Dating and Relationship Advice

At the beginning of what has turned out to be a long, messy $50 defamation case Johnny Depp has brought against his ex-wife Amber Heard that has kept both of them in the headlines for about a month, Amber fired her PR team. The main reason is the negative press she has received since her case began in April.

Social media promptly criticized Heard for being selfish and dramatic. But my first thought was, can you really blame her? Our culture is saturated with advice about being authentic, yet the beauty industry is over $530 billion, and there were 6.8 million elective facial reconstructive surgeries in 2020, a 3 percent increase from 2019. In a world where people claim they don't want filters on their dating app profiles, they're searching for "real" people, and even people who don't love the worst parts of themselves don't deserve the best parts of themselves, either, appearances matter.

Whatever you think of Amber Heard, her decision to fire her PR firm after too much bad press could be a lesson for us in the dating world, especially those on the dating apps. Of course, using airbrushed or really old photos and being dishonest about who you are while online dating won't work, especially on dating apps like Iris that block catfishing profiles. But embellishing your profile and working to put your best foot forward is not the same thing. This includes making an honest assessment about who you are, what you have to offer, and what you want and then putting those things in your dating profile clearly, compelling way. After all, your online dating profile is your marketing material.

Plus, I'd make the case that we all do a much worse job of hiding and pretending to be someone we're not anyway, so there's little point in trying to be anything other than honest on a dating app, even if you might be able to get away with it in the news. It's difficult to tell, without personally knowing her, whether Amber Heard fired her PR firm because they did not effectively hide her true colors or because they made her out to be someone she isn't. If your online dating profile is making you out to be someone you're not, the people you're dating will likely be able to tell, and they won't be happy.

And even if you're able to fool them, you won't be happy because you'll have begun building a relationship based on the airbrushed version. You'll never be able to let your guard down or take off the mask/filter. This is not to condone letting yourself go after you find your person but rather to be honest upfront about who you are and what you want. In a world where it's difficult to tell when people are doing that, you'll stand out even more.

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