Fashion For Real Women

The Power of a
Polished Appearance

Have you ever had this happen to you?

You're looking good with your appearance. You've got the hair, the makeup, the outfit - everything's pulled together. As the day progresses, you find that you've become a people magnet. Complete strangers come up to you and start talking like you're old friends. Men go out of their way to hold the door for you. And just when you start feeling really good about your day, it happens: the crusty look.

You know what I'm talking about. When you least expect it someone - usually a woman -- gives you such a dirty look that if looks could kill, you'd be dead on the spot. It might even be accompanied by a snide remark.

You instantly wonder what's wrong. Is your blouse too low? Your skirt too high? Your clothes too tight? If you can honestly say "No" to those questions (and remember: just because you can "suck it in" enough to get it buttoned doesn't mean it fits), then there's usually only one possible solution: you look so good, she felt threatened. So, to get even, she gave you a dirty look.

Sound ridiculous?

It's not. It's the power of image and appearance. And once you learn to harness it, you can put it to work to get what you want, whether it's the job of your dreams, the man of your dreams, or the kind of respect you've always dreamed about. Oh yeah -- and dirty looks from people with feel like you're stealing their thunder.

Now that last one probably isn't a goal. But it will be a by-product, so we'll address it momentarily.

Remember how I said when you look good, you become a "people magnet?" It's because of something called the "attractiveness factor." Studies have shown that even from the cradle, humans are drawn to an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Fair or not, attractive people tend to get preferential treatment all their lives, from more attention in the classroom and in the job market to a wider choice of mates. Small wonder then that most of our celebrities tend to be attractive.

Now here's a secret: you DON'T have to be drop-dead gorgeous to be considered attractive. You don't have to have a great body, great hair, or even a classically pretty face. All you need to do is package yourself attractively, and you'll command plenty of attention.

Remember: people treat you how you treat yourself. If you take the time to groom yourself appropriately and wear flattering clothes, you're telling others that you're worth the time and effort; that you're important and a force to be reckoned with. And because you have confidence in yourself, others will put their confidence in you - unless you give them reason not to.

If, on the other hand, you dress sloppily or in clothes that are too small, too big, or two decades out of style, you communicate that you're out of touch or that you have low self-esteem. Others will respond by ignoring or mistreating you. And initially, they may do this even if you have more money, more education, or more talent than they do.

Not fair? Of course it's not fair! But it's reality. If you've never experienced this sort of treatment first hand, just do some people-watching in a crowd sometime and draw your own conclusions. Almost always, the most attractively-packaged people will receive preferential treatment based on their appearance. It's a fascinating social phenomenon.

And what about those dirty looks I mentioned earlier? You'll get those from people who feel threatened by you in some way, whether it's because you're younger, older, have a nicer figure, have better hair, nicer jewelry, or whatever. Often, it's because you've caught the eye of their guy or someone they're interested in. Try to ignore them. You won't be able to please everyone is this life, so don't wear yourself out trying.

Instead, set your goals and costume yourself appropriately to meet them. A polished image is a powerful tool to have in your success arsenal, so don't be afraid to use it. Even if you do get a few dirty looks sometimes.


Need more help in polishing your appearance?  Grab a copy of Business Wear Magic by author and image consultant Diana Pemberton-Sikes to discover how to increase your income by dressing appropriately for your line of work.  You can find it online at .

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