Chasing perfect – Image consulting tips for women of all ages
Us humans have a natural tendency to aim for perfection. We admire it’s sublime beauty in architecture, literature, music and very much in science like mathematics. But when it comes to natural sciences like biology of psychology, suddenly the exceptions becomes more interesting than perfection.
There is no charisma in the absoluteness of black and white but in lies in the various shades of the rainbow somewhere in between.
Chasing perfection in your appearance is a futile attempt because once you have reached it, you have already lost the game. There is nothing tangible in perfection and we can’t relate to it. We put it on a pedestal -and just look at it. It becomes an object of admiration.
But there is no development and thus no future. Time freezes in perfection, and while it’s an amazing experience to look into Mona Lisa’s 500 year old eyes, for enjoyable life and a successful career there needs to be a journey with a past, present and future.
Perfection is possible in brief passing moments but the beauty of life comes in it’s imperfections and the hiccups on the road. There is no charisma in the absoluteness of black and white but in lies in the various shades of the rainbow somewhere in between.
Same applies to you and your style. You are the unique YOU and that is what makes you magnetic. Everyone has their own story and the ability to tell that story through their image and style. My job is to give your narrative a visual form and to help you to express yourself freely through your style. What it doesn’t mean is that I will make you look and act like someone who you are not.
My 2 cents on Body Positivity
I must admit that I actually dislike the current body positivity movement because it draws the attention to the female body sacrificing their wonderful skills and radiating charisma. It also implies that there was something wrong about the body in the first place that we now need to suddenly love despite it’s imperfections.
Actually the body itself is nothing but a shell and it was always perfect and capable as it was. Your story is the one that attracts people and make them listen to you, not your body. Many style and body ideals are totally unrealistic and unhealthy. There are always people who are willing to tell you that you are not enough and that you are not loving yourself and your body enough.
I really don’t want you to waste your life chasing ideals that are not you and that don’t contribute to your happiness. Do you want that for your family or friends? Do you want that for yourself? I am sure you don’t so be gentle on yourself and be realistic. Make only goals that you are able to achieve without having to sacrifice huge things in your life, such as happiness or time together with loved ones.
Healthy ways of practicing body-positivity include not drawing too much attention to it. Respect it and take good care of it but you don’t need to be madly in love with it. Accepting facts of life and being able to live in harmony inside of your body is already more than enough. Just as long as you don’t hate yourself 100% of the time you are doing a really good job in my opinion!
Style as a way of self-expression
When you allow yourself to admit your dreams, you are taking a major leap towards the person you want to be and who you want to look like. Your style is the agent that helps you to communicate this to others -“without having to speak“, as L.A. designer, publisher and celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe cleverly put it.
Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.
– Rachel Zoe
Style is indeed a great way to express yourself but without a connection to the real you, it remains vague and unattractive. So keep on looking for that connection and a spark that ignites great things in life. Just like you, your style should evolve and move on. It should never be 100% ready. You can also choose to reinvent yourself and your style whenever you feel like it.
You are not meant to be perfect and your style is not meant to be perfect. That’s the whole fascination about life itself that we can always change and make things even better for ourselves. It’s up to you and you are holding the key to changing your outlook. Learn here about the importance of your appearance and read my professional tips for making style work in your advantage.
Stop Punishing Yourself
It might not be the right moment for a major style leap right now. Perhaps you need to work on something else first and only then move on to expressing your true self through your style. But always remember that you deserve to look like the person you want to be.
It saddens me to hear that people don’t allow themselves to look nice because of insecurities, other people’s opinions or because they want to punish themselves. One common reason to punish yourself is to deny yourself beautiful things until you are at your ideal weight.
I understand that it’s nice to reward your hard work with a nice outfit but you still deserve to be happy and feel good about yourself. You deserve nice things. If you don’t want to buy new things then maybe you can work with something you already own. Read some easy, affordable and low-commitment Shopping in Your Own Wardrobe -ideas in this article.
List of style stuff that you can forget right now
- You have to be trendy
- Your appearance is more important than your inner peace
- Compare yourself to others
- Every detail in your outfit needs to match
- Your metals need to match
- You need makeup every day
- Your hair needs to be done every single day
- You can only be powerful in heels
- Your outfits need to be sexy
- Your underwear needs to match
Homework for perfectionists
- Share this article with a friend who is over-consumed on their appearance. Tell them that they are enough just as they are.
- Tell that also to yourself.
- If you want to change your style by all means go for it. But make it realistic. Take in consideration your lifestyle, your body shape, your colours, your values, your budget and your personal brand.
- Develop yourself in other ways. You can for example become a better listener or make your LinkedIn profile shine, instead of being constantly busy with your looks.
- Enjoy the small things in life and keep a list of things that you enjoyed. Refer to the list when the urge to be perfect strikes again.
This article was originally published on 16th April 2016 on I on Image’s blog and updated on 15th February 2019.
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