Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Why we Judge on Appearance–It’s not the Book, it’s the Cover

There’s no question that we all judge people on their appearance.  Within the first three to five seconds of meeting someone, we’ve summed them up and put them in the ‘I want to know you’ or the ‘I’m not going to bother with you’ folder.  It’s as simple as that, because that’s all the time we have to start with.

This may seem unfair, wrong and inaccurate but it’s a fact of life.  And if you want to make a good impression you’ll take it on board and make it work for you.  Trying to shrug it off and pretend it doesn’t happen is not going to work.

Featured in today’s Daily Telegraph, Louise Mensch (aka chick-lit author Louise Bagshaw) is photographed by GQ in a sexy black leather panel tight-waisted skirt, white tie front (low) blouse and knee high boots ensemble which scream ‘look how sexy I am’.  I’m sure that was what GQ wanted, but put everything together and try to be taken seriously and there are the ingredients for failure. 

There’s a balance in creating the right appearance.  You don’t have to dumb yourself down and try and pretend to be someone else if you are a sexy blonde bombshell after a job in the City, but neither should you accentuate your curves with a push-up bra, thigh boots and a too short skirt.  You may get a job, but it probably won’t be the one you’re after.

The rules are simple, dress well and appropriately for wherever you’re going, always be well groomed and you’ll get the fourth and fifth seconds and onwards to project your individuality, brains and character.  Dress inappropriately and look scruffy in any way from hair to shoes and you won’t.

Complaining that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover is a total waste of time, as we always have done, we do, and we always will.