What my bathroom paint has to do with your personal brand & how you look online.

mint choc ice cream

Back in 2017 we renovated downstairs, mainly because my father-in-law, 85 at the time and getting frail, was coming from NZ to visit and we knew it was probably his last trip. We wanted him to have a comfortable and private guest suite and my husband works best with a) a mission and b) a deadline.

The new bedroom had a bathroom next door and that’s where it all fell to custard, as far as I was concerned

It needed paint.

I’m great with clothes, but neither of us are interior designers. We chose a color which seemed to match the decorative tiling.

It didn’t.

My husband, being expedient, painted the bathroom anyway, neglecting to tell me the jade I was expecting was actually mint green.

It clashed.

There’s an ice cream in NZ made by a company called TipTop called, well, rather unimaginatively, Mint Choc Chip. But on the other hand, you know what you are getting and it’s super easy to Google.

All our bathroom was missing was chopped up chocolate sprinkled everywhere.

Color doesn’t bother my husband, but aesthetics can have me running around in circles screaming “my eyes, my eyes!”

I simply can’t go into that bathroom willingly. However, a) I don’t need to and b) my husband has more urgent priorities than repainting. So, it remains looking like all it needs is a waffle cone.

What has this got to do with your social media, website, and online dating profiles?  

Cognitive dissonance.

noun Psychology.

anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.

In my case I have a strong sense of visual cognitive dissonance.

Yeah, yeah, we are still working our way through Covid and going to the salon is tricky/seems shallow with all that is going on in our world. And growing out your gray is cool. Covid-19 pounds is a thing, and there’s no shame in that. Clothing has deteriorated into “schlumpadinka” to quote Oprah. We are all fed up with spending our entire day on Zoom and tired of making an effort, even if it is just from the waist up. I say the following with love, and self-awareness that I have shown up to meetings looking like I have just been pulled through a hedge backwards. Plus, hey, what’s going on around us in the USA. It’s bigger than getting a haircut.

But cognitive dissonance could be getting between you and the life you want to lead, which includes making money so you can support causes you believe in and creating a life you can be proud of.  

Maybe it’s just me?

I’d book a meeting, have a wander through websites, social media profiles etc. to get a sense of the person. Their comments, posts, photos indicated who they were and what mattered to them.

Then I’d meet them in person or online and have to work really hard to hide my shock. They’d look different. Often really, really different,

I’ve never met a woman I couldn’t appreciate, but if I’m startled it takes me a while to get in my groove. It took me a while to work out why I was so disconcerted and off my game.

Now, if they’re a client and have actually asked for a brand assessment, then I’ll explain my impression, gently. If not, I try to keep my mouth shut.

I love that many women do not curate their social media photos – what you see is what you get. It’s authentic and endearing, though possibly not professional, it depends on the situation.

But if people see you as jade and you show up as mint green, you might be throwing your clients for a loop. Ditto if you are dating online. Let 2021 be the year you take a quick look at the paint on your digital presence and see if the color still matches.

Because your color right now is perfect.

We need to get new bras every six months or so, keep an eye on your profile if it impacts an area of your life.

And if it doesn’t impact you in any way, it’s fine to let people see where you were.

But if you want to be who you are, or where you want to go, maybe it’s time to update the world.

Aroha, Erin


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