My Twitter picture really is me I promise

I was at a dinner earlier in the week, attended by a group of other bloggers.

“I have to ask,” said one, “how did you get that woman to agree to let you use her picture as your Twitter avatar?”

“It’s me!” I said.

“Really?!” she looked disbelieving. “How?”

“Well, a lot of make-up and professional lighting obviously, but it is me, I promise!”

I get some version of this conversation pretty much every time I meet anyone in real life who knows me primarily from Twitter, because my Twitter avatar looks like this:

Twitter pictureCute right?

It’s the picture I use across pretty much all of my social channels and my blog, but the problem is that it doesn’t actually look anything like me. It comes from a photo that was taken to go with an article I had written for a national newspaper about dating, and to be honest I didn’t even look like that at the time – the inch thick make-up, professional hairdressing and bright lighting combine to create an illusion of glamour that simply didn’t and doesn’t exist. (The blue background was actually the colour of my living room walls though and my children really are that pretty – they had no make-up on.)

Slummy single mummy

Slummy single mummy

I liked the photo though and when I started my blog, four years ago, I thought it would be a great one to include. The key thing to keep in mind here is that I never thought I would ever meet anyone from my blog or Twitter in real lifeI didn’t know that my blog would become a thing – I thought I could just pretend that I was hot. (Whilst actually blogging at home with greasy hair and in my pyjamas, surrounded by biscuit crumbs.)

By the time I had begun to actually meet other bloggers, the photo had become more of a logo than an actual representation of my face, and when I tried changing my Twitter picture to one that actually looked like me, people stopped following me.


So now I am stuck with it and stuck with that mixed response of surprise, disbelief and vague disappointment that follows a meeting with anyone new. Luckily, I will very likely never meet 95% of my Twitter followers, so for them I will always look like that, and that’s OK with me.



  1. 13 December, 2013 / 10:40 am

    I knew it was you. xx

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 1:07 pm

      Thank you :-D xx

  2. 13 December, 2013 / 10:55 am

    I love this post. I’ve actually had that conversation with someone who met you. “Is her avatar her?” “I think so, but she doesn’t really look like that”. It’s you though – no-one can take that away….and it’s a better shot than I’ll ever get of me, so you have every right to be pleased with it :)

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 1:07 pm

      Hahaha! I love that these conversations are even happening amongst other people, without me even knowing Jenny! I am sure I must have a shocking reputation as that massively egotistical blogger with the ridiculous avatar!!

  3. Simon Howes
    13 December, 2013 / 1:11 pm

    Surely ‘proper’ fans of yours will have been paying enough attention that they will have seen the day to day pictures of yourself you have posted both in blog and on social media.

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 3:28 pm

      Aha! A very good point Simon!

  4. 13 December, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    Hehe, I did wonder a few times if it was you or not.. I love the phone picture, its what pulled me to your blog in the first place :)

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 3:29 pm

      Which is exactly why I have to keep it forever and ever :-)

  5. Nicky Richards
    13 December, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    Of course it looks like you, if you look closely enough!!! You are much more gorgeous in real life without all of that slap on :) x

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 3:29 pm

      You do have to look pretty closely ;-)

  6. Your sister
    13 December, 2013 / 2:59 pm

    I know your face well and it does look like you! The hair on the other hand……

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 3:29 pm

      The hair normally is the bit that disappoints the most, although people are generally too polite to say anything other than ‘Oh, but your hair…’

  7. 13 December, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    Oh but you’re much hotter in real life. The thought of all that hairspray!!

    At least your avatar is glamorous. I get very twitchy when someone recognises me from mine…

    • admin
      13 December, 2013 / 3:31 pm

      What do you mean?! You get to wear a crown! It doesn’t get much more glamorous than that.

  8. 13 December, 2013 / 6:50 pm

    Ha! When I had a carbonised avatar created for my other blog (, many people who had never met me before could see the resemblance if they looked closely enough. I liked the anonymity which doubled up as recognition for awhile but have been debating removing that altogether for awhile now.

    For my blog, I write more personal stuff. I use a generic avatar but I know that a proper photo would probably be best. Do you find having a photo really works better?

    • admin
      16 December, 2013 / 8:24 am

      Yes, absolutely. I think even though it’s online, people want to feel like they are connecting with another person, and having a real photo definitely helps that.

  9. Hazel Christopher
    13 December, 2013 / 7:08 pm

    In all honesty who doesn’t put their “best” pictures of themselves online? I know with the majority of mine I take about 50 photos and pick the best of a bad bunch (then I edit the heck out of it, up the brightness, hide the eye bags etc) I think it’s good to put our best pictures up online because we have to look at them all the time – imagine having a photo of yourself in awful clothes, covered in baby sick with birds nest hair – you’d feel rubbish everytime you log on. As it is I pic the nicest photo and just pretend in my head I’m always looking that gorgeous :D

    • admin
      16 December, 2013 / 8:25 am

      You’re right of course Hazel – I don’t suppose anyone would really look at all the photos they had of themselves and pick the one they looked really old and tired in!

  10. David Jackson
    13 December, 2013 / 9:24 pm


    • admin
      16 December, 2013 / 8:26 am

      Well thanks!

  11. Jonet Middleton
    13 December, 2013 / 10:00 pm

    Hi I knew it was you obviously! and all that is different is make-up and glasses. Do people really not think it is you? You always look beautiful!! xx

    • admin
      16 December, 2013 / 8:26 am

      I think it’s the hair that throws people. In real life my hair lacks something of the volume and lustre!

  12. 14 December, 2013 / 6:56 am

    I have never had the pleasure but honestly I knew your twitter Ava was you. No one looks as good as a picture but I am sure I could tell you is you. I love these pictures they have such a kitsch feel.. I am now really intrigued to see you now though and see if you really look that different x

    • admin
      16 December, 2013 / 8:27 am

      Thanks Kara – I love them too, although I’m not sure my kids are so keen! I have some in the set where I am posing with my hair all up in curlers, before they finish, and those are really cool – perhaps I should switch to one of those for a while?

  13. 16 December, 2013 / 7:03 pm

    What are you talking about? You look EXACTLY like that in real life. EXACTLY…

  14. 19 December, 2013 / 11:35 pm

    We love your picture! And sure that you look as great in reality as well. A bit of make-up cannot conceal anything– beauty will shine through anyway!

    The hair up in curlers would be funny; would convey a more 50’s housewife message (if that’s what you’re going for ;-)

    Regards from the Samahope team

  15. 30 December, 2013 / 8:13 am

    I never gave any thought as to whether someone would question whether a photo was “real” or not!

  16. 8 January, 2014 / 8:13 pm

    Oh that made me giggle – I love your pictures the bottom one always makes me smile when it comes up (I feel like screaming a lot) but I would never think to question if it was you (I do think you can tell its you from your other pictures as well) x

  17. 27 March, 2014 / 9:41 am

    Wow!! you are looking fabulous after make up. Yes, it’s very true that after doing make up , your are looking very different from your real life picture. It’s very difficult to recognise you with this pic of you on twitter or facebook like social networking websites. Thanks for sharing this post.

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