Archive for the 'Beauty Standards' Category

The look/feel connection

NS November 19th, 2010

I read Heather’s post on appearances and how much they matter with interest. But as I read the comments, I became more and more disturbed (and a bit sad, to be honest) by the number of women saying that how they look seems to have a direct impact on how they feel. Talk of the psychological effect that looking ‘together’ or ‘stylish’ has compared to the way looking ‘plain’ or ‘grubby’ has, it is evident that many women, even subconsciously, equate how others perceive them with what kind of mood they will be in and, subsequently, their self-esteem.

I don’t pretend that I don’t sometimes feel the same. There’s been many a day where I hadn’t showered before the school run and made sure to slap a hat and sunglasses on and days where how I looked did put me in a better mood.

But thinking about it, I wonder if it isn’t the other way around? Maybe I wasn’t in a great mood and had gotten little sleep on the day I decided to hit the snooze button twice instead of getting up to take a shower and put on a clean top. My looks were only reflecting how I felt about myself or my life at that time — tired, frazzled, grumpy and time-starved. On the days where I got out of bed early, had a shower, applied a bit of makeup and wore something besides food-encrusted pyjamas for the school run, I had probably awoken in a good mood and with enough sleep to give me the energy to do so.

If we truly believe that the link between how we look and how we feel is psychological, maybe it’s time for some reverse psychology.