Identity crisis

October 5, 2010

It seems to be my month for moral dilemmas. No sooner have I decided to spill the beans on Jane Bennett joining my pilates class (and she wasn’t there last Friday, I hope it wasn’t something I said!) than another thorny problem rears its head. A lady from a newspaper asked to interview me about teenage girls. Absolutely fine. I’m happy to chunter on about the horrors of the house of hormones for ever, as you know. Then she asked the names of my daughters. Suddenly not so fine. Then she wanted a photo! A screeching sound as my mental brakes went on. Nope. Not possible.

I backed out. The journalist was sweet about it, though I know full well how incredibly irritating it is when a promising case study interviewee suddenly flunks out. I tell myself it’s to protect my daughters. But is that all it is? Even when I worked on the Daily Express, I always refused to have a byline photo (a mugshot, usually glamorously posed, which goes alongside your name) while other journalists were clamouring to get their faces in the paper. I told myself then that I didn’t see what my appearance had to do with what I wrote.

When my book came out, I realised that my blog could no longer be anonymous, and so I let my name appear. Now, after years hiding behind a photo of a handbag, I actually even use the publicity shot taken for my book jacket. But on Facebook I still use a picture of the book instead of one of  myself, even though most of my Facebook friends have known me for gazillions of years and realise full well that my face is not orange with pink swirly writing.

What’s it all about? I can’t quite work it out. But I am sure that I don’t want to stick pictures of my girls in a national newspaper. They, on the other hand, may have quite different views. Child Two was complaining the other day that she was being seriously held back in her career as an actress by my failure to find her an agent. An agent!! I don’t think I even knew what one was at her age. Well, I’m very happy that she knows what she wants. And even happier that, when she’s a famous actress (as she surely will be) she won’t be hiding behind a picture of her handbag.

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  • Heather in Lapland October 5, 2010 at 8:02 am

    it’s an interesting one…I will admit to feeling a somewhat nervous at times as i realise that someone I am talking to in person has read my blog and knows who I am. In hindsight anonymity would be a good thing at times…but I’m far too egotistical to actually *be* anonymous though.

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

      It’s a difficult balance, isn’t it? You don’t seem at all egotistical btw! I’ve found it disconcerting once or twice when someone has clearly known a bit *too* much about my life, thanks to the blog – but I can’t really step back now. And I’m not sure I’d want to ….anyway my latest handbag is turquoise and it would clash with my blog colours 😉

  • Footballers Knees October 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I don’t blame you, somehow photos and names seem a step too far. But Child Two wants an agent? Are you planning that dream house in Hollywood yet? Perhaps you could live in the pool house?!

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

      Ooooh, I’d happily live in the pool house while Child Two consulted her publicist, her manicurist and her umpteen other ‘people’ …. she’s destined for stardom, that one ….

  • Addy October 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    There are quite a few bloggers who put photos of their children on ther blog and that worries me, given that there are weirdos who could take advantage of that. I thinkyou wer right to withhold photos to the journalist. In my case I have good reasons for remaining incognito.