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Friday, July 13, 2012

Parking in the Validated Zone


Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

The other day I read something in a blog that struck me as being worthy of more thought- who you are isn't defined by what you wear, rather what you wear should be defined by who you are. The blog was written by a woman who was concerned about how to speak to little girls in such a way as to affirm them beyond the traditional comments on their appearance. And it's a good point, too- little girls are all too often complimented on their appearance vs their intelligence, skills or abilities. Being judged on your outside ignores the obviously more important part- who you are as a person.  And as we only have so much control over what we look like, if we buy into being judged by appearance we give the power of 'validation' to others rather than keeping this important tool for ourselves. 

Yet we are a visual species, and can't help but notice that which is interesting to us visually while 'not seeing' that which isn't interesting to us visually.  We are attracted to what we are attracted to, and cannot help that.  In other words, we judge by appearances- this is our 'first impression,' and it's pretty much automatic. So what to do about this conundrum? If you know what your best colors and design lines are (by hiring me, of course) and put that knowledge together with what you love, and what you want your appearance to say about you, then you'll be attractive, no matter what.  There's just something very attractive about a person who feels good about themselves. There's a certain 'sparkle' to them.

Take a room full of people- look at the ones who are basing their appearance on what pleases others; they may be attractive- they may have picked the 'right' clothes- it may make the 'right' status and taste statement;  lets say they also know what looks good on them. They may even have started out with the advantage of being slim and having good bone structure. There are certain margins that apply when dressing to please others- margins of 'accepted' good taste, margins that are generally accepted as defining 'good looking,' and they stay within them.  They can't risk losing that external validation.

However. There's probably not going to be much room for self expression- no individuality allowed here. Nothing too interesting, please….

Who do you think is going to capture your attention more in that room full of people- the bland and pretty people, or the ones who not only know what flatters them, but take it a step further and have the courage to express themselves? The ones who stand out? The ones who show a decidedly more interesting personality, a streak of independence? Which do you think you'll have a more interesting conversation with? A more fun friendship with?  Self validation has many rewards, and this is one of them.

Interesting and unique beats bland and pretty any day of the week. 

Happy Dressing!