Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A Lesson in Grooming

I was in my early twenties and it was 2009, the recession. Just finishing college, I was trying to make the best of an opportunity as a PR I was lucky enough to find. Since it was a small company, we strived hard to maintain a media presence. For one such event, a press conference, I was incessantly networking with the most influential in the art world of Bangkok.

As a PR this was my big day. I was a student with a student's wardrobe (if you know what I mean...) and no make-up barring a lip gloss. To prepare, I shopped for a perfect (or that's what I thought...) pair of grey trousers, a nice black top and a blazer to finish the look. The next morning, satisfied with my look, I started for the venue where my employer had already reached and was giving finishing touches to the set up. I knew she'd be happy and surprised by my professional turnout and boy oh boy, surprised she was.

What happened at the press conference is a distant memory. Everything was over in no time. How I packed up and came home remains a mystery to me; I have no memory of it. All I remembered was the reaction and comment of my employer. I remember her looking up at me, smile deserting her face, her scuttle towards me and her callous pull at my arm. I remember her, telling me that I make her look bad. Why couldn't I spend some time on myself? Why didn't I wear a skirt? (weird but's a Thai thing) For God's sake... I was the PRO!!! I represent her in the media... Why didn't I groom myself? Why couldn't I look my best?

Another look in the mirror and a different perspective cleared the haze. I wasn't my best. I looked like a timid person with low self esteem. I didn't love myself enough to groom myself. How would anyone entrust a dismal being with the image of their company? The thought stuck with me.

No, I wasn't fired but realised that dressing and grooming are the most pronounced forms of self expression. How one presents oneself is a subtle display of ones personality traits, positive and negative.They are the giveaways of our deepest feelings and misgivings. Whether you are complacent or a go-getter, it will be reflected in the way you dress and groom. It is a subconsciously acknowledged fact that people who dress and groom well exude confidence, have high self esteem and climb the success ladder faster than those who don't. They have a sense of self efficacy and self-sufficiency. And it's not just professional success that makes grooming important. People who take care of themselves are better caretakers too. Confident people are able to maintain healthy relationships as they can voice their opinion and hold a regard for others simultaneously. Confident people trust themselves and therefore are capable of trusting others.

Lastly, beauty attracts beauty. While we all have different perceptions of beauty; to me it simply means being at your best. I can write and write about grooming and turn this article into a thesis and I'm tempted to include a gamut of topics about grooming here, but some other time.... :)

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