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Is What You’re Wearing Too Revealing?

Is What You’re Wearing Too Revealing?

Do you remember, as a teenager, stepping out the door in a rush to hang out with friends and then hearing your mother’s voice, “Stop right there, young lady! Are you seriously thinking of going out wearing that?” You’d resentfully change outfits, wishing the years would pass at lightning speed so you reach legal age; then, no one can tell you what to wear. Now, you find yourself missing that voice that helped you rethink your attire. People seem to misread who you are based on what you’re wearing. How do you narrow the gap between the image you’re trying to project and what others perceive? When in doubt, it’s best to tone down the revealing style . Here are 6 reasons why.

1.  You avoid unwelcome attention and dangerous encounters.

Some college girls on online forums insist, “I’m free to wear what I feel like wearing. It’s my body, it’s my life, and it’s nobody’s business.” If you think this way, you are revealing a lack of broader awareness.

Every day, you move in confined spaces with various “captive audiences,” in class, at work, in the bus, the tube, the lift, or the bar. In these spaces, people have little choice but to look at you and what you’re wearing. Some react by ogling, sneering, or throwing disapproving glances. Are you ready for such reactions?  Be aware too of how a man’s brain is wired differently. Both genders think in streams of various subjects but unlike women, men tend to focus often and intermittently on physical stuff (and I don’t mean sports.) The smallest unrelated sight or gesture can bring up vivid images and sensations.   Are you aware of the effect your clothes are having?

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On the other side of the equation, men who conclude they know where a woman is coming from based on what they’re wearing are also revealing a similar lack of awareness.

It’s extremely hard for women to dress up confidently in a contemporary way when the fashion icons are limited to Hollywood, the cat walk, and reality TV ruled by 5 dark-haired siblings  who often wear revealing clothes. Regular women face difficulties with showing up at work, in school, and performing different real-life roles wearing the “appropriate” attire. That means either corporate and conservative or sporty,quirky and edgy.  But always, they’re expected to look nice and well-groomed simply because they’re female. No wonder some women just give up and choose to wear oversize shirts and slacks for life. Are you, men, ready to hold judgment and to see beyond the physical?

2. You project a neutral image and eliminate negative impressions.

Dress up with the occasion, the location, and other people in mind. Is it a job interview? Are you representing your organization, attending a parent-teacher meeting at your child’s school, or godmother at a baby christening? These occasions call for a professional image and a degree of conservative regular-ness. Avoid tight clothes, short skirts, low necklines, and overly high heels. How you dress reflects on others too—your child, your organization, the baby’s parents/hosts; even on how your mother brought you up. Your clothes are not just about you.

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3.  It gets in the way of making friends with women.

Even when this is farthest from your mind, wearing revealing clothes could be perceived by women as flaunting your nice figure in their faces and painfully reminding them of their personal issues with body image. They may feel inadequate or inferior with you around and so, they avoid you. You may inadvertently be upstaging everyone, including your boss and the visiting female board member. It’s true these perceptions are in the eyes of the beholder but you can eliminate unnecessary friction. Don’t reveal too much of your anatomy so others see beyond your looks into your great personality.

4.  It becomes an obstacle to finding a meaningful romantic relationship.

Even when you don’t mean to project such an image, wearing revealing clothes will be seen by some men as an open invitation or a snub, depending on their degree of confidence. They will think you are a sophisticated woman who has seen it all, even when you’re actually a rather sheltered, shy female trying to appear confident. That disconnect in personality and image will attract attention from the worldly types of men and discourage the more down-to-earth, conservative ones who could be a more complementary match to your personality. Don’t make it hard to establish romantic relationships by not dressing the part.

5.  Your existing relationships are affected, negatively.

Maybe you’re already blessed with several women friends and a committed romantic relationship. That scenario presents an even more important reason to put away the revealing clothes. A revealing clothing style always attracts attention. Such attention from other men will bring out jealousy from your boyfriend and from your female friends whose boyfriends are showing you attention. Is it worth endangering relationships and friendships by showing off skin and curves?

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6.  Your career may not reach its full potential.

When assembling a work team, a woman who dresses provocatively presents a sticky situation, and I mean this in the most objective, matter-of-fact way. Even when you actually have really good interpersonal skills, others will, unfortunately, question your “wild card” effect on the team dynamics. When scouting for people to promote and lead a team, the same thinking comes up. Will a woman who dresses provocatively put across the company image of professionalism? Will she be a positive role model for others? And then when you do get promoted, there’s the tiny thought, Did she get promoted on merit?

The last decade has seen an explosion of mostly provocative fashion styles made highly visible by the narcissistic attention of social media. When you add the thinning line between work and leisure situations or official and personal  interactions, it becomes a truly difficult challenge for any woman to get the “appropriate” attire.

It’s not about allowing others’ thinking to override creative self-expression, but about knowing that who you are inside matches how you look outside.  When that’s the case, opinions will not affect your self-image or how you are regarded by the clear-thinking majority. As for the men out there, some empathy would be really appreciated.  How about putting yourselves in our shoes? With or without heels, it’s not easy.

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Featured photo credit: Gorgeous Romantic Girl Outdoors. Beautiful Model in Short Dress in Field. Long Hair Blowing in the Wind. Backlit, Warm Color Tones via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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