I AM – Just Me !!!

Images can be a tricky thing. Your outer appearance speaks volumes about who you. What you can or cannot do. What you are and what you aspire to be . And a  lot more . Your dressing, your behaviour, everything about you reflects your inner self . Your principles , your values , your upbringing , your status , your strengths and also your weaknesses.

Recently , during a class on Social Media, the importance of maintaining a professional image on internet , was brought to the fore. Professionally one would like to project a responsible and respectable image of one’s self. Therefore dressing yourself in a formal attire is essential. Or else you might be looked upon as someone with no commitment and integrity. You may not look ‘serious’ enough to be taken seriously by others. But , can you do that ALL the time ?

Screenshot_2014-01-14-23-59-59No no no. Am not advocating dressing like Johnny Depp . Far from that actually . Just take your eyes off him for a second and read the caption instead. You should be YOU. After all, your professional life is not the be all and end all of your existence, is it ? You have other social standings too. Take for example , a woman – a professional woman. She is much more than an executive, an employee, a boss or a business partner. She is a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a socialite, a party person, a spiritual human being , a fitness enthusiast and the list can be endless. She may adorn herself vibrantly for a party with friends, or wear sombre clothing for a spiritual gathering , She may dress in casuals for a picnic with her children but wear a semi-formal attire for the school’s PTA meeting. An outing with her spouse may prompt her to don clothes that are romantic , while a family gathering would demand a more traditional bejewelled look. A woman has so many facets to her personality , that being tied down in one role, one image , is impossible. However to project her values and strengths , a little care and attention is required . This is to ensure that her dressing, no matter where or with whom, reflects her authentic self. It would be imperative to maintain a balance between the different roles that she plays, in a manner that does not compromise her personality. This calls for a dressing style which is appropriate according to her age, to the occasion and the people she is going to be with. When a woman is dressed in her authentic appropriate style, then there is nothing that will stop her from looking truly attractive .

So to get back to where we began – the social media exposure . The internet has indeed shrunk our lives to fit into a 13″ digital screen. But the implications of our dressing and appearance can be magnified to a humongous 70 mm cinema screen. Because we are constantly judged by what we are wearing – then be it our clothes or our expressions , both create an impression in the onlookers . We are accepted or rejected depending on the perception of the person looking at our internet profile. And this perception is based on our pictures that we post on the social media. So our social pictures could be projecting an image that clashes with our professional image. Is this even fair ? Perhaps not. But then , how others choose to perceive us ,  is not really in our control.  You could say that one can maintain two profiles – one personal and the other professional . But will that really stop people from viewing you on both the profiles ? With advanced technologies nothing is really that private anymore , isn’t it ? Now the dilemma is – should we dress as per our authentic preferences or dress to be liked by the onlookers. No matter what you say , the bottom line is that everyone of us wants to be liked by others . So yes, the answer to the above question is – BOTH !!!  We need to balance both. For example , if you are a mother going out with your kids , by all means wear casual clothes but don’t go overboard by wearing multi – colored neon shoes or a clingy dress or an extremely distressed pair of jeans . You don’t want to be the laughing stock of your peers or an embarrassment to your kids , do you ? Leave that for the teenagers . Its their domain. Be age appropriate and you will have struck a good balance between authentic and attractive.

The good news is , you can be who you want to be . Just remember that the world is watching . In person and in the virtual world. Even if one denies it  , the truth is you will want to be liked by one and all. We all do . And yes,  you surely can do it with a little care and know-how . As long as you dress in your authentic personal style in an appropriate manner,  you certainly will be looking your attractive best EVERY single time. Your image is in your hands. At the end you should be able to say with pride – “YES , That’s me !  I am a vivacious friend , a pampered daughter, a loving girlfriend/wife, a helpful colleague, a caring mother, a fun loving person , also spiritual when i choose to be , a fitness buff AND a responsible career woman . These are all different facets to my personality. I can be who I choose to be . I am , Who I am !!!”

DISCLAIMER : The above article would hold true for men too  😉 . All examples given herein are purely for elaborative purposes. Any gender based distinction is purely unintentional 😀

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