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Does being 'authentic and genuine' mean showing up 'warts and all'?

I was on Facebook just recently and a particular post caught my eye which I found really interesting and wanted to explore today through this blog post…

Someone had posted to say that they were irritated by other women showing up on Instagram and talking about being 'authentic and genuine', while using a face enhancing filter on their videos. As if this were the ultimate in inauthenticity.

This post had prompted a stream of comments in agreement, which - to be honest - I was a bit surprised at.

Because lots of us wear make up don’t we? And you could say that’s a little like using filters.

Does that make us inauthentic because we’re hiding our imperfections from the world? I don’t think so.

I believe we are beautiful with or with make-up…

With or without filters….

But if a woman (or anyone for that matter) feels the need to apply makeup or use a filter for some added confidence to show up and shine, then that’s ok in my books!

Whatever it takes I say!

Does being authentic mean having to show up 'warts and all'?

It got me thinking today about authenticity because it’s a term that’s banded around a lot in the small business world.

And as a photographer and visual designer, this is also a subject I ponder often, because I create ‘pretty things’ so that people can stand out, but for me it’s so much more than the visuals.

Does it make my photographs inauthentic because I edit the shots from my personal branding shoots?

Should I be encouraging my clients to be showing up ‘warts and all’ instead?


When someone books me, they are booking a professional experience and they expect to receive professional looking images that show them in their best light.

I’m sorry to the authenticity police…but that does involve some editing to brighten and subtly enhance.

It NEVER includes body morphing, however.

Because authenticity runs much deeper than the visuals doesn’t it!? It’s not just about pretty photos, visuals and branding.

And it’s not about whether you choose to wear make up or use a filter on your videos.

Authenticity is about showing up as yourself and sharing what you know to be true for you.

At the deepest level.

It’s about unlocking and sharing the message that’s deep in your heart. And not being scared to stand up for it…

So long as we’re doing that, does it really matter what we look like?!

And is it anyone else’s business whether we choose to use an Instagram filter or go the natural route by slicking on some red lippy and finding a lovely patch of front-lighting to soften the laughter lines?


Whatever it takes to do your stuff, JUST KEEP DOING IT.

I’ll be cheering you all the way!

I’d love to know your take on this. What does authenticity mean to you? And do you judge people as inauthentic for choosing to use a filter?

With heart,


I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website specialist based in Dorset

About Lucy:

I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in the UK. I help wellness & creative businesses build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can create positive ripples in the world.

Work with me | Human Design for Business | Sign up to my email list to join my inner circle and for help on creating impact in your brand.


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