campaign, Sarah highlights Katrina Alcorn’s quote that mothers are “expected to do our jobs like we don’t have children – and then raise our children like we don’t have jobs”. It’s a big ask. It’s an immense amount of pressure. And it’s actually not possible.
In a world of thoughtfully, curated social media posts and highlight reels where we publish the best versions of ourselves and our work, and take pictures of us having fun so we can be seen to be having fun, via online reputation management gone mad, the curse of comparison and questions like “how does she do it all?” are quite frankly depleting.
One day we will look back at ourselves and laugh at the ridiculousness of setting up shots of our food before we eat it, or our baby in cognac coloured earthy tones (when mostly they wear candy pink at childcare), and our lack of focus on genuine connection with the world while we document highlights. I welcome wholeheartedly the courage in us all to post more authentically.
I hope that today via #thewholepicture we can show solidarity in publishing images on social media of what is real and what is not. Surely we can do this for a day?! And perhaps more often in the future. By doing this we help to improve the self-image of women (and men), to facilitate inclusion, belonging and an open discussion about gender balance in the workplace and at home.
Let’s proudly show #thewholepicture.
~ words by Jade Roberts | raraPR Founder/Director