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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 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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