You don’t think about it, you don’t do without it

 Newsweek recently published a series of articles under the theme The Beauty Advantage, exploring how society views beauty.

Let’s face it, as much as we like to convince ourselves that people should be looking at our inner beauty, the harsh reality is that everyone looks at your image or the image that you present first. What is known as the beauty bias is more pervasive today thanks in part to the media, entertainment and also our social circles of influence.

Ok, let’s reflect on ourselves for a moment, and be honest! How many times have you chosen not so speak to someone because of the way they looked, or how they smelled? Perhaps their teeth were crooked or they just looked bad? Now, back up and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How do you see yourself from their perspective?

As mortifying as it seems, people judge each other on their looks. A positive way of tackling this is to improve what you have. On a professional as well as a personal level, we need to recognize that looks play a small but vital role in our lives. Don’t believe that? Check out the survey Newsweek conducted with HR managers: How Much Is Beauty Worth at Work?

Sure, we can rebel against the idea, but that you make you a foolish and unkempt idiot. Why not take positive action instead? While we do not need a major overhaul, some attention to details in daily grooming will suffice. For example:

    • Straighten up! Lift up your chest, suck in that tummy and tuck down that tailbone. A straighter posture projects confidence and makes anything you wear look like a million bucks.

    • Add some color! For women, a little light powder and light-colored gloss works wonders. I know that there are anti-makeup people out there but please don’t run about looking like the thing that crawled out of the well or worse, Captain Caveman’s wife. For guys, if you are afraid of makeup, a little bit of baby powder takes away the shine and there is always blotting paper for those who tend to oil up after a while.

    • Tame that mane. Brush, style, tie it up or leave it down, as long as you don’t look like you ran through a full tilt storm, all is good.

    • Clothes maketh the person. Invest in some good quality clothes that can be mixed and matched.  One last note: Don’t schlump about in your clothes. That is a surefire way of cheapening even the most glamorous outfit. 

    Addressing the issue of looking good is a smarter way of handling the social pressures that we face each day. I know that innately, we have the need to rebel against this but I don’t see why we should rebel to make ourselves look bad. Ultimately, building a positive self image makes us stronger as individuals.

    Tennis legend Arthur Ashe once said: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” And I couldn’t agree more.

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    Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P


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