She labored with raw meat her entire life, but she couldn’t talk about it to save her spot on Food Network Star. A few four-letter words, animal anatomy lessons and Greek mythology from the perspective of a chef, this is the story of The Butcher Babe and her personal brand. Or lack thereof.

Netflix, no commercials and people on TV desperate to make it on TV. What more could I ask for?

It’s season ten. Giada, Alton Brown, and Bobby are verbally flaying the contestant for their deficiency of coordination as they cook, present and express their culinary point of view. They’re supposed to make anyone hungry, from anywhere in the world. And so far they’ve succeeded. But it’s not food I’m craving; it’s the next episode.

They are wide-eyed. They are optimistic. They are contagious. They are charismatic. They are entertaining. But are they real?

Take the Butcher Babe for example. Her self-entitled moniker, not mine. She wanted to set herself apart from the others – to put it all out there. Tattoos, red hair, vintage wardrobe, grandmother inherited recipes and yes, attraction to and comprehension of meat. The latter my stomach truly empathized with.

As a butcher, she had an advantage. She not only could wield a knife and sever the head of a chicken, she could recognize her cuts and had worked with many artisan types of meat. However, it did little good when she failed to pay recognition to this attribute and downplayed her vibrant personality in an attempt to adapt to her surroundings, becoming what others expected of her.

In this, we’re all the butcher babe. The butcher dude. At some point of our life, we walk a mile, or a million, in another’s shoes not out of sympathy but due to impersonation.

We have our distinguished flair, but we falter upon the realization that we either stand out too much or fade into the shadows with our character. Everyone is doing it, so shouldn’t we? Shouldn’t we at least try? It’s on the shelves, at eye level. It’s on Pinterest. It’s on TV. It’s in the Theatre. My Facebook wall. It’s in my stocking. It’s at church. It seems healthy. It could help me. My friends are doing it. My family is living it. I could lose weight. It’s muscle forming. Everywhere I look, I’m looking it straight in the eye. Whatever it is, if it doesn’t align with your personal brand, it doesn’t have to be part of you or your part of it.

A personal brand is no different than a company brand. It has to be consistent, remaining cohesive wherever you go.

Definable in:

Who You Are  

What You Do

Why It Matters

The butcher babe got lost in her point of view, who she was cooking for, why she was cooking. She knew she wanted to win, but winning isn’t enough. Which ultimately is what resulted in her being eliminated from the show. Spices, sharp paraphernalia and all.

Every once in awhile, I ask myself those three W’s for a reality check. Am I being true to myself? Whether it’s while I’m shopping, ordering an entrée, sending out friend requests or just lounging around at home, I ask myself, is this the real me or am I trying to impress someone else? Emulate someone else? Keep up appearances?

Am I thinking for myself or following the trends? Am I Butcher Babe-ing it, or living up to my unique brand? It’s okay to stand out or live in what we think is the shadows. So long as we are true to our own DNA, we’re doing it right.