Lots of things percolating in the old brain this week. Scott got me processing this one…
The image you present is the image that people accept you as, until they know you well enough to make alternate mental arrangements. That’s the point of image consulting – I aim to make my clientele reflect both the inner person AND the person they want to be. It’s not impossible. It does require you step outside your comfort zone, especially at first.
And since I’m my own first client, I’ve got the photos to prove it!
I’ve been dressing just *fine* for the homeschool, Christian mom that I am. I fit in beautifully with my hometown vibe, just a little bit dressier, just a little bit more “me” than the run of the mill. But I go outside that circle, I start to present myself as something other than a mom, and people look at me oddly. Well, I don’t act like a fashionista. Mostly. 😉
On Monday, I got all dolled up to get my business stuff (good practice IMO) dealt with. Wore the same outfit on date night – and I kept getting those surprised compliments, you know the ones that translate to “huh, you clean up good…”
It’s about the details. It’s about the edge. Yes, my cardigan is endlessly more comfortable than my denim jacket. It *looks* more comfortable. Softer. If I want you to spill your guts to me, I’m wearing my cardi. But if I want you to see the confident, take no prisoners woman who is going to *tell* you what to wear – I’m not wearing something soft.
I’m building a business based on looks, I cannot afford to have a visual dichotomy. I want to say, “I’m an image consultant, here’s my card” and have the recipient think, “of course you are” not “oh she’s so cute”.
People want to get all whiny about the looks thing. But that’s how humans roll. I work with a group who helps rehab sex-trafficking victims. So one girl will be spending the next two years getting a tattoo taken off her face. Because it’s important not to be marked as a slave forever – and covering something on your face with a new tattoo is not much more helpful than the original mark, insofar as what people think when they see you.
Does that suck? Yeah. It does. Two years of pain … for something that wasn’t even her idea.
Would the world be better if we lived in community, where we could value people on what they actually were? Yeah. Tots.
But. We. Don’t.
So I’ll put in the bleach trays. I’ll keep up the mani/pedis. I’ll slap on the greasepaint. I’ll dress “sharp” and not “soft”. Because I want my audience to see the sharp mind and good eye.