I recently met with a potential client who, within a few seconds of meeting me, informed me that I look nothing like my website photos and for a few moments that’s all I could think about. What did he mean I looked nothing like my photos? Who the heck did I look like? I mean, it was me in those pictures.

I found myself doing a mental check. Hair done and brushed? Check. Makeup on? Another check. Dressed appropriately with my usual attention to detail? Check again. Oh! I know. It’s the turtleneck. I knew I shouldn’t have worn that damn turtleneck.

It wasn’t till later that day that I had an “aha” moment. Why should I look exactly like my photos? It’s not like I go about my day perched on the edge of a chair with the wind blowing in my hair or standing with my hands on my hips looking over my shoulder with just the hint of a smile. No.

I walk, I run (usually from appointment to appointment) and I don’t glow – I sweat. My hair gets messy, my makeup wears off, I spill food on my clothes. And I’ve been known to stumble and trip over absolutely nothing. A lot. (Probably from running in 5” heels.) So, no. I don’t look like my professionally taken website photos. And that’s OK.

Over the years, many of my female clients have told me that they feel pressured to look a certain way at all times. And whether or not they feel that pressure from the media, those around them or themselves, I can relate. In my line of business, when I leave my house, I pretty much have to be “ON” all the time. If someone finds out what I do and I’m not looking my best, I’m doing my business and thus myself, a disservice.

But the reality is that I don’t always look my best, nor do I want to. And nor should any woman (unless, of course, it’s what she wants). We have the choice to look exactly as we want at any given time. If you want to walk out your front door all done up and in your finest, then go for it. But if you want to go out in your sweats, with your hair a big fat mess, then own it. It’s your choice and everyone else’s opinions be damned.

For example, some days I feel like curling my hair, putting on my cutest clothes and heading out the door. Other days I hit the streets in my Sorel’s, hat and puffy coat (and pray that I don’t bump into a client). I call it being a Part-Time Hottie – choosing to look your best and hottest whenever you darn well please. Because really, if we women were to look our absolute hottest at all times of the day and night, could the male population really handle it? I don’t think so.

So go ahead – be a Part-Time Hottie. And give those poor guys a break.