WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Social media is the highlight reel of life. In general, it's where only the best pictures and most exciting moments of our lives are shared.
A young woman from South Florida is trying to change that perception and make Instagram, in particular, empowering women.
Her name is Lila Meltzer.
"I actually came up with this idea as I was scrolling through Instagram one day and came across this beautiful, fashion-forward woman. As I kept reading, it said that she was a plumber. And I caught myself falsely judging and falsely assuming something about this beautiful woman."
Lila was intrigued by the idea that there are parts of our lives that we all keep hidden. She believed showing vulnerability might actually be inspiring. She created the Instagram page, Her Secret Identity, and invited women to share something people would never guess about them.
"Her Secret Identity is a movement that challenges society’s assumptions about women by inviting them to reveal their true selves. I really wanted to take social media and flip it on its head in a way to show real women on their real days and their real selves,” said Meltzer.
It was her idea, so Lila had to be the first.
"Mine is that people think I have it all together, but my secret identity is that I really struggle," she said.
The idea has really caught on. Her Secret Identity has submissions from women in 24 states and a half dozen countries.
Some examples include the strong and fearless mentor, who admits she's battled chronic anxiety and phobias.
The civil rights attorney talks about her many doubts and fears. And the woman on the autism spectrum said I'm not weird. I have different interests.
The submissions are from women of all walks of life and include some familiar faces like singer Gloria Estefan and tennis legend Billie Jean King.
Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook and Journalist Mika Brzezinski, is coming soon.
"I love this idea," said Meltzer. "We can be anxious and confident. We can be nervous and strong."
Especially on social media, they don’t have to be perfect. We can give them a place to share who they really are," she added.
Social media platforms can sometimes harm a woman's psyche.
Lila Meltzer is hoping a little more honesty and transparency online might make women realize they have more in common with each other.
"That’s the goal. We're trying to break this facade, break this wall and reveal our secret identities literally. That’s what we’re trying to do," she said.
Women empowering women. Unleashing the power that comes from revealing your true self.
If you would like to join Lila Meltzer's movement, check out her page on Instagram.
You can submit your secret identity anonymously or share your photo and name.
To read a recent interview with Lila Meltzer, click here.