I recently sent the first three chapters of my current WIP to two people. One of them knows me quite well, one I have only met recently.
Of course, I skimmed over them before I sent them, to make sure I didn't have any embarrassing typos (true story: I wrote an essay in college about the treatment of race in a particular novel, in which I had typed 'White Dessa. . .' instead of 'While Dessa. . . ' Dessa was black. Thankfully I caught that before submission and changed it with a ballpoint pen and a profound sense of relief), and to make sure there were no glaring inconsistencies (another true story: an uncle became a great-uncle and a mother became a great-aunt in this one. Switched them back before anyone saw it).
And I was skimming it, I was conscious of how these two people would read it. In one chapter, there was quite a long segment where my main character thinks some fairly nasty and judgemental stuff about her friend. As I was reading it, imagining how it would read to someone else, I realised it was quite unnecessary. My character is pretty judgemental sometimes, but this felt. . . wrong. It wasn't quite her.
I'm not sure I would have spotted it if I hadn't been reading with one eye fixed on how my writing would make me look.
I think that being too concerned about how our writing makes us-as-people look is a bad thing - if I was to worry too much about that, I'd end up trying to write books entirely devoid of sex, lies and bad people. Which wouldn't work. But in this case, it helped me to catch something that otherwise I might have let slip.
Have you ever removed something because you were worried about how it made you look? Or considered it? Do you think it was, or would have been, a good or a bad decision?